Irish League soccer legend Jimmy Jones dies

Jimmy Jones on his last visit to Glenavon.
Jimmy Jones on his last visit to Glenavon.

Irish League football legend Jimmy Jones, aged 85, passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning.

He was 85 and lived at Waringstown, but was born in Keady in country Armagh.

The former Belfast Celtic and Glenavon striker, who scored 74 in the 56-57 season still stands today, was idolised at his club Glenavon and considered by many one of the local game’s greatest players.

“It is very sad to learn of the passing of Jimmy Jones,” said Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer.

“He was a colossus of a player and we will never see the like of him again. He was a player, a captain and a manager to this club and above all else he had a great personality.

“It is a sad day for his family and a sad day for Glenavon Football Club. It is only a few months ago Jimmy was at Mourneview Park for the naming of the Jimmy Jones Suite in his memory.”

He served Glenavon as a player from 1951 to 1962, was captain on the club tour of the United States in 1960 and manager from 1969-72. He scored 517 goals for the club and was the leading scorer in the League in 10 successive seasons from 1952/53 to 1961/62.

His Glenavon honours of three Irish League titles and three Irish Cups in the great Glenavon sides of the 1950s.

He also played 14 games for Portadown after his Glenavon career ended and, before joining the Lurgan Blues, played with Larne and Fulham during the 1950-51 season.

He won three full international caps for Northern Ireland.