Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Wednesday, 4th June 2014
Date and Place of Birth
25th October 1976 - LONDONDERRY
Transfers to and from Burnley
from CREWE ALEXANDRA - 3rd May 2006
released 1st June 2009
First and Last Burnley Games
QUEENS PARK RANGERS (h) - 5th August 2006
COVENTRY CITY (h) - 19th January 2008
sub: replaced Ade Akinbiyi
SLIGO ROVERS, BRAY WANDERERS, CREWE ALEXANDRA,
ROCHDALE (loan), HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (loan from BURNLEY)
BRADFORD CITY (loan from BURNLEY)
WALSALL, MOTHERWELL (loan), AIRBUS UK BROUGHTON
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
Just three days after the 2005/06 season came to an end Burnley announced their first summer signing, that of 29-year-old Steve Jones from Crewe on a Bosman transfer.
It didn't come as a surprise, Jones had been linked with us for a few weeks with speculation growing that he'd chosen Burnley over a number of other clubs. He'd come close to signing for Preston in the January window but with his contract coming to an end at Crewe there was no shortage of interest.
Hibs, Coventry and QPR were all keen to get him, as were Preston, but he'd opted for a transfer to Stoke when Burnley boss Steve Cotterill came in at the last minute to persuade him to make a move to Turf Moor.
Londonderry born Jones had moved to Lancashire and as a youngster had interested Bury. However they didn't offer him an apprenticeship and he eventually settled for a move to Blackpool.
He didn't progress there and moved to the Republic of Ireland where he joined Sligo Rovers, scoring on his debut for them in August 1997. He also played for Bray Wanderers before returning to England and non-league football with Chorley and Leigh RMI.
It was his form with Leigh, where he scored at almost a goal every two games in over 100 appearances, that alerted league clubs and in the summer of 2001 he made the move to Crewe Alexandra in a £75,000 deal.
Unfortunately it was not a good season for either Crewe or Jones. He failed to make an impact and spent some of the season out on loan at Rochdale. When he returned Crewe were heading down to what is now League One.
The next three seasons proved to be good ones. He finally got on the scoresheet for them in October 2002 and his eleven goals helped them to promotion. Sixteen more goals in the following season included two against Burnley in our embarrassing 3-1 defeat there on Boxing Day 2003.
He scored in the repeat fixture in the following season on the night the floodlights went out, giving them the lead in a game that ended 1-1 with Tony Grant scoring our goal. He'd been close to not playing in that game due to personal reasons following the premature birth of his son.
In the 2005/06 season, his last with Alex, he played mainly in wide positions and struggled to add goals. He upset some of the Crewe fans when he said he would be leaving at the end of the season but on his departure he said: "I've had five great years here and I cannot thank the club, the fans and the staff enough for all they have done for me. Crewe will always hold a special place in my heart because they gave me a chance to play in the Football League again and go on to play for Northern Ireland."
That Northern Ireland debut had come in the summer of 2003 in Italy. He was used as a substitute that day but eight days later he got his first start in a European Championships qualifier against Spain at Windsor Park, Belfast.
He's since gone on to win a total of 29 caps for Northern Ireland with 24 of those coming before leaving Crewe. All but five of them have been as a substitute and his only goal was against St Kitts and Nevis in the summer of 2004.
Jones impressed in pre-season with the Clarets and made a league debut to remember as he scored both goals in a 2-0 opening day win against Queens Park Rangers. Despite being signed to partner Andy Gray up front he started the game on the right wing and switched to the middle after substitutions with the score already at 1-0.
That good start continued well into the season with some excellent performances. Those in the wins against Norwich, Preston and Leeds stand out. Most of those games were on the left hand side of the pitch and had he been able to deliver just a few more quality balls into the box it would have been a fantastic start for him.
Unfortunately he suffered a loss of form after Andy Gray was injured and he missed a couple of games himself through injury. It was no surprise that his return to form came in the last run of games when Gray was back in the side and scoring goals. Jones himself scored in the vital home wins against Plymouth and Cardiff.
Things never got going for him in the 2007/08 season and he was used mainly as a substitute with Kyle Lafferty preferred on the left hand side. He did start the Carling Cup games against Grimsby and Oldham and then, after Owen Coyle came in as manager, got a start in the league against Plymouth in mid-January.
The week after the Plymouth game he came on as a late substitute for Ade Akinbiyi in the 2-1 win at Coventry amidst rumours that he was about to rejoin Crewe on loan. He did really well up front in a short cameo but he picked up an injury which kept him out and delayed the move to Crewe. That late substitute appearance turned out to be his last competitive appearance for Burnley.
He did eventually return to Crewe in March and made four appearances for them. It was thought he might stay there permanently but he said he was wanted back at Burnley for pre-season although did admitted he would love to end his career with Alex.
He was back for pre-season, and did well in a couple of games, but it was evident that he was surplus to requirements and there was no place for him in the match day squad when the season got underway.
To get some football he went to Huddersfield on loan in October, but unfortunately that went wrong when he became an innocent victim of the Stan Ternent debris at the Galpharm. Coyle claimed he hadn't been treated well and brought him back to Turf Moor but he was moved on again immediately to Bradford City.
Initially the loan was until January but that was extended and he played out the rest of the season with the League Two club making a total of 24 appearances for them, scoring his third and last goal for them in a 3-0 home win against Rotherham on the penultimate weekend of the season which proved to be his last appearance.
Burnley's season was extended via the play offs but it would have been a surprise had he been offered a new deal, had we been successful or not, given that he hadn't worn a Burnley first team shirt in a season and a half. He was one of three players released when the retained list was announced on Monday 1st June 2009 leaving him a free agent.
On 10th July 2009 he signed a two year deal with Walsall who fought off competition to get him to the Bescot Stadium. He enjoyed a good first season at Walsall but was in and out of the side in the following season. That led to a loan move to Motherwell where he re-joined manager Stuart McCall who had been in charge at Bradford City during Jones' loan there from Burnley. On his return to Walsall at the end of the season he was released by the League One club at the end of his contract.
By the start of the 2011/12 season he'd joined AFC Telford in the Blue Square Premier League having previously had a trial with Newport. They survived relegation in his first season but ended the next season (2012/13) at the bottom of the league having won just six games all season. He left at the end of the season and quickly got himself a new club, moving to the Welsh Premier League with Airbus UK Broughton.
His 2013/14 season was hit by injuries, restricting him to just 17 starts in the Welsh Premier League, although he did make his European debut with two appearances against Ventspils in the Europa League. Due to the injuries as much as anything else, he opted to move closer to home and soon after the end of the season committed himself to Evo-Stik League Premier Division club Nantwich Town.