Newport County fan Ron Jones's long Wembley wait
Published: 12th May 2012 09:20:21
One Newport County fan has been waiting longer than most to see his team play at Wembley - almost 90 years.
Ron Jones, from Rogerstone, first started watching County as a six-year-old in the 1920s when his father took him to their old Somerton Park home.
The 95-year-old still travels the country following County home and away.
And he cannot wait to take his seat with his son Leighton to watch Saturday's FA Trophy final against York, County's first trip to Wembley.
"I've got a feeling we're going to win but then who wouldn't?" he said.
"I've got a scarf and a rosette and I'm looking forward to it.
"I'm going there to enjoy it but naturally I hope we win."
He added that he had been to Wembley before but not to see his beloved County, who are celebrating their 100th year.
I still get a thrill out of it. I've always been a staunch supporter - always”
There have been plenty of ups and downs watching Newport over the years, not least when County went bust before a new club emerged in 1989.
But Mr Jones, whose nephew is club chairman Chris Blight, has remained loyal and remains in love with the game.
"It's my local team isn't it? I go to all the away games with Chris," he said.
"I still get a thrill out of it. I've always been a staunch supporter - always."
Besides seeing his team win at Wembley, Mr Jones's footballing ambition is to see County back in the Football League before he reaches 100 years of age.
They are currently one division below the league. However it was relegation, rather than promotion, that was on their minds for much of the season as they fought a successful battle to avoid the drop from the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Mr Jones, a former secretary of the Newport County supporters' club, is confident the team can make an impression next season.
"I think we've got the nucleus of a good team there now. [Justin] Edinburgh [the manager] will get rid of a few and bring in some of his own," he said.
"We've got a couple of good boys there from the academy.
"I don't think we will get promotion but I think we will do better next season."
Mr Jones was something of a goalkeeper in his time and has recounted how the game helped save his life after he was captured in North Africa during World War II.
He was a Prisoner of War at a work camp near Auschwitz in Poland and, along with other prisoners, played football to keep up spirits.
"We were there for just over two years," he said.
"I was on the death march from Auschwitz to Austria for 17 weeks. We just ate what the animals ate.
"We lost men at the side of the road.
"I was 13 stone, and when the Americans released me in Austria I was just about seven stone."
He said that on his return home, he would not have been able to deal with his experiences if it had not been for the support of his wife Gwladys.
"I was very fortunate in one sense. I was married before I went and came home to a wonderful woman," he said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Newport County fan Ron Jones's long Wembley wait. [Online] (Updated 12 May 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1428139-Newport-County-fan-Ron-Joness-long-Wembley-wait [Accessed 16th June 2013]
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