Billy Jones (footballer, born 1987)
Jones playing for Sunderland in 2015
|Full name||Billy Jones|
|Date of birth||24 March 1987|
|Place of birth||Shrewsbury, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2007–2011||Preston North End||160||(13)|
|2011–2014||West Bromwich Albion||66||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:22, 17 January 2016 (UTC).
Jones started his career at Crewe Alexandra and made his professional debut in October 2003 in a 3–0 win over Derby County. Since then, he was a regular in Crewe's back-line and, for the 2005–06 season, he played a majority of games in midfield. He moved onto Preston North End in 2007 and then made his first Premier League appearance with West Bromwich Albion in 2011.
Born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Jones joined Crewe as a trainee at a young age following a recommendation to then-manager Dario Gradi by former Crewe centre half Dave Walton. Jones worked his way through the Crewe Academy ranks on in 2003 Jones signed his first professional contract for the club.
The English defender made his debut for the club at sixteen years of age against Derby County as a substitute for Justin Cochrane; the Railwaymen went on to win the game 3–0 with goals from Andrew Barrowman, Dean Ashton and Ben Rix. Jones went on to play a further 26 league games, which also included his first goal for the club against Wigan Athletic, which later won the "Goal of the Season" award. Jones later added the "Young Player of the Year" award to his collection.
Despite his young age, the young defender continued to be a regular in the Crewe first team. Jones played a total of 20 league games during the 2004–05 season, none of them as a substitute. This was also the only season in which Jones failed to score a league goal for Crewe.
Jones had an impressive 2005–06 season despite the club's relegation from the Football League Championship. Jones played in a central midfield role for most of the season before moving to a left-back role at the end of the season with the signing of Tony Grant during the January transfer window to fill in his midfield role for the remainder of the season. Jones scored seven goals over the season, becoming the club's top goalscorer. Jones later won the "Player of the Year" award.
Jones was joined by more experienced defenders for the 2006–07 season, namely ex-Aston Villa player Neil Cox and Notts County's Julien Baudet. He played his 100th league game for the club ten games into the season against Millwall. In October 2006, Jones rejected an extension to his contract at Crewe. A week after rejecting his contract, Crewe put Jones on the transfer list, This resulted in a number of clubs being linked with a move for the young defender, most notably Premiership club Manchester City, who were, according to the Daily Mirror, lining up a £1.5 million offer for him.
Jones was later joined by Jon Otsemobor and Luke Rodgers on the Crewe transfer list. However, Jones was in a different position to both Otsemobor and Rodgers because of his age, as Crewe manager Dario Gradi said that he would take a chance on a tribunal, meaning that Jones could stay at Crewe until the end of his contract and the club would still get a fee for Jones' transfer.
Preston North End
On 11 June 2007, Jones joined Preston North End with a four-year contract from Crewe Alexandra, after much deliberation over which Football League Championship side he was going to join.
On 24 August 2007, the Football League tribunal for the transfer from Crewe to Preston was held. The outcome was that Preston had to pay Crewe and initial £50,000 fee on top of the original £200,000 transfer fee, making the first payment £250,000 overall. Additional clauses were also introduced: At the start of 2008, Preston would have to pay Crewe £200,000 and also pay £62,500 when Jones reached his 15th, 30th, 45th and 60th first team appearance, the Lancashire club would also have to pay Crewe another £250,000 if The Lilywhites were promoted to the Premier League, if Jones was still at the club, and the final clause was that if Preston do sell Jones, 20% of the Transfer fee would to paid to Crewe. Overall, if all the criteria were fulfilled, Preston would have to pay Crewe at least £1 million. Since joining Preston, Jones has played a great part in the team, and has made the right-back position his own after the sale of Graham Alexander to Burnley. Jones has played both at the back and in the centre of midfield. On 22 February 2011, Jones headed in a 96th-minute equaliser against Nottingham Forest to rescue struggling preston a point at the City Ground. Jones made a massive impact on Preston North End becoming the captain in Sean St Ledger's absence towards the end of the season. With around 10 games of the season yet to be played, with the 'Lilywhites' more than 10 points from safety, Jones announced that he would not sign a new contract at the club if Preston failed to remain in the Championship. Even with a late charge towards the end of the season, which saw Preston find some form and saw the whole of Deepdale bouncing and chanting 'We are staying up', Preston North End were relegated after a 1–0 home defeat to Cardiff City, with a further 2 games to be played. Jones was awarded with the 'Player of the Year' for 2010–11 before his final game at Deepdale, mainly because he had been played out of position for a lot of games, due to Preston's lack of choice at the Left-Back Position. Jones captained Preston in their final game of the 2010–11 season, which was a 3–1 home victory against Watford.
West Bromwich Albion
Jones made 17 Premier League appearances in his debut top-flight season. The former Preston full-back provided cover for Steven Reid, who was ruled out for the season, after picking up an ankle injury against Chelsea in March 2012.
Jones was involved in six of Albion's ten Premier League clean sheets in his first season, including a 0–0 draw with future champions Manchester City on Boxing Day and a historic 1–0 triumph at Liverpool in April 2012.
On 28 May 2014, Jones joined Sunderland on a free transfer after he rejected a new contract at West Bromwich Albion. He said "I'm really happy to be here and I'm looking forward to getting back for pre-season and kicking on, I've played at the Stadium of Light a number of times so I know what great backing the club has. I knew I was signing for a massive club with everything in place to kick on up the league and carry on moving forward". Jones scored his first goal for Sunderland on 25 October 2015 in the derby match against Newcastle.
While Jones was playing for the Crewe youth team, he played in England's youth set-up as well. The defender has captained all levels up to Under-20 level.
- As of 27 January 2016.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Preston North End||2007–08||Championship||29||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||31||0|
|West Bromwich Albion||2011–12||Premier League||18||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||21||0|
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2011 and 31/07/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. p. 17. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "Billy Jones". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- "Premier League Player Profile Billy Jones". Premier League. Barclays Premier League. 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Jones rejects new Crewe contract". BBC Sport. 3 October 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "Jones put on Crewe transfer list.". BBC Sport. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "Crewe make Jones available". Sky Sports. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "Monday's football gossip". BBC Sport. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "Maynard extends contract at Crewe". BBC Sport. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "Crewe will allow Rodgers to leave". BBC Sport. 8 December 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "The Alex" Match Day Program 9 December 2006 (vs Nottingham Forest). Page 6, column 2, line 12–13. Retrieved 11 December 2006
- "Jones approach snubbed by Crewe". BBC Sport. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Thursday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 29 March 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
- "Preston sign Crewe's Jones". Preston North End. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 12 Jun 2007.
- Billy's Worth A Million! Retrieved on 24 August 2007
- "West Brom sign Billy Jones of Preston on free transfer". BBC Sport. 3 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- "West Brom 1–1 Newcastle" BBC Sport. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Whitwell, Laurie (28 May 2014). "Billy Jones joins Sunderland after turning down contract at West Brom". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Billy Jones: Sunderland sign West Brom defender on free transfer". BBC Sport. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Sunderland 3-0 Newcastle". BBC Sport. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Billy Jones". Soccerbase. Retrieved 28 May 2014.