Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949

Jimmy Jones



From "Belfast Celtic" by John Kennedy. You can order the book here.

jjones.jpg (12670 byte)

"If there was one position in the football structure that Belfast Celtic made their own, it must be that of centre forward. Names like Sammy Curran, Davy 'Boy' Martin, Peter O'Connor, Jimmy Turnbull and Eddie McMorran are forever engraved in the minds of those who have a special admiration for those who today we term 'the striker'. To this illustrious role must be added the name of Jimmy Jones.

The first love of the Keady-born centre forward was cricket, which he played with Waringstown Boys.


He began playing soccer while still at school with Lurgan Tech and the Boys Brigade, followed by spells with the Lurgan Intermediate club Sunnyside and Glenavon Juniors.

Introduced to Linfield by his cousin Jack Jones, the famed Linfield captain, the youngster was thrown into a trial match composed of Linfield players and ended the day by scoring three goals. Incredibly the Blues failed to retain him. It was a mistake that not only would cost them dearly, but would arguably change the face of Irish football.

He returned to Lurgan to play with the local amateur team, Shankill Young Men, where he scored six goals in a cup match against Hilden Rec. Watching the game from the sidelines was Elisha Scott, and the Celtic manager's powers of persuasion brought Jones to Paradise in the middle of the 1946-47 season.

In his first full season with Belfast Celtic, Jones scored 63 goals and by half-way through the ill-fated 1948-49 season, he had already reached 33 goals when the infamous Boxing Day incident at Windsor Parkput the brakes on a career that was headed for the heights.

jjonesball.jpg (51584 byte)

By the time he had recovered, Celtic were out of football and Jones signed for Glenavon where he continued his exceptional career, with 74 goals in one season and an average of 50 in the others. Jones won three international caps and several league caps, and participated in the U.S. tour with Glenavon where he ended his playing career.

The Lurgan man remains today as one of the most popular players ever to wear the green and white. His fearless atacks and spirited competitiveness will long be remembered by Celtic fans everywhere."