Paul Jones Interview.

Paul Jones was born on September 6th, 1965.  He played in 182 games in total for Walsall mainly under Alan Buckley and Tommy Coakley in the 1980's in a variety of positions, and served the club well. 


" I was spotted playing for Forest Star by Ron Jukes and signed on schoolboy forms at 14, an apprentice at 16 and as a professional on my 18th birthday.  Even at a young age I could see that Alan Buckley and Garry Pendrey played the game the way it should be.  I played in a variety of positions, right back, centre half, wide left and even went in goal once against Crystal Palace, when Fred Barber was injured."


As he was progressing Paul hit a purple patch in the FA Youth Cup. At home to Dudley, he scored both goals in a 2-0 win. Next round was against Oldbury United, where he scored a hat trick playing at centre forward, for the first time, in a 4-2 win. Next up Saddlers were away at Alvechurch and he was on target in a 2-2 draw. For the replay , Paul managed another hat trick in a 6-2 win. The first round proper was a tie against Leicester United in which he dropped back into midfield to give new face up top - 17 year old David Kelly. a start. 'Jonah' was again on target from the penalty spot in a 3-1 win. His first team debut was as a substitute against Gillingham In February 1983.

"Before we passed our driving tests the likes of Kenny Mower, David Preece and myself would catch buses to Fellows Park and interact with the fans. The atmosphere at Fellows Park was terrific, the fans were right next to the pitch.  I actually played a few charity games at Bescot Stadium but I'd far rather Fellows Park.  Groundsman Roger Johnston kept the pitch in excellent condition.  It was immaculate. I remember playing at The Den around the time when they had Terry Hurlock and found it such an intimidating place, mind you they had a good strike force in Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino."


"Of the FA Cup games at Fellows Park, I scored the only goal v Birmingham City in 1986-7.  We had been working on corners all week and I swung one in, with a bit of bend, that may have hit the keeper on the line.  It was at the Laundry End in front of the Blues fans who were then managed by Garry Pendrey."

"1987-8 has such bitter sweet memories for me.  I was playing my best football and I played in 43 of the 46 league games and scored 14 goals that season, some penalties and it was such a disappointment having to sit out the play off games. I was stretchered off against Notts County following a tackle from David Kevan.  It was a knee wrench and weakened the cruciate, not an actual leg break, but it kept me out the game for quite a while, spending time at Lilleshall and Tom Bradley was working on my rehab and I did a lot of cycling."


" I was sent on loan to Wrexham to get  some games before being sold by John Barnwell to Wolves."   Paul played 5 times for Wrexham and 14 for Wolves for whom Graham Turner paid £15,000 for his services at around the same time they forked out £250,000 for Paul Cook.

" I went on trial at Northampton Town, but declined a similar offer from Carlisle United before signing for Kettering Town for whom I was signed by Peter Morris.  There was a spell at Stafford Rangers  managed by  Dennis Booth and we had some good ex league players there like Nigel Callaghan and George Berry.  There was an ex-Saddler connection there too with Brian Palgrave. Then followed spells at Blakenall  and Bilston Town and two years at Moor Green. There was also an interesting spell in Hong Kong in conjunction with the PFA. Mark Rees and Keith Bertschin were out there too.  The games had to be played at night due to the heat"


"I also had several good years at Chasetown as player and assistant manager to Charlie Blackmore.  We enjoyed those couple of great FA Cup ties against Cardiff City and Port Vale. We became the lowest ranked  club ever to reach the 3rd Round of the cup against Cardiff . It was a terrific atmosphere with the portable stand."

"I became a postman and retain links with football by doing work in stats on matchdays working as a floor manager. I cover games at Walsall and Stoke and at other grounds too."




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