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The death of David “Di” Jones


August 27, 1902
The football community of the whole country will learn with deep regret of the death of David Jones, the international full back of the Manchester City Club, and known throughout the football world by the familiar name of “Di.” The sad event occurred shortly before four o’clock this morning at his residence, Salisbury Street, Bolton, whiter he was conveyed shortly after the accident to which his death is attributable, and which will cast a gloom over football in Manchester.

As we stated yesterday, the mishap occurred during the initial practice match at Hyde Road, a week last Saturday, when in endeavoring to reach the ball Jones had the misfortune to come down heavily, and falling foul of some hard substance, which it has been stated was a piece of glass hidden in the ground, sustained a serious injury to his right knee, an oblique wound being inflicted three inches in length, and penetrating right to the bone.

It is difficult to account for the presence of the glass on the ground, inasmuch as on the authority of Mr. Tom Maley, the secretary of the Manchester City Club, it is stated that the mowing machine had been twice over the playing pitch. The unfortunate player, however, was very badly injured, but notwithstanding the fact that the horse ambulance was immediately sent for, and was speedily at the ground, Jones preferred to walk to a cab for conveyance to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, where the wound was dressed and stitched. He, however, declined to remain in the institution. Preferring to come to his home in Bolton, and it is stated that he walked to Victoria Station for the train.

After his arrival very unfavorable symptoms developed, and his medical adviser, Dr. Higginson, who was called in, on examining the wound found it to contain debris and pieces of grass, supposed to have been forced beneath the skin by the heaviness of the fall. Symptoms of blood poisoning quickly manifested themselves, and set up tetanus, or lockjaw, for several days Jones lay in a very serious condition.

Mr. Allison, one of the directors of the Manchester City Club, was communicated with, and an arrangement was made for a consultation with Dr Whitehead, the eminent specialist, whilst two nurses were ordered to take charge of the patient. The consultation took place on Tuesday, and in the meantime Dr Higginson also secured the assistance of Dr Beesley. Despite all that medical aid could do, however, death supervened as stated. Jones, who was about 35 years of age leaves a widow and two children, the youngest only four weeks old, for whom much sympathy is felt.

One of the finest full backs the game has known, Jones was a player who had gained universal esteem both on and off the field. As one of the invincible triumvirate – Sutcliffe, Somerville and Jones, – a defence than which there was none superior throughout the country, and which attracted to the Wanderers the attention of the football world – Jones attained an imperishable reputation. Though his honourable connection with the Wanderers was severed some four season ago, when he was transferred to Manchester City, his services to the club was never forgotten, and he always held a place in the affections of local followers of the game. He was a great player.

In over a dozen engagements he represented his country – Wales in International battles, and another cap which he cherished greatly was the one he obtained in the season 1890 for the match Lancashire v East of Scotland, in which he was honoured with a place. “Di,” who stood 5ft. 10½in. in height, and weighed 13st. 12lbs., was born at Trehowell, near Oswestry, and entered upon his football career with the Chirk Club. He was first secured by Newton Heath, but after playing in one or two matches was obtained by the Wanderers. This was in the season 1888, but it was the following season before he really settled down in Bolton. He quickly won the admiration of the crowd at Pikes Lane, and in 1891 he captained the Wanderers’ team which defeated Blackburn Rovers in the final for the Lancashire Cup, and brought the trophy back to Bolton for the second time. He was also a member of the team which as defeated by Notts County in the final for the English Cup at Goodison Park in 1894, and his international career dates from 1887.

During his sojourn at Manchester he assisted the City in their ascent to the First Division of the League, and his burly form will be greatly missed at Hyde Road this season. A steady reliable full back, he was a player who would have been welcomed with open arms by any club, and his demise is a loss to the football field.

The circumstances of the death have been reported to the Coroner, and an inquest will be held tomorrow morning. The interment is to take place on Saturday, at St. John’s Church, Froncysyllte, Wales. Enquiries may be made of John Thornley, funeral furnisher, 239 Derby Street, Bolton.
(Bolton Evening News: August 27, 1902)

Di Jones, with Manchester City F.C. (Athletic News: September 1, 1902).

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Di Jones, while with Bolton Wanderers F.C. (Cricket and Football Field: September 16, 1893).

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