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First Team

Profile: Jones' Life in Football


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Newly-appointed Cherries coach Graeme Jones has a wealth of experience, both as a player and a coach.

Born in Gateshead, he started out in non-league before joining the professional ranks with Doncaster Rovers in 1993.

He was a prolific marksman and netted more than 100 goals during a career which also saw him play for Wigan, St Johnstone, Southend, Boston, Bury, Clyde and Hamilton.

Jones cut his teeth in coaching during a brief spell as assistant manager at Hamilton before beginning a long and successful working relationship with his former Wigan team-mate Roberto Martinez.

They worked together at Swansea, Wigan and Everton before joining forces with Belgium and guiding the national team to third place at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Jones, who is decorated with a host of coaching badges, also had a brief spell as assistant head coach to Darren Moore at West Bromwich Albion and was manager at Championship club Luton Town until April 2020.


Released by Millwall when he was 18, Jones returned to the North East and combined working as an insulation engineer with playing part-time in non-league.

He helped North Shields win the Northern Counties East League title in 1991/92 before moving to Bridlington Town.

Jones netted 21 goals as Bridlington were crowned Northern League Division One champions and FA Vase winners after beating Tiverton Town 1-0 in the Wembley final in May 1993.

His first taste of coaching came at Newcastle United where he was employed in a football in the community role, Jones gaining his preliminary coaching licence during his time at the club.

His exploits in non-league earned him a move to the professional ranks with Doncaster Rovers, striker Jones linking up with the Division Three outfit for a fee of £10,000 ahead of the 1993/94 season.

Jones became a firm favourite at Belle Vue and scored 30 times in 105 games in all competitions between 1993 and 1996. He was their leading goalscorer in 1993/94 and 1994/95.

Ahead of the 1996/97 season, Jones joined Wigan Athletic and plundered a club record 33 goals as the Latics pipped Fulham to the Division Three title.

Jones was named in the Division Three team of the season and also collected a Football League Trophy winners’ medal after the Latics overcame Millwall in the 1999 final at Wembley.

He netted a total of 52 goals in 125 games for Wigan before moving north of the border to join Scottish Premier League outfit St Johnstone for around £100,000 in November 1999.

Also in 1999, Jones further embellished his coaching CV when he took his UEFA A Licence at the FA’s headquarters in Lilleshall.

Injury restricted him to just 44 appearances during a two-and-a-half year stay with St Johnstone, Jones leaving Perth to join Southend United ahead of the 2002/03 season.

He scored three goals in 26 games for the Shrimpers before leaving for Boston United where he netted seven times in 37 appearances between March 2003 and July 2004.

Despite planning to hang up his boots when he was 34, Jones was persuaded to delay his decision by then Bury boss Graham Barrow.

At the time, he was coaching at a college in the North East and also working on a part-time basis for the Middlesbrough academy with their under-14s.

He scored his 100th career goal on his Bury debut during a 3-1 win over Yeovil Town at Gigg Lane in August 2004 before joining Scottish Division One outfit Clyde in January 2005.

Jones scored twice in 15 games for the Cumbernauld club before heading south to join their Division One rivals Hamilton Academical ahead of the 2005/06 season.

After scoring four goals in 16 games for Accies, Jones announced his retirement from playing in March 2006 due to injury. His final game was against Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup in January 2006.


In October 2006, Jones was appointed assistant manager to Billy Reid at Hamilton Academical, replacing Stuart Balmer, who had left the club for St Mirren in the summer.

During his time at New Douglas Park, Jones worked with James McArthur and James McCarthy, who both went on to win international honours after starting their respective careers with Accies.

In March 2007, Jones left his post as assistant manager at Hamilton Academical to take up the same role with Swansea City.

His appointment came just days after his former Wigan team-mate Roberto Martinez had taken over as manager at the Liberty Stadium.

Jones was Martinez’s first signing at Swansea, the pair guiding the Welsh club to the League One title and promotion to the Championship in 2007/08, their first full season.

After plotting an eighth-place finish in 2008/09, Martinez and Jones left the Swans following the Spaniard’s appointment as manager of Premier League Wigan in June 2009.

Martinez and Jones enjoyed great success with Wigan, spending four years in the top flight and seeing the club lift the FA Cup for the first time in its history after beating Manchester City in the 2013 final.

However, just three days after winning the cup, the Latics’ eight-year stay in the Premier League came to an end with Martinez taking Jones to Everton as his assistant following his appointment as manager at Goodison Park in June 2013.

The pair spent three seasons on Merseyside with Jones leaving the club after Martinez had been relieved of his duties in May 2016.

In August 2016, Jones and Thierry Henry were unveiled as Martinez’s backroom staff following his appointment as head coach of the Belgian national team.

Jones was involved as Belgium won the bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals, beating England in a play-off for third place.

Belgium lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions France, having beaten favourites Brazil in the quarter-finals. They also pipped England to top spot in Group G in Russia.

Following two years with the Belgian national team, Jones was appointed assistant head coach to long-time friend Darren Moore at West Bromwich Albion in August 2018.

Jones had played alongside Moore at Doncaster Rovers in the 1990s and the pair had roomed together when they did their UEFA A licence at Lilleshall in 1999.

After leaving The Hawthorns with Moore in March 2019, Jones took up his first managerial post with Luton Town in May 2019, the Hatters having won promotion to the Championship under Mick Harford.

Jones was in charge of Luton when they suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Cherries at Vitality Stadium in the third round of last season’s FA Cup in January.

He parted company with the Hatters in April after presiding over 41 games in all competitions. He left by mutual agreement with the club saying the decision was “in order to reduce its cost base”.

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