Where Are They Now - Pat Jones
Peverell Green takes a trip back to the post-war years to look at the career of Pat Jones in his Where Are They Now series.
PAT JONES - Born 7th September 1920, Plymouth.
Due to the Second World War Pat didn't begin his professional football career until he was 26.
He enlisted at the start of the war with the Devonshire Regiment.
On being demobbed he played for local teams Plymouth United and Astor Institute before being signed by Argyle manager Jack Tresadern in March 1947.
After only a handful of games for the reserves Pat made his first team debut on 17th May 1947 in a 1-0 defeat at Highfield Road Coventry, he also played in the next two games, both away defeats, 3-2 at Bradford Park Avenue and 5-1 at Nottingham Forest.
Those three games were the start of a record that is unlikely to be broken at the club; he then played in the next 276 consecutive league games, not missing a match for the next six seasons.
Argyle's poor form continued at the start of the 1947-48 season, after playing the last four games away from home the previous season, the first two were also away fixtures, and Argyle lost them both.
For good measure they lost their first home game in seven matches as well, 3-0 to Birmingham City.
Pat didn't play in a winning team until a Syd Rawlings goal saw Argyle beat Barnsley 1-0 on September 13th in front of 18,930 fans. Despite finishing 17th Argyle still managed to attract an average crowd of 23,500.
The following season saw no improvement in both position or crowd average, Argyle finished 20th and the crowd average drop to 22,709. Their most notable result came in September when eventual champions Fulham came to Home Park and were beaten 3-1 with goals from Bill Strauss and Frank Squires (2).
After struggling for four seasons, in 1948-49 Argyle were relegated to Division 3 South after finishing 21st, with only Bradford Park Avenue below them.
The result of the season came in the middle of January when they beat runners up Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 at Hillsborough with goals from Frank Squires (2), Bill Strauss and George Dews doing the damage to the Owl`s hopes of winning the championship, although runaway leaders Spurs ended up finishing nine points in front of them.
Back in Division 3 and for the first time in years Argyle fans were treated to their strikers scoring some goals, they beat Aldershot 5-1 with Maurice Tadman scoring four of the goals, Colchester 7-1 and Crystal Palace 4-0 all at home, and to the delight of the travelling fans they also beat Brighton 6-0 away, with Maurice Tadman scoring another four.
In October and November they scored 31 goals in only eight matches with Maurice scoring 17 of them. Argyle finished fourth and the fans sensed better times were to come.
For once the supporters hopes were realised when at the end of the 1951-52 season Argyle were promoted as champions, the club's first success since they won the same division in 1929-30.
With prolific scorers Maurice Tadman and George Dews now being assisted by Gordon Astall and Alex Govan the rest of the division were swept aside as Argyle finished five points clear of Reading and Norwich who both ended on 61 points with Argyle equalling the club record for goals scored in a season of 107, which first happened in 1925-26.
Far from their promotion leading to a season of consolidation in Division 2.
They got the season off to a cracking start, winning five and drawing the other two of their first seven games. Ending the season in the club's best ever finish of fourth place.
Unfortunately Argyle couldn't continue their progression and the next three seasons were no fun for Argyle fans, finishing 19th in 1953-54 with Pat missing his first games since joining the club.
20th the next season with Pat only making eighteen appearances and the following season after finishing 21st they returned to Division 3 South.
The only bright thing of note was that after 352 games pat scored his first goal for the club, it came on 17th December 1955 in a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday who were to finish the season as champions.
If Argyle fans thought a return to a lower division would be easy they were wrong, a 5-0 thrashing of Exeter in January was to be their highlight of the season with the club finishing in 18th position. Although in February Pat scored his second and final goal for the club, at home to Watford in a 3-3 draw, he got the first goal with Gordon Quinn and Neil Langman also getting on the scoresheet.
1957-58 was Pat's last season at the club, at 37 he realised that after more than a decade of regular first team football he would no longer be the first name his manager put on the sheet when selecting the team and at the end of the season he decided to tell the Argyle manager Jack Rowley he was going to retire.
He added another 24 games to his list of appearances for his club and had the pleasure of seeing his team finish fourth in the table.
His final appearance came in the last home game of the season in a 3-2 defeat to Southend with Wilf Carter and George Baker scoring the Argyle goals.
By the time his twelve year career at Argyle was over Pat had amassed a total of 441 appearances for the club, putting him in sixth place in the Argyle appearance list, an honour he jointly holds with Johnny Hore.
After leaving Home Park Pat wasn't quite ready to give up playing football and moved to St.Austell to continue his career.
His association with Argyle continued when in 1961 the now manager Ellis Stuttard invited him back to join his coaching staff.
He stayed with the club for three seasons before leaving football to take up his business interests.
These included running a café and grocery store at Challaborough on the outskirts of Plymouth.
Pat continued to live locally until his death in 1990 aged 70.
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