Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Loyal support of football fan, 91

Ron Jones
Ron Jones describes himself as "football mad, football crazy"

A 91-year-old Newport County fan is determined to see his beloved team back in the Football League.

Ron Jones first saw County as a six-year-old when his father took him to their former Somerton Park home on the handlebars of his bicycle.

Mr Jones, from Rogerstone, who still watches the Blue Square South team home and away, has seen many ups and downs in the past 85 years.

His ambition is to see County back in the Football League before he is 100.

Newport are only two promotions away from getting back into the league and, while the current season has been "a bit disappointing", he is confident his dream will one day be realised.

"I'm very fortunate, I'm as fit as a fiddle," said Mr Jones, who still regularly works for Newport estate agents Crook and Blight.

"What we would like is to get some wealthy sponsors. But we'll come up, you'll see - we're always hoping for the best."

Mr Jones, a former secretary of the Newport County supporters' club, described himself as "football mad, football crazy" and said he had enjoyed some footballing success himself.

"I always boast I played in goal myself for Wales seven times - but it was with the 1st Battalion of the Welch Regiment and I played for them!"

County have certainly had their fair share of tough times during Mr Jones's long years of support, even when enjoying relative success, such as in 1939.

"There used to be the third division north and south and we were in the south," said Mr Jones, who worked at the docks in Cardiff as a wire drawer helping make nails, screws, nuts and bolts.

"We won promotion and only played two matches and then the war started."

The war was to have a huge effect on his life - he became a prisoner of war in Germany after being captured in north Africa.

He spent time at a work camp near Auschwitz in Poland and soon learned of the horrors at the Nazi concentration camp nearby.

"When we got off the train and were walking to our camp, we saw people in pyjamas digging trenches. We found out it was Auschwitz," he said.

"It didn't take long for us to find out what was going on. There were times when we thought we were next in there."

Mr Jones had to march for 17 weeks from Auschwitz to Austria during a harsh winter in which he was forced to eat snow to survive.

"I was very fortunate although I was a walking skeleton - I came home to a wonderful wife, Gwladys, and she nursed me back to health," he said.

On his return to Wales, Mr Jones returned to work at the docks in Cardiff and also remained loyal to his home town football team despite mixed fortunes on the field.

He remembers a 13-goal drubbing by Newcastle in division two in 1946 but also a run to the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1949.

More recently, the club finished bottom of the fourth division in 1988 before going bust.

A new club rose from the ashes and has made progress since, allowing Mr Jones to dream one day of a return to league football.

"I love watching football and I know all the players personally. It's quite exciting," he said.

Do you know any sports fans from Wales who are older than Mr Jones? Let us know by emailing newsonline.wales@bbc.co.uk.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Stags sign Newport striker Duffy
07 Jan 09 |  Mansfield
Newport County trim playing squad
04 May 07 |  Non League
County loss ends play-off hopes
28 Apr 07 |  Non League
Rappers GLC sponsor football kit
26 Oct 04 |  South East Wales

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific