Luton next manager odds
Luton next manager after Graeme Jones
Luton Town manager Graeme Jones was born in Gateshead, 1970. Despite being 49 years old, the Luton job is Jones' first senior managerial position. As a player, however, Jones enjoyed a career which lasted almost 16 years in which he played for a number of football league clubs as well as spending time north of the border in Scotland.
In his formative years, Jones played for North Shields, one of his local teams in the North East. He earned a reputation for himself as a forward with a keen eye for goal - over the course of his career Jones would play upwards of 300 professional matches, scoring 113 goals, giving him a goals-to-games ratio of roughly one in three. After his stint at North Shields, Jones would go on to play for Bridlington Town for a season before making the switch to Doncaster Rovers in a £10,000 deal. Jones would play just shy of 100 games for Doncaster over a three-year spell.
When he felt it was time to move on, Jones decided to make Wigan Athletic his footballing home. Jones was a sensation at the Latics - his three years with the North West club are widely regarded as the most successful of his career. During these golden years, Jones got his first and only taste of silverware as a coach as Wigan triumphed in the Football League Trophy final in the 1998/1999 season. In the league, Jones would play 96 times for Wigan, he scored 44 goals, including 31 in his first full season with the club. The fact that he played nearly a century of games for the Latics makes them the club for whom the striker played the most football in his career.
Though he would return later in his career, Jones's goalscoring exploits earned him his first taste of Scottish football - he made a move to St Johnstone. Again, Jones would spend three years stint at the Perth based club. However, it was one of the most frustrating periods of his career. He was consistently sidelined by injury and failed to make a significant impact on the Scottish Premier League. In three seasons he made only 41 appearances, many as a substitute, scoring less than ten goals.
Throughout the rest of his career, Jones struggled to recapture his form - injuries had robbed him of some of his finest attributes, or at least depleted them. After moving away from St Johnston, Jones would play for five more clubs, but he lasted no longer than a year at any of them. The first of these short stints came at Boston United where Jones was able to feature more than he had in Scotland but did not overly impress. After this he would join Bury, this was a torrid time for the striker; he played just three times during his sixth-month spell at the club. Again, injuries had got the better of him.
Seeking a fresh start, Jones would return to Scotland where he would join Clyde. He played 13 times for the club, scoring twice, before moving to another Scottish Premier League club, Hamilton Academical. Hamilton Academical would prove to be the last destination in Jones' footballing journey. The injury that had blighted him throughout his career brought about his retirement. In retrospect, Jones did well to make over three hundred professional appearances and carry on playing football until the respectable age of 36.
Jones' arguably made the biggest footballing impact of his career as a coach. He linked up with Roberto Martinez at Swansea and played a significant role in their meteoric rise to the Premier League which would take place after his time at the Welsh club. Jones would stay loyal to Martinez, following him to Wigan Athletic, the club where Jones had enjoyed so much success as a player. Both Jones' and Martinez's managerial stock would rise while at the club. Together, they would win the FA Cup against Manchester City, a huge upset.
The pair moved to Everton in 2013 where they spent three seasons. They were not hugely successful however and when Martinez was sacked in 2016, Jones departed the club alongside him. They would then go on to manage an incredibly talented Belgium side who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, losing to the eventual champions France. Martinez would carry on at Belgium, but Martinez would leave to become assistant head coach at West Bromwich Albion. He left West Brom, prematurely in many peoples’ eyes, alongside manager Darren Moore after a poor run of form.
Prior to the start of the 2019/20 season, Jones was appointed manager of Luton Town, a team who are newcomers to the Championship.