Bryn Jones (footballer, born 1912)
|Full name||Brynmor Jones|
|Date of birth||14 February 1912|
|Place of birth||Merthyr Tydfil, Wales|
|Date of death||18 October 1985(aged 73)|
|Place of death||Wood Green, London, England|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Penyard near Merthyr Tydfil, Jones was part of a famous footballing family; he was one of five brothers to play professional football, along with Shoni, Ivor, Emlyn and Bert. In addition his nephews, Cliff, Bryn and Ken were also professional footballers.
Early career and Wolves
He played for a variety of clubs as a youth, including Merthyr Amateurs, Glenavon and Aberaman Athletic, before signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1933 for a fee of £1500. In five years for Wolves he played 163 league matches.
During his time at Wolves Jones also won the first of his 17 caps for Wales, against Northern Ireland in 1935. His international career lasted between 1935 and 1948, as well as a further eight wartime internationals, the highlight being a 2–1 win over England in 1936 at Molineux. He also appeared for Wales Amateurs.
Jones's exploits for Wolves earned the attention of George Allison's Arsenal, who were looking for a replacement for Alex James'. Arsenal paid a then British record fee of £14,000 to take him to Highbury in August 1938. The enormous fee (for the time), coupled with the ongoing Great Depression, led to questions about its appropriateness being asked in the House of Commons.
Jones got off to a dream start for Arsenal, scoring on his debut against Portsmouth and then netting two more goals in the next three matches. However, his goalscoring soon dried up (he only scored four goals in total through the entire 1938–39 season), and Arsenal did not win anything that season; much blame in the press at the time was aimed at Jones for not adequately succeeding Alex James, while Jones himself, unused to the light of publicity, was unable to cope as well as other Arsenal players had in the past. Bernard Joy, a team-mate of his and later a sportswriter, wrote in his history Forward Arsenal!:
|“||Do we write Bryn Jones down as a gamble that failed, or would he have been a success eventually? The outbreak of war in September 1939 prevented us from ever finding the complete answer. There were signs before then that, as James had done, he was weathering the bad patch which always seems to follow a change of style from an attacking to a foraging inside-forward. [...] My own view, however, is that Jones's modesty was the barrier to achieving the key role Arsenal had intended for him. He could not [...] regard the spotlight as a challenge to produce his best; all the time it irked him, making him self-conscious and uneasy.||”|
Jones served with the Royal Artillery during World War II, and was aged 34 when competitive football resumed. He made seven league appearances for Arsenal in 1947–48, in which Arsenal won the First Division Championship, but he did not play enough games to qualify for a medal.
Jones played (and scored) in Arsenal's 1948 Charity Shield match against Manchester United but was still only a bit-part player in 1948–49. He left Arsenal to become player-coach at Norwich City in 1949. He had played 76 matches for Arsenal, scoring 8 goals.
- Football League Career Stats at Neil Brown
- Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Soccerdata. ISBN 1-899468-67-6.
- Matthews, Tony (2001). The Wolves Who's Who. Britespot. ISBN 1-904103-01-4.
- "Player profile: Bryn Jones". Arsenal player database. Arsenal.com. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "Bryn Jones". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 4 June 2012.