Life as a football managers daughter – the truth

By Dave Callaghan
Her Dad has been a football manager for more than 20 years, taking her to endless matches all over the country. But for Georgia Jones, this has been her normal way of life.

Ms Jones, 20, from Bridgnorth is the daughter of Dave Jones. She has been alive for as many years as her Dad has been a football manager.

Jones’ managerial career started at Stockport County (95-97), then taking him to Southampton (97-00), Wolverhampton Wanderers (01-04), Cardiff City (05-11) and Sheffield Wednesday (12-13).

Georgia said: “I’ve never known anything different. It’s been engrained in me since I was little, I’ve been surrounded by football my whole life.

“Dad always seemed to finish a job just when I was finishing school, so I wasn’t disrupted much at all.

“Stability and football don’t always go together, but my parents have always made a point of taking the family with them wherever that may be.”

Dave and his wife Ann, both 58, also have daughters Chloe, 30, Danielle, 34 and son Lea, 37.

Jones’ career was cut short by a severe knee injury but that meant he was able to start his managerial career earlier than expected, he now stands as one of the few managers to reach 1,000 games in management over his career.

He said: “I feel my career was cut short by about five years because of that injury. One of my friends at the time encouraged me into player coaching and that eventually progressing into management.

“I’m very proud to say I’ve had 1,000 games in charge as a manager. Not many managers have an opportunity to reach that number, it’s something I can definitely smile about.”

Jones reflects on each club he has worked at fondly, especially Wolves, but believes he still has a lot to prove once a new opportunity arises.

He said: “Every club I’ve ever been to was in need of massive improvement. I believe I left each club in a better position then how I found them. I progressed them.

“Look at Cardiff. They were in debt when I went there, but we built an academy, got to the FA Cup final and lost in the play off final.

“The trouble was we couldn’t keep any kind of consistency or stability for more than one season, due to all the financial restrictions. Payments had to be made and players had to go back to their parent clubs. We had to start all over again next season.

“I’m always ready to go back into it, I absolutely revel in the opportunity, I don’t see it as pressure at all.”

The Jones family have had trials and tribulations not only in football over the years. The court case in 2000, which was thrown out after four days, had a profound affect on Jones, his career, wife and children.

He believes wife Ann is the reason his children have been kept so grounded and sheltered from the notion of ‘celebrity’ and everything that comes with having a football manager for a Dad and husband.

He said: “Ann brought the kids up, it was the way it had to be, I couldn’t give fifty percent to both lives, it was one or the other.

“I work this way so my wife and kids can have the life they have. I know that might sound selfish in one respect, but it’s a knock on effect and I’ve always wanted the best for my family.

“Ann cocooned them from whatever was going on at the time, not just the court case.

“We’ve always had a very good support system around us. We know who our true friends are and we always stayed in touch.”

Georgia, who was four when the sex abuse allegations against her Dad were made, only found out about it five years ago.

She said: “When it was actually happening I was too young to understand what was going on.

“Finding out about it when I was fourteen or fifteen didn’t really affect me, because the trial itself was so long ago.

“I received some vile messages off boys at school. But I’m very lucky to have a supportive and close knit family and any abuse soon stopped.”

Now about to embark on her new nail business, Georgia feels the way she’s been brought up and some of the important figures she’s come across will stand her in good stead to be successful.

But she doesn’t like people knowing who her Dad is. When her boyfriend James first went to their house and saw all the trophies, she told him she had won them all in ballerina competitions as a youngster, something James believed for a long time.

She does admit however that at times it was hard to bring friends back to the house, and once they found out who her Dad actually was would only want to hang around with her because of it.

Wolves gave Jones the opportunity to resurrect his career and he repaid them by promotion to the Premier League in 2003, a day he describes as one of the best of his and his family’s lives, a feeling he would love to have again.

Jones said: “Wolves was a great club with absolutely fantastic supporters. I still get fans coming up to me talking about that day.

“I love it when the season’s in full flow, it’s when I’m at my best. My wife jokes it’s like having a hotel in my head, I’m always trying to find solutions to all the different problems.

“I can’t wait to get back involved, the sooner the better.”