Sport Essendon VFL great Jack Jones dies, aged 95

Essendon VFL great Jack Jones dies, aged 95

Jack Jones in 2010 with then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Essendon captain Jobe Watson and Nathan Lovett-Murray. Photo: AAP
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Triple Essendon premiership player and World War II veteran Jack Jones has died aged 95.

Jones died at his home in Melbourne on Tuesday, surrounded by family, after a battle with cancer.

He was a popular figure in AFL/VFL circles and especially at Essendon, where he played 175 games between 1946 and 1954, kicking 156 goals.

Before joining the Bombers, Jones served in the 24th Infantry Battalion in New Guinea and Bougainville.

Jones played all his VFL games in the No.24, in memory of his battalion, including winning the 1946, 1949 and 1950 premierships and setting a club record of 133 consecutive senior games between round 11, 1946 and round 14, 1952.

His granddaughter Sarah Jones, a Fox Sports broadcaster, paid tribute to the Bombers great on social media.

“I thought he would live forever … but at 95 years of age my Pop, Jack Jones has left us,” she wrote on Instagram.

“On the 24th, which was the number of the battalion he served in and the number he asked to wear when he arrived at Essendon to honour his fallen WW2 mates.

“I spoke to him on Saturday – told him everyone at the Bombers’ game ‘said to say hello’ and they got the win. He loved that.

“I will miss him incredibly. But I have so many memories of a wonderful family man. And I’m so grateful my daughters got to know – and love their ‘Old Poppy.'”

The Bombers also paid tribute to Jones, saying he was “universally adored for his affability, wisdom and decency”.

He had remained involved with the club later in life, including running tours of Windy Hill for more than two decades.

Jones also played a prominent role at the Bombers’ Anzac Day games, along with educating players, coaches and staff in the lead-up to the annual fixture.

-AAP