TRIBUTE TO GRAHAM JONES

Everyone connected with Salford Red Devils is extremely sorry to have learned of the passing of former Salford player, Graham Jones, on 4th November, aged 91. Graham played for Salford between 1954 and 1962, making his debut on 27th November 1954, against Leigh.

A Welshman by birth, Graham was signed from Penarth Rugby Union Club, initially as a stand-off half, but, three years later, his exceptional pace was deemed to be better utilised on the wing, where there was more space, in which for him to run.  This proved to be an inspired move because he became a quite prolific try scorer, over the years, going on to complete a total of 119 touchdowns, bringing 357 points, over 239 appearances.  The first of these came against Whitehaven, exactly one month after his debut.

The pinnacle of his time here came in the 1959/60 season, when he equalled the club’s post-war try scoring record of 27 tries for the season, which had stood for eleven years, and was only broken in 1971/2, by Maurice Richards.

Over his eight seasons, Graham played in a number of high-profile matches for the Reds.  In November 1955, he played against New Zealand, at The Willows, in one of their tour matches.  Four years later, he was in the Salford team which took the, then, Australian tourists right to the wire, in an incredible game, before being pipped at the post, 22-20.  He, it was, who had put the Reds 10-7 in front, at the interval, with the last score of the first half.

Sadly, his chances of international honours were thwarted by the lack of a Welsh international side, throughout that period.  He did, however, pull on the red jersey of Wales, when he was selected at stand-off, alongside three other Salford players, in an unofficial game against France, in Toulouse, on 1st March 1959, which he celebrated with a try in their 25-8 reversal.  Because the match had not been recognised as a full international none of the players who took part received international caps for it.

Despite its being his final season in the game, 1961/2 continued in similar vein to all its predecessors, with Graham registering a further 18 tries in 39 appearances, before hanging up his boots, following his final game, which was, remarkably, against Leigh, once more, on 4th May 1962.

His love for Salford, however, never diminished and he continued to live in the region, taking a keen interest in the club’s results and progress. In later years, he was a regular attendee at the Lance Todd Trophy Presentation Dinner, in company with his great friend from that team, Welsh, former centre to him, John Cheshire.

Our sympathies and condolences go out to all his family and friends, at this sad time. His funeral will be held, this coming Wednesday, 22nd November, at St Michael’s Church, Flixton, at 1pm.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Graham Morris – Club historian, and author of ‘100 Salford Greats’

CEO and Coach enjoy dinner with Salford legends

Red Devils CEO Ian Blease and Head Coach Ian Watson enjoyed dinner with Salford legends Graham Jones, Jack Brennan, Hugh Duffy and John Cheshire.
The quartet joined Ian Blease and Ian Watson at Alberts Restaurant in Worsley and traded stories from their time at Salford as well as having a meal and presenting each other with commemorative plates. Red Devils CEO Ian Blease invited the former Salford players to our final game of the season against St Helens on Thursday 21st September.
CEO Ian Blease said: “These men are legends not only of Salford rugby league – but rugby league in general.
“It was really enjoyable and eye-opening to hear stories from these Salford icons and, as a club, we think it’s important we keep people like this involved with the club.”
Jack Brennan made 317 appearances for the Salford between 1959 and 1970 scoring 70 tries from half-back. Brennan was installed as captain of the Red Devils and featured in their 1969 Wembley defeat to Castleford in the Challenge Cup final.
John Cheshire signed for Salford in 1955 after switching codes from Cross Keys R.U. club. Cheshire featured for Salford 255 times crossing for 43 tries and his consistent performances earned him an International call-up for the Welsh National team as they faced France in 1959.
Graham Jones also featured for the Welsh National side in the same game as Cheshire while they were teammates at Salford. The half-back was another star for the Red Devils throughout the 1950’s.
Hugh Duffy had already earned an appearance for Scotland Rugby Union before signing for Salford. He was unfortunate never to make an international appearance in Rugby League but did feature for an R.L XIII against New Zealand before testing himself against Kiwi and Australian tourists for the Red Devils. The loose-forward scored over 50 tries in 241 games for Salford.
Tickets are available for our final home game of the 2017 season and can be purchased over the phone, at the club ticket office or online via the club website here. Season Ticket holders are reminded that their season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games but our encourage to look at our hospitality deal offered to them for our final home game vs Saints.

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