Jack Jones (Australian rules footballer)

John Raymond Jones (7 November 1924 – 24 March 2020) was an Australian rules footballer in the Victorian Football League (VFL), who played for the Essendon Football Club.

Jack Jones
Personal information
Full name John Raymond Jones
Date of birth (1924-11-07)7 November 1924
Place of birth Ascot Vale
Date of death 24 March 2020(2020-03-24) (aged 95)
Original team(s) Ascot Vale CYMS
Debut Rd. 1 1946, Essendon
vs. Footscray, at Western Oval
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 85 kg (187 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1946–1954 Essendon 175 (156)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1954.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Early lifeEdit

Born in Ascot Vale,[1] a suburb deep in the Bomber heartland, he was the second youngest of six children. He saw his first game at Windy Hill in 1933 aged eight, the day Dick Reynolds debuted.[2]

Military serviceEdit

Jones enlisted in the Second AIF on 15 December 1942, and served with the 24th Infantry Battalion in New Guinea and Bougainville, before returning home. He was discharged on 14 March 1946.[3]

CareerEdit

On his return from military service, Jones was cleared to Essendon from Ascot Vale CYMS,[4] and became a regular player.[1]

He began his career at Essendon in 1946 wearing the number 24 jumper, and went on to play 175 games and kick 156 goals.[2] Jones could be dangerous on a half-forward flank as well as taking a fair share of the ruck work.[2] He used his speed to the full by continually breaking into the open. He also thrilled fans with his high-marking and was a good long kick, and was considered one of the fastest big men in the game.

Between 1946 and 1952, Jones played in 133 consecutive games, a feat no Essendon player has bettered. He also never played in the Seconds, missing senior games only through injury.[2]

He played during one of the club's golden eras alongside champions like Reynolds, Coleman and Hutchison.[2] He was a reserve in the 1946 premiership team and starred on the half-forward flank in the 1949 premiership team. He was also in that spot in the 1950 premiership win. In all, he played in 18 finals games and seven Grand Finals.

He was vice-captain of the State side against a combined Riverina team, at Narrandera in 1951,[5] and won Essendon's best utility player award in 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1954 and the best clubman award in 1953.

Post footballEdit

After leaving Essendon, Jones became captain-coach of Albury[2] from 1955 to 1959 in the Ovens and Murray Football League. Jones coached Albury to the 1956 O&MFL premiership. [6] He then coached Kergunyah Football Club in 1960. He later umpired in the Albury & District League for two years.

He maintained a long association with Essendon over the years,[2] running tours at Windy Hill and hosting sponsors and guests on match day as well as speaking to players and providing inspiration.[1]

In 2010, Essendon announced the inauguration of the Jack Jones Academy: a development program for all first, second and third year players.[1]

DeathEdit

In February 2020 he was diagnosed with cancer and told he had, "maybe three months, maybe six months". He responded by saying “I’m quite ready, 95 is not a bad age to live’’. [7]

Jones died on 24 March at the age of 95.[8] His granddaughter, football commentator Sarah Jones, noted the coincidence of the number 24 being the date of his death, the battalion he served in during World War II, and his jumper number when playing with Essendon.[9]

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d McFarlane, Glenn (4 April 2010). "Digger Jack Jones guides young Essendon guns". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Connolly, Rohan (24 April 2011). "Lucky Jack counts his Bomber blessings". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  3. ^ Second World War Nominal Roll: Lance CorpoJohn Raymond Jones (VX148416 (V505165)) Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  4. ^ Beames, Percy, "Coventry Lads Join League", The Age, (Thursday, 11 April 1946), p.8.
  5. ^ Surprise over Sate Captain, The Age, (Tuesday, 15 May 1951), p14.
  6. ^ "1956 - Albury are the Champions". Trove Newspapers. The Argus.
  7. ^ Robinson, Mark (29 February 2020). "Essendon Legend Jack Jones, 95 Reveals Cancer Diagnosis". Herald Sun.
  8. ^ Colangelo, Anthony (24 March 2020). "Essendon legend Jack Jones dies aged 95". The Age. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Jack Jones dead: Fox Footy host Sarah Jones tribute to grandfather, passes away at 95, Essendon player, WWII veteran". Fox Sports. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.

ReferencesEdit

  • De Bolfo, Tony (14 March 2017). "200 Club push for 'Mulga', Baxter and Bob". Carlton Football Club.
  • Maplestone, M., Flying Higher: History of the Essendon Football Club 1872–1996, Essendon Football Club, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-9591740-2-8
  • Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897–1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0

External linksEdit