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 20:27, 29 September 2017 (UTC).
Jones started his career at Crewe Alexandra and made his professional debut in October 2003 in a 3–0 win over Derby County. After four season playing in Crewe's back-line and midfield, he moved to Preston North End in 2007, and in 2011 made his first Premier League appearance with West Bromwich Albion.
Born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Jones joined Crewe as a trainee following a recommendation to then manager Dario Gradi from former Crewe centre half Dave Walton. Jones worked his way through the Crewe Academy ranks, and in 2003 signed his first professional contract for the club.
The English defender made his debut for the club aged 16 against Derby County on 18 October 2003, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute for Justin Cochrane. Jones went on to play a further 26 league games, which also included his first goal for the club against Wigan Athletic (on 20 December 2003), which later won Crewe's Goal of the Season award. Jones also won Crewe's Young Player of the Year award.
Jones played 20 league and two League Cup games during the 2004–05 season, but cemented his place as a first-team regular in the 2005–06 season, making 46 appearances and scoring seven goals as Crewe were relegated from the Football League Championship. Jones played in central midfield for most of the season before moving to a left-back role following the signing of midfielder Tony Grant during the January transfer window. His goal tally made him the club's top goalscorer, and he later won Crewe's Player of the Year award.
Jones was joined by more experienced defenders for the 2006–07 season: ex-Aston Villa player Neil Cox and former Notts County centre-half Julien Baudet. Jones played his 100th league game for the club ten games into the season against Millwall. In October 2006, Jones rejected an extension to his Crewe contract, and a week later, Crewe put Jones on the transfer list. Several clubs were 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.
While Jones was later joined by Jon Otsemobor and Luke Rodgers on the Crewe transfer list, he was in a different position because of his age. Crewe manager Dario Gradi said that he would take a chance on a tribunal, meaning that Jones would stay at Crewe until the end of his contract and the club would still get a fee for his transfer. Before the end of a season in which Jones made 47 appearances, scoring once, Crewe rejected offers from Stoke City and Everton for the 20-year-old defender.
Preston North End
On 11 June 2007, after much deliberation over which Football League Championship side he was going to join after leaving Crewe, Jones joined Preston North End on a four-year contract.
On 24 August 2007, the Football League tribunal considered Jones's transfer from Crewe to Preston and decided Preston had to pay Crewe an additional £50,000 on top of the original £200,000 transfer fee, making the first payment £250,000 overall. Additional clauses were also introduced, with Preston to pay Crewe £200,000 at the start of the 2008–09 season, and £62,500 when Jones reached his 15th, 30th, 45th and 60th first team appearances. 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, if Preston were to 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. Ultimately, however, Preston were not promoted, and Jones eventually left Preston on a free transfer.
After the sale of Graham Alexander to Burnley, Jones became Preston's first choice right-back, but also played occasionally in midfield roles. On 22 February 2011, as Preston fought to avoid relegation, Jones headed in a 96th-minute equaliser against Nottingham Forest to rescue a point at the City Ground. He was also appointed club captain, succeeding Sean St Ledger. With around 10 games of the season yet to be played and the 'Lilywhites' more than 10 points from safety, Jones announced that he would not sign a new contract if Preston failed to remain in the Championship. Despite a short surge towards the end of the season, Preston North End were relegated after a 1–0 home defeat to Cardiff City, with a further 2 games still remaining. 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: 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. He scored his second goal for the club against Hull City on 6 May 2017.
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 1 April 2017.
|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. 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Games played by Billy Jones in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Games played by Billy Jones in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Games played by Billy Jones in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Jones rejects new Crewe contract". BBC Sport. 3 October 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
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- "Crewe make Jones available". Sky Sports. 13 October 2006. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. 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
- "Games played by Billy Jones in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "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. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 12 Jun 2007.
- Billy's Worth A Million! Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. 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 30 November 2016.