Jones Leslie Image 3 Coventry City 1936

Jones Leslie Image 3 Coventry City 1936


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Aberdare, Glamorgan born inside forward Leslie Jones began his football career with Aberdare & Aberaman Athletic from where he signed for Second Division Cardiff City in August 1929, making his Football League debut against Swansea Town in February 1930. Although Cardiff City were relegated from the Second Division the following season and struggled in the Third Division (South), Jones stayed with them and won the first of his 11 Wales caps over the next five years against France in May 1933.

In January 1934 he signed for Third Division (South) club Coventry City after 32 goals in 149 games for The Bluebirds, and it was at Coventry that he made his mark, helping them finish second in the division (narrowly missing out on promotion) by the season end, and then scoring 28 goals in his first full season in 1934-35 as Coventry finished in third place, a total that included hat-tricks against Clapton Orient, Southend United, Gillingham and Newport County. His 19 goals the following season, including a hat-trick against Queen’s Park Rangers, helped Coventry finally win the Third Division (South) Championship and in November 1937 he signed for Arsenal for £7,500, playing 28 games as Arsenal won the League Championship in 1937-38. He won a Charity Shield medal the following season, playing as Arsenal beat Cup winners Preston North End 2-1 in October 1938. but his career at Arsenal was limited due to the outbreak of World War II.

However the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, during which he served in the Royal Air Force, curtailed his Arsenal career although he still found time to play 71 wartime games and five wartime internationals for Wales. In June 1940, he was one of five Arsenal players who guested for Southampton in a victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. He returned to Highbury after the War and played an FA Cup tie in January 1946 already aged 35, he signed for Swansea Town as player-coach that summer after 3 goals in 54 appearances for The Gunners.

His stay in Swansea was short paying only 2 matches before joining Barry Town as player-manager, before spending 1948-49 at Brighton & Hove Albion, for whom he appeared 3 times. He became manager of Scunthorpe United in June 1950 but stayed only until the end of the 1950-51 season.

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