Joey Takes A Step Back

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Wed 05 Jul 2017

Wrexham AFC are announcing that Joey Jones has decided to retire from his full-time position at the club. Joey is a club icon and rightfully known as Mr Wrexham building that reputation since he first joined us back in 1970 and has been a loyal servant for 30 years since returning to the club in 1987. Whilst he will no longer work full time, the fantastic news is that Joey will continue to perform many aspects of his role within the Youth Department at the Football Club as a volunteer going forward and will remain an integral part of the fabric of Wrexham AFC. Supporters will still see Joey training with the Youth Players at Nine Acre and providing valuable insight to the First Team on a Saturday at the Racecourse.

Joey said: "I've loved every minute of my time at Wrexham AFC and it's time to let others come to the fore and carry on the proud traditions of the club. The club continues to be a massive part of my life and whilst I am retiring from a full-time position, I will still be part of the future of the club and especially helping the younger generations make the transition to professional football like I did with Wrexham. I'm looking forward to the season ahead and hopefully we will be right up there."

When Joey first arrived at the Racecourse as a teenager from Llandudno, little did anyone realise how influential he would become on the history of our club.

Under the guidance of John Neal, Joey was to make his debut against Chester in Welsh Cup tie – a derby at Sealand Road was how it started in 1973 and as a player it continued for another 474 games in a red shirt across three separate spells that were punctuated with periods at Liverpool, Chelsea and Huddersfield.

In every single one of his appearances, he never gave less than 100%, an attitude that took him to the very top of the game with Liverpool as European champions in 1976 and 1978 – and made him a firm fans’ favourite. Who will ever forget that memorable banner the Kopites unfurled in Rome celebrating their inspirational left back?

Wherever Joey played, he was the focal point for both team mates and supporters alike – not only a legend with Wrexham, Liverpool and Wales, but also a revered figure with both Chelsea and Huddersfield Town fans.

A favourite at supporters’ gatherings of all the above clubs, he keeps audiences spellbound with his tales from behind the scenes – his sense of humour that of the supporter and not the superstar. Literally someone who has stepped off the terraces to pull on his team’s jersey – a dream we have all had, but one that Joey achieved.

Along with winners’ medals from the old First Division, two European Cups, a UEFA Cup and Super Cup, along with a Second Division championship and Welsh Cup – Joey amassed 72 caps for Wales, a record total at the time.

Making his debut for his country against Austria at the Racecourse in 1975, when Arfon Griffiths scored the only goal of the game to ensure Wales won their Euro qualifying group.

Later at Chelsea, where he was adored by the Shed, he once inadvertently sparked a riot at Derby, when running to the travelling support brandishing his trademark clenched fist salute following a goal, only to realise what was kicking off behind him!

Then at Huddersfield, he was voted Player of the Season in his first year with the Terriers, his efforts appreciated by the Leeds Road faithful.

He headed back to Wrexham for a third stint as a player, stepping up to become a player/coach under Brian Flynn, before finally calling it a day on his birthday in March 1992 – aged just 37!

Despite all he achieved during a glittering career, Joey always seemed at his happiest when coaching and developing young talent. The influence he has had on generations of players is self-evident by the reaction he receives when meeting up with one of prodigies in later life, as they consistently recall the good times they enjoyed learning from one of the game’s greats.

He is without doubt, one of the most likeable characters in football, someone who never stops thinking of others and has done so much good work for numerous charities.

But let's leave the last word to Joey: "I wouldn't change it for the world. If I had my career over again, I would still start at Wrexham Football Club, because this is the place to be."

Everyone at Wrexham AFC wishes Joey a long and happy semi-retirement!

Watch a video tribute to 'Pal Joey' - click here...

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