Chirk, Wrexham born inside forward William “Lot” Jones played junior football for Chirk in 1901 and Druids in 1902 and signed for Manchester City in January 1903. He didn’t establish himself immediately. He made only a single appearance in his first full season, scoring on his Football League debut in a 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion in April 1904, and it was January 1905 by the time he received his next opportunity, from when Jones played in around half of his club’s matches until the end of the 1905-06 season.
In the 1906 close season a financial scandal engulfed the club, resulting in the suspension of 17 senior players and several club officials, none of whom were permitted to play for the club once their suspensions ended. Jones was not implicated in the scandal, but with few experienced team-mates remaining, his team plunged from title contenders to relegation candidates. The first match after the suspensions was particularly eventful. Manchester City fielded five debutants against Woolwich Arsenal, in a match played in stifling heat. The conditions caused several City men to collapse, and by half time only eight remained. Arsenal eased to a 4-1 win. By the final whistle Jones was one of only six Manchester City players left. The following match was a club record 9-1 defeat at Everton, though over the course of the season enough points were gained to secure First Division survival. By now Jones was a first team regular. In 1906-07 he scored 11 goals in 27 league matches playing at inside-left, with Jones formed a lasting left sided partnership with Jimmy Conlin, backed up by Jimmy Blair at left-half.
During a successful 1907-08 season in which Manchester City equalled their previous best of third in the League, Jones was given a benefit match. Middlesbrough provided the opposition, and Jones received £835 after expenses. The following season Manchester City were relegated to the Second Division, though with Jones as club captain they made an immediate return, winning the Second Division Championship in 1910. This made Jones the second City captain (after Billy Meredith) to win a trophy. He continued to play for Manchester City until competitive football ceased due to the First World War, at which point he volunteered for the 23rd (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, “Sportmen’s Battalion”. In total he scored 74 goals in 301 appearances for City between 1903 and 1915.
When League football resumed in 1919, Jones was transferred to Southern League Southend United. He soon returned to League football in July 1921 as player manager of Aberdare Athletic, presiding over their inaugural Football League season and although nearly 40, playing 18 times for them. In March 1922 he joined Wrexham, scoring twice in 7 appearances before joining non league Oswestry Town later in 1922, returning to play for Chirk in 1923.
He also won 20 caps and scored six goals for Wales, being capped first in March 1905 against England, his last cap also coming against the same opponents exactly fifteen years later.