David (Di) Jones

David (Di) Jones

David (Di) Jones was born in Trefonen in 1867. A talented footballer he played left-back for Oswestry before moving to Chirk and captaining them to victory in the Welsh Cup of 1885.

In 1887 he joined Newton Heath. The following year he was sold to Bolton Wanderers in the First Division of the Football League. He also played 14 games for Wales. During this period he became a close friend of Billy Meredith.

In 1890 he was appointed captain of Bolton Wanderers. He was ever-present in the 1892-93 season when the club finished fifth in the First Division. In the 1893-94 season, Bolton beat Small Heath (4-3), Newcastle United (2-1), Liverpool (3-0) and Sheffield Wednesday (3-2) to reach the 1894 FA Cup Final. Unfortunately, Bolton lost to Notts County 4-1 in the final at Goodison Park.

Jones scored four goals in 228 games for Bolton Wanderers before joining Manchester City in 1898. That season Jones helped Manchester City win promotion to the First Division of the Football League. His friend Billy Meredith scored four hat-tricks and ended up the season with 29 goals. Billy Gillespie was also prolific that season and added 17 to the 18 he scored the previous season.

Manchester City did not find it easy in its first season in the top division and finished in eighth place. The following season was even worse and the club finished eleventh. Joe Cassidy was top scorer with 14 goals but he was sold to Middlesbrough at the end of the season for £75 on the grounds he was not worth his £4 a week wages. The manager, Sam Ormerod, complained about this decision but it was now clear that the directors of the club had lost confidence in him and he was no longer making the key decisions.

In the 1901-02 season Manchester City was relegated. Sam Ormerod resigned and was replaced by Tom Maley, the former Preston North End player. In a pre-season public practice game, Di Jones gashed his knee. Despite treatment from the club doctor, within a week the wound had turned septic and he died. During his time at the club he played in 114 games.