Jones Bryn Image 2 Arsenal 1939

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Description

Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan born inside left Brinmoor “Bryn” Jones was perhaps the leading light of a famous footballing family of footballing brothers to play professionally, as did three of his nephews, one of whom, Cliff Jones, arguably outshone him. He started his career with Merthyr Amateurs in 1929 before playing for Plymouth United in 1930 and he joined Irish League club Glenavon in 1932 before returning to Wales with Aberaman Athletic, and it was from Aberaman that he signed for Major Frank Buckley’s First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers for £1,500 in October 1933.

He made his Football League debut at Everton the next month, quickly making an impact as Wolves consolidated their position in the First Division. He made his international debut for Wales in a 3-1 victory over Ireland in March 1935 and won 17 caps over the next 13 years as well as playing in 8 wartime internationals.

Although a regular scorer, he was a creative player first and foremost, although he did score a hat-trick for Wolves in a 4-2 victory over Preston North End in April 1936. In his final season of five at Wolves, he returned 17 goals in the campaign as Wolves finished runners up in the League Championship, starting a period of dominance in English football that would extend through to the early 1960’s under Stan Cullis.

After 57 goals in 177 games in old gold and black, Arsenal manager George Allison paid £14,000, a British record fee, to take him to Arsenal in August 1938 as Arsenal were seeking a talent to replace the recently retired Alex James. Jones scored on his Arsenal debut and bagged a couple more in the next three games, but the goals dried up and within a year football had been suspended for the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.

After the War Jones resumed playing for Arsenal but by now was already aged 34, and made 26 appearances as Arsenal finished mid table in 1946-47, but although Arsenal won the League Championship in 1948 Jones only played 7 games in the campaign and hence didn’t earn a medal. He played and scored in the 1948 Charity Shield but left The Gunners after 8 goals in 79 games to become player-manager of Norwich City in June 1949, a position he held until 1951, although he retired from playing in 1950 after scoring twice in 26 games for The Canaries.

Jones was one of five brothers who all played professional football, the others being Shoni (Aberdare and Ton Pentre), Ivor (Swansea Town, West Bromwich Albion and Wales), Emlyn (Merthyr Town, Bournemouth, Southend United and Barrow) and Bert (who died fighting the Japanese in Burma in the Second World War). His nephews Ken (Swansea and became a well known sports journalist), Brin (Swansea Town, Bournemouth, Watford) and Cliff (Swansea Town, Tottenham Hotspur where he famously won the Double in 1961, Fulham and Wales) were also footballers.

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