Former Bridlington Town striker Graeme Jones named as Newcastle United interim boss

Former Bridlington Town striker Graeme Jones has been named as Newcastle United interim boss following the departure of Steve Bruce as head coach.
Graeme JonesGraeme Jones
Graeme Jones

Jones, who joined the club's coaching staff in January, will take charge of United for their game at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 51-year-old became an assistant to Bruce earlier this year under former owner Mike Ashley, and was also part of Gareth Southgate's coaching staff for the European Championships last summer.

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Jones’ brief spell at Queensgate was a hugely successful one.

The striker bagged 30 goals in his only season at Bridlington,1989-90, as the club won the HFS Loans League Division One title by a huge 10 points.

He scored twice in the East Riding Senior Cup final, a 3-1 win against North Ferriby United, and played at Wembley in the Vase final.

That led to a professional career at clubs like Doncaster Rovers and Wigan Athletic.

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Jones was born in Gateshead before joining Millwall’s academy as a youngster.

He was released by the East London club and went on to have a successful playing career in the lower leagues, in particular with Doncaster Rovers and Wigan Athletic.

The former striker retired in 2006 having also played for North Shields, St Johnstone, Southend United, Boston United, Bury, Clyde and Hamilton Academical.

Jones became good friends with Roberto Martinez from the pair’s time as players at Wigan, and it was the Spaniard who handed him his first coaching role.

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Jones worked as Martinez’s assistant at Swansea City, Wigan and Everton before advancing to international level with Belgium.

During his time with the Red Devils, Jones twice came up against England at the 2018 World Cup in the group stage and third-place play-off.

In the same summer, Jones left the national set-up and joined West Bromwich Albion as Darren Moore’s assistant following their relegation to the Championship.

Jones’ first coaching role without Martinez lasted just seven months when Moore was sacked at the Hawthorns.

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Having previously been eyed by both Swansea City and Burnley, Jones accepted his first managerial role at Championship newcomers Luton Town in May 2019.

However, Jones struggled to turn the Hatters into anything other than relegation candidates.

When football was suspended due to Covid-19, Jones left his position by mutual consent with the club 23rd in the table.

Jones wasn’t out of work for long and soon joined Bournemouth as first-team coach under Jason Tindall following Eddie Howe’s resignation.