Lurgan, County Armagh born wing half Sammy Jones broke into the Belfast Distillery team during the 1930-31 season, making his debut on 25th October 1930. Playing largely at centre-half he won a Charities Cup winner’s medal during his first senior season. A regular for the Whites for three years, he added runners-up medals in the Charities Cup and Irish Cup to his collection in 1933.
Capped for the first time by Ireland in October 1933, he played at left-half in a 3-0 defeat by England in Belfast. Within days he was transferred to Second Division Blackpool after 6 goals in 112 appearances for Distillery, whose Irish scouting network also spotted Peter Doherty at the same time. Jones won his second, and final, cap against Wales in November 1933 – he scored in a 1-1 draw, also in Belfast. In both his international appearances, Sam was joined by his brother, Jack, in the half-back line. Against Wales they were joined by brother-in-law, Billy Mitchell. Jones would play for Ireland again, just not in official internationals. During the Second World War he played against the British Army in September 1943 in a 4-2 win, then in an 8-4 defeat by the Combined Services in September 1944, and in the first post-War Victory International, a 1-0 defeat by England in September 1945.
He made his Blackpool debut against Oldham Athletic almost immediately after signing for them and was a regular in the team that won promotion to the First Division in 1937 as Second Division runners up. Jones’ Blackpool career spanned thirteen years, but largely due to the War, just 172 appearances, scoring 7 goals. He made his final appearances for the Tangerines in the transitional post-War 1945-46 season, but come the resumption of the Football League proper he was just shy of his 35th birthday and played only once more in the League against Sunderland in September 1946, before leaving full-time football behind to join the Blackpool coaching staff.