Gwyn Jones | 1935-2020

Wolves are saddened to learn of the passing of former double league title-winning defender Gwyn Jones at the age of 85.

Jones spent seven years of his career at Wolves throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, during a period where the club were among the elite sides of world football.

Born in Llandwrog, north Wales, Jones began his playing career with Caernarfon Town, with dreams of becoming a teacher, before a chance meeting with Wolves. He was playing in a charity match for a Bangor Select XI against the Wolves first-team, and did enough to impress then-director Jim Marshall, who offered Jones the opportunity to play for the club.

Within three months, the full-back made his first-team debut in a 3-2 home win over West Bromwich Albion in December 1955.

Further appearances for the senior side followed, with Jones featuring in wins over Aston Villa and Chelsea, and a 4-0 victory against Manchester United, as Wolves claimed the First Division title in 1957/58.

Jones was also part of the squad which would lift a successive league trophy in 1958/59, making four appearances that season, and was part of the starting line-up in the 1959 FA Charity Shield final at Molineux, as Wolves ran out 3-1 winners over Nottingham Forest.

While at Wolves, Jones toured South Africa and Indonesia and took part in a number of prestigious friendlies against European opposition, including a Juventus side featuring Football Hall of Famer John Charles and European player of the year Omar Sivori.

At the end of his seven seasons at Molineux, Jones joined Bristol Rovers, going on to play more than 150 league games for the Pirates having established himself as first-choice left-back and was soon named as captain.

During his time at Rovers, Jones was a whistle-blower in a betting scandal which rocked English football in the early 1960s, speaking out after he declined a bung to help throw a game.

After bringing his professional playing career to an end in 1966, Jones – a fully qualified football coach and accomplished pianist – spent 22 years working in the clerical department of an aluminium smelting company in Anglesey, before taking early retirement at the age of 57.

Gwyn spent the last year of his life as a resident of Bryn Seioint Newydd Care Home in Caernarfon, and passed away peacefully last Friday 13th November.

Senior nurse Debbie Parry, who by coincidence is a massive Wolves supporter and attended games as often as she could prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, was particularly proud to be able to look after Gwyn at Bryn Seiont.

She said: “We enjoyed long conversations about Wolves right up until the last few weeks of his life. Last season I was attending games and watching them on TV and Gwyn was always keen to talk about the games.

“He had a Wolves and Bristol Rovers badge on his bedroom door either side of his name. He always referred to his days playing for Wolves as the ‘good old days’.

“I have a Wolves lanyard to which my keys are attached. Whenever Gwyn saw it his face would light up and he’d just want to touch it. He was such a lovely, lovely man and we are going to miss him terribly.”

Gwyn will be laid to rest with his late wife, Margaretta, in the graveyard of St Twrog’s Church in the village of Llandwrog where he was born.

Richard Green, Wolves Former Players Association manager, said: “On behalf of everyone at Wolves Former Players Association and Wolves, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Gwyn’s family.

“Gwyn was one of our earliest members and a much-loved part of the most successful Wolves squad in history, winning two league titles, a Charity Shield and FA Cup.

“His contributions on and off the pitch at Wolves will never be forgotten and he will be greatly missed.”