Briton Ferry Llansawel forward Jones embarks on 10th season with the Reds

When the Welsh Football League season starts up on August 12th at Cwmamman United, Briton Ferry Llansawel’s Gareth Jones will be in his tenth season as a Reds player. 

The forward has scored over 150 goals in the Welsh League for the Old Road club through each tier of Welsh football, helping them to where they are today.

Jones was one of the players who was there when the club merged with Briton Ferry to become Briton Ferry Llansawel, scoring the last ever goal in a Llansawel shirt.

After ten years of service at the club, a player is entitled to a testimonial match should he choose to take it and there is no doubt if that were to be the case, the fans of Briton Ferry would pay tribute to their long-serving striker.

Two seasons ago though, his footballing career was cast in to doubt after suffering an horrific neck injury at Caerau Ely’s Cwrt-y-Ala.

There was serious worries about his rehabilitation and at one point getting back on the pitch was a distant hope as they worried of the well-being of their forward.

Club secretary Stuart Williams said “At the time Gaz’s injury effected everyone at the club as he was not only sorely missed on the field but off it too.”

But incredibly Jones not only returned to full fitness but played a major part in the clubs return to Tier 2 finding the net regularly again in the red of Briton Ferry.

Club chairman Mike Walsh spoke admirably of Gareth saying “He is the epitome of what our club is about, he is honest, loyal and a huge character to have around the Old Road.

Over the last ten years I would say he has been one of the most prolific and talented forwards outside of the Welsh Premier League.”

‘His manager Carl Shaw took it upon himself to appoint the experienced forward to his backroom staff last season and that is something he’s not looked back upon, having seen the club finish second in Division Two, enough to get them promoted.

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“Gareth is admired by everyone at the club and looked up to by all his fellow team mates and opponents, he also has a great knowledge of the game hence him being promoted to our coaching staff last season.”

The Ferry number ten was given the ultimate accolade by the club in their recent presentation evening being the first player inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ with his photo being proudly hung on the wall in the Old Road clubhouse Bar Red, Jones will now forever be a major part in the clubs history.

Before their season opener, Carl Shaw’s men still have two testing pre-season friendlies with Aberystwyth Town coming to town his coming Saturday and a Swansea City XI also making way the Friday after.

(Featured Image: Mike Greenslade Photography)

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