|Born:||20 October 1946|
|Originalteam:||North Hobart Football Club|
|Heightweight:||198 cm / 109 kg|
|Debutdate:||13 August 1966|
Peter Kevin "Percy" Jones (born in Tasmania, 20 October 1946) is a former Australian rules footballer who played 249 games for the Carlton Blues in the VFL. He played as a forward and ruckman.
He played first grade football with North Hobart Football Club, winning a place in the Tasmanian State Team in 1965 (when just 18 years).
Jones was initially supposed to play with Richmond.
Graeme Richmond, the Secretary at Richmond, who had visited Jones in Tasmania, had given him several gifts, including a suit, in consideration of Jones remaining in Tasmania for the 1966 season and moving to Victoria to play for Richmond in 1967.
However, Carlton officials visited him shortly after and promised that if he came over to Victoria immediately they would play him in 1966.
Jones had worked as an apprentice auto electrician in Tasmania. Carlton promised him that, upon his arrival in Melbourne, through the intervention of a rabid Carlton fan in the Accounts Section of the Department's Melbourne organization, they would be able to arrange for him to appointed to a junior administrative position with the Melbourne office of the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, where Adrian Gallagher (and his uncle Murray) also worked.
Jones had no qualms about moving to Melbourne because his grandmother lived in St Kilda.
He nearly died in a very serious car accident when a car, driven by a Carlton supporter, smashed at high speed into a tree in Royal Parade on the way home from a 1966 early pre-season practice session at Carlton's home ground, Princes Park. Jones had no driver's license at the time, and the supporter had offered him a lift to St Kilda, where Jones lived with his grandmother.
Due to the speed of the car's impact with the tree, Jones suffered extremely serious skull, facial and eye-socket injuries, nearly lost one eye, badly broke his nose, and broke both of his ankles (the broken ankles were the reason he never played with Carlton Firsts against Hawthorn on wet days at the extremely muddy Glenferrie Oval).
He was not fit enough to play his first match for Carlton until Round 16 of that year.http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Round+16%2C+1966
His nickname "Percy" was bestowed upon him by Murray Gallagher, the uncle of his best mate, the rover Adrian "Gags" Gallagher (known as "Golly until he started to lose his hair), after "Percy" the name of the enormous penis that was transplanted onto the injured man in the 1971 film Percy.
Jones was later to capitalize further on this anatomical allusion when he stood as a Liberal Party candidate for election to the Lower House of the Victorian Parliament in the early 1980s, with the slogan "Point Percy at Parliament"
At the beginning of his career, he often had to suffer the competitiveness of John Nicholls, who clearly understood Jones' potential. He was often forced (because Nicholls would not "change" with him) to play the major proportion of each match resting in the forward pocket.
Often criticized early on by Ron Barassi for seeking out his best mates "Gags" and Brian Kekovich with his hit-outs and his passes, Jones developed into one of the most talented, exuberant and reliable ruckmen who had ever played for Carlton.
Although he never played well at Glenferrie Oval, he always played brilliantly against Len Thompson at Victoria Park and was, more times than not, best on the ground whenever Carlton played Collingwood at Victoria Park. Peter Jones features in the top 20 "BOO-BOOS" of VFL football, who not noted for his fluidity of movement pulled off one the best boners of his career when,trying to play on in the goal square by himself, he missed the ball and kicked the goalpost. Location: Lake Oval, South Melbourne, in the "Army" reserves competition as it was known then.
He played in six Grand Finals, in two losing teams, in 1969http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_VFL_season#Grand_Final_Teams and 1973,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_VFL_season#Grand_Final_Teams and in four premiership teams 1968,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_VFL_season#Grand_Final_Teams 1970,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970_VFL_season#Grand_Final_Teams 1972http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_VFL_season#Grand_Final_Teams (playing perhaps the best game he played in his entire career), and 1979http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_VFL_season#Grand_Final_Teams.
He played Interstate Football for Victoria in 1977, making him one of a small select group who have played for more than one State.
He was selected in the Tasmanian Team of the Century,http://www.footballlegends.org/Team_of_the_Century.htm as well as the North Hobart Football Club's Team of the Century.http://www.fullpointsfooty.net/all_star_teams_(n-z).htm#North%20Hobart
In 1980, following the dispute at the end of the 1979 which saw the then Carlton coach Alex Jesaulenko resign in sympathy with the sacking of then Carlton President George Harris, Carlton appointed Jones as coach.
Although the team performed well during the regular season its performance in the finals was far below that required by the club; and, so, Jones was replaced by David Parkin.
Jones held no grudge, and served for many years on the Carlton Committee.
In 1980, as coach, Jones used every persuasive trick that he could muster to convince the Carlton selection panel to allow him to play just one more match, in order for him to reach the 250 game bench-mark. Given his fitness levels at the time, the most he could have hoped for was to have been picked as 19th or 20th man.
The selection panel refused to allow Jones to play just one more game, even refusing to pick him to play against the team's weakest possible opponent of the season; and many at the time thought that is was somewhat ungracious of the panel to treat such a faithful club servant in such a way.
However, those with longer memories, might have understood it in a different way.
On Saturday 18 May 1968 (Round 6 of the home-and-away season), Jones was picked to play for Carlton against South Melbourne at the Lake Oval. The ground was no more than two kilometers from where Jones lived with his grandmother in Cintra Avenue, St Kilda.
Jones turned up long after the team arrival deadline, claiming that he had been grid-locked in a traffic jam along Queens Road, a street that was, in fact, the most direct route between Cintra Avenue and the Lake Oval.
Not only was Jones' explanation rejected, and not only was he accused of lying to the officials, it was also pointed out to him that, if his story was actually true, then he had left his grandmother's house far too late anyway; because, if he had left on time, he would have been easily able to reach the Lake Oval on foot (less than 25 minutes walk). They refused to allow Jones to play, and they replaced him with Ron Auchettlhttp://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/players/R/Ron_Auchettl.htmlhttp://www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Ron%20Auchettl in the selected team.http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Round+6%2C+1968
Jones lost his temper, resigned from Carlton as a player on the spot, and walked out in a huff, and went to watch Richmond beat North Melbourne 14.17 (101) to 4.7 (31) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with some of his (and Adrian Gallagher's) work-mates, who were standing in the Outer.
This meant, of course, that not only was he very conspicuously absent from the sparsely populated Lake Oval, and was very obviously not supporting his Carlton team-mates, but he was at the same time very conspicuously present at the MCG, was not injured in any way, and was very obviously supporting Richmond.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_VFL_season#Round_6
By Tuesday (the first training session of the week), a very delicate set of negotiations had taken place which allowed Jones to retract his (verbal) resignation, and on Saturday 25 May 1968 (round 7) he played in the Carlton team that beat Collingwood 15.11 (101) to 9.13 (67) at Princes Park.http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Round+7%2C+1968
Thus, given the fact that, in the absence of this apparent breach of discipline, he would have actually played 250 games in his last match at the 1979 Grand Final, the decision of the Carlton selectors may not have been so harsh after all — especially seeing that he was also coach at the time (1980) and, therefore, it would not look good to make such a concession to the one man who was (by virtue of his position as the team's coach) the major enforcer of team discipline.
Married to Jan (née King), and with a daughter Georgia,http://www.theage.com.au/news/Geoff-McClure/Sporting-Life/2005/05/12/1115843309588.htmlhttp://www.theage.com.au/news/Geoff-McClure/Arguing-the-toss/2005/05/22/1116700596817.html Jones has spent most of his post-football life running hotels in inner suburban Melbourne (including "Percy's Bar" in Lygon st, Carlton during the 80's).
The most famous of which was run in conjunction with Adrian Gallagher and was called "The Blush and Stutter" after Gallagher's infinite propensity for blushing at anything, and Jones' quite severe speech impediment (mainly a hesitancy that is more of a stammer, than the repetitive staccato of a stutter).
His speech impediment also explains why all of Jones' valuable and insightful post-football commentating was conducted through the print media, rather than radio or TV.