Bradford City skipper Gary Jones on 'unforgettable and unbelievable' night

Gary Jones’ Stuart Pearce moment after firing home his spot-kick in the shoot-out

Gary Jones’ Stuart Pearce moment after firing home his spot-kick in the shoot-out

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

Gary Jones insists that City’s sensational cup win over Arsenal took his long career to a “whole new level”.

The veteran midfielder has played more than 600 games as a pro – but Tuesday night topped the lot and even beat Wembley.

The 35-year-old skipper was one of the successful penalty-takers during the latest spot-kick drama. It capped off an occasion that Jones – like the rest of a sold-out Valley Parade – will never forget.

He said: “I’m still in shock. To beat Arsenal, and a full-strength Arsenal as well, and go through to a semi-final is what dreams are made of.

“We saw the Arsenal team sheet and knew they hadn’t come to mess about. But the lads were absolutely unbelievable and ran their socks off to a man.

“This is what you play football for. To take Bradford City into the Capital One Cup semi-finals is just amazing.

“The manager, the staff, players and supporters deserve massive credit. We’re all in this together, as we have been all season, and it was one of those games that will live long in the memory.”

Jones admitted the size and volume of the crowd – City’s largest since 1960 – took his breath away. And it once again underlined his decision in the summer to walk away from Rochdale, the club where he had played for a decade.

“The support here is something I’ve never, ever witnessed before. Just to see their faces at the end was everything.

“I was really emotional with what was going on at the end. To see the way the fans got behind the lads meant so much.

“Bradford haven’t done too well of late and giving them something back like that was a joy.

“I knew the club were well supported when I first came. But the other night took it to a whole new level.

“Getting to Wembley in the play-offs with Rochdale was special, though obviously we lost. But it was nothing like this. The atmosphere and occasion was just brilliant. You had to be here to sample how good it was.”

Jones was not surprised that City once more kept their nerve to continue the incredible run of shoot-out victories. He sensed that Arsenal would be jittery once the quarter-final went the distance.

He added: “It was probably Arsene Wenger’s worst nightmare. He knew how confident we would be and the lads just stepped up and put them away.

“We stuck to the gameplan so well. We weren’t going to see much of the ball so had to stay disciplined and not do anything stupid.

“There was just one lapse of concentration when they scored but otherwise we did it down to a tee.”

But Jones did miss out on one memento – an Arsenal jersey.

He laughed: “All the lads got one except me. I asked for Jack Wilshere’s but Doyley (Nathan Doyle) got in there first.

“I’ll let him have it. I’m just over the moon to sample such a special night.”

Comments (17)

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7:17am Thu 13 Dec 12

Scuba Dee says...

I'd rather have the City shirt Jonesy :-) its a much better piece of history!
I'd rather have the City shirt Jonesy :-) its a much better piece of history! Scuba Dee
  • Score: 0

8:26am Thu 13 Dec 12

OutOfBradford says...

Incredible night. He's right about one thing, you had to be there to feel the atmosphere. The Sky coverage did a great job of drowning out the wall of noise!
Incredible night. He's right about one thing, you had to be there to feel the atmosphere. The Sky coverage did a great job of drowning out the wall of noise! OutOfBradford
  • Score: 0

8:49am Thu 13 Dec 12

ElBantamo says...

Scuba Dee wrote:
I'd rather have the City shirt Jonesy :-) its a much better piece of history!
Couldn't agree more. Given the choice of Jones' shirt or Wilshire's from that game I know which I'd choose!
[quote][p][bold]Scuba Dee[/bold] wrote: I'd rather have the City shirt Jonesy :-) its a much better piece of history![/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. Given the choice of Jones' shirt or Wilshire's from that game I know which I'd choose! ElBantamo
  • Score: 0

8:57am Thu 13 Dec 12

Solomon Grundy says...

Fantastic night, up there with beating Wolves to go up to the Prem and then Liverpool to stay there. Jones and Doyle in the centre of midfield were superb all night.

But let's get back to earth and to work now. I see Gary is in the Guardian this morning declaring Torquay were tougher than Arsenal. Pride. Falls. Etc.
Fantastic night, up there with beating Wolves to go up to the Prem and then Liverpool to stay there. Jones and Doyle in the centre of midfield were superb all night. But let's get back to earth and to work now. I see Gary is in the Guardian this morning declaring Torquay were tougher than Arsenal. Pride. Falls. Etc. Solomon Grundy
  • Score: 0

9:44am Thu 13 Dec 12

Scargutt2 says...

Yeah i'm amazed that not one of their players asked Jones for his shirt. Named Man of the Match too, Wenger could use someone with some bottle in his own midfield.
Yeah i'm amazed that not one of their players asked Jones for his shirt. Named Man of the Match too, Wenger could use someone with some bottle in his own midfield. Scargutt2
  • Score: 0

10:15am Thu 13 Dec 12

littlegrubbers says...

'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian.

A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around
'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian. A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around littlegrubbers
  • Score: 0

10:15am Thu 13 Dec 12

Freddy says...

*
" “Getting to Wembley in the play-offs with Rochdale was special, though obviously we lost. But it was nothing like this. The atmosphere and occasion was just brilliant. You had to be here to sample how good it was.”
*
*
How I wish I could have been there. Did not like Sky's crowd sound pick-up--it was mainly from the TV shots in the Midland Road Stand--therefore Arsenal chants were prominent.
*
Gary Jones is a superb player--What an excellent addition he is to the Squad. Perhaps HE COULD GO TO WEMBLEY AGAIN??. This time he would delight, in the Support City would give him, and the Squad.
*
* " “Getting to Wembley in the play-offs with Rochdale was special, though obviously we lost. But it was nothing like this. The atmosphere and occasion was just brilliant. You had to be here to sample how good it was.” * * How I wish I could have been there. Did not like Sky's crowd sound pick-up--it was mainly from the TV shots in the Midland Road Stand--therefore Arsenal chants were prominent. * Gary Jones is a superb player--What an excellent addition he is to the Squad. Perhaps HE COULD GO TO WEMBLEY AGAIN??. This time he would delight, in the Support City would give him, and the Squad. * Freddy
  • Score: 0

10:25am Thu 13 Dec 12

Rambo says...

littlegrubbers wrote:
'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian.

A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around
To be honest after having weeks of Arsenal fans on message boards, phone-ins etc. Say things like they're going to smash us, score 10, win with their ladies team etc and for their international millionaires to roll into town thinking they just had to turn up to win, I think he's well within his rights.
[quote][p][bold]littlegrubbers[/bold] wrote: 'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian. A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around[/p][/quote]To be honest after having weeks of Arsenal fans on message boards, phone-ins etc. Say things like they're going to smash us, score 10, win with their ladies team etc and for their international millionaires to roll into town thinking they just had to turn up to win, I think he's well within his rights. Rambo
  • Score: 0

10:42am Thu 13 Dec 12

kiwibantam says...

Such is the global appeal of Bradford City, we even got air time on New Zealand tv for our exploits beating the "mighty" Arsenal. Great night, did anyone else hear their fans sing, apart from when they scored, I just thought they just sat there looking glum!!!!!!!!!
Such is the global appeal of Bradford City, we even got air time on New Zealand tv for our exploits beating the "mighty" Arsenal. Great night, did anyone else hear their fans sing, apart from when they scored, I just thought they just sat there looking glum!!!!!!!!! kiwibantam
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Down South says...

littlegrubbers wrote:
'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian.

A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around
you don't think his words may have been twisted? Papers never lie!
[quote][p][bold]littlegrubbers[/bold] wrote: 'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian. A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around[/p][/quote]you don't think his words may have been twisted? Papers never lie! Down South
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Edinburgh -bantam says...

Back in Edinburgh still hoarse after the best night match atmosphere at Valley Parade I can remember in over 50 years of supporting City.

Having seen City lose FA cup ties at Highbury in 1962 and 1973, it was great to be amongst so many happy Yorkshire folk.

I hope the citizens of Bradford now realise that this wasn't a one-off occasion.Get out of your armchairs and back to Valley Parade to support Phil Parkinson's promotion push.
Back in Edinburgh still hoarse after the best night match atmosphere at Valley Parade I can remember in over 50 years of supporting City. Having seen City lose FA cup ties at Highbury in 1962 and 1973, it was great to be amongst so many happy Yorkshire folk. I hope the citizens of Bradford now realise that this wasn't a one-off occasion.Get out of your armchairs and back to Valley Parade to support Phil Parkinson's promotion push. Edinburgh -bantam
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Thu 13 Dec 12

CheltCityFan says...

littlegrubbers wrote:
'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian.

A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around'.

I have to agree that Iound this a bit tasteless and I hope that he has been misquoted on this. Arsene Wenger paid us massive respect by putting out a Champions League team and praised us at the end of the game, even though it was very humiliating for him as a very proud man who has come in for a lot of criticism in spite of doing a great job for Arsenal. Whilst it is right that City get credit from any corners for a magnificent effort and the most memorable game I have seen City involved in, we should be treating Mr Wenger and Arsenal with due dignity.

I hope Gary Jones was saying something like we found it easier to score againt Arsenal than we did against Torquay with 10 men, which you can't argue about, rather than gloating. Personally, I thought Arsenal fans were tremendous the whole game in supporting their team and there is no doubt that we got a bit of the rub of the green for a change. Doesn't detract from our brilliant performance and victory in the same way that gloating at Arsenal doesn't make it any sweeter.
littlegrubbers wrote: 'The Bradford City captain, Gary Jones, believes Arsenal's stars ought to be embarrassed by their Capital One Cup quarter-final exit at Valley Parade on Tuesday and he twisted the knife when he said that Torquay United had put up more of a fight against his team in Saturday's League Two meeting.' Todays Guardian. A fantastic job by Jones and the Bradford team, but, hey shouldn't he be as caprtain magnanimous in victory? Especially as we have gone through a bad patch to get to this good patch!! What goes around comes around'. I have to agree that Iound this a bit tasteless and I hope that he has been misquoted on this. Arsene Wenger paid us massive respect by putting out a Champions League team and praised us at the end of the game, even though it was very humiliating for him as a very proud man who has come in for a lot of criticism in spite of doing a great job for Arsenal. Whilst it is right that City get credit from any corners for a magnificent effort and the most memorable game I have seen City involved in, we should be treating Mr Wenger and Arsenal with due dignity. I hope Gary Jones was saying something like we found it easier to score againt Arsenal than we did against Torquay with 10 men, which you can't argue about, rather than gloating. Personally, I thought Arsenal fans were tremendous the whole game in supporting their team and there is no doubt that we got a bit of the rub of the green for a change. Doesn't detract from our brilliant performance and victory in the same way that gloating at Arsenal doesn't make it any sweeter. CheltCityFan
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Plastic Bantam says...

OutOfBradford wrote:
Incredible night. He's right about one thing, you had to be there to feel the atmosphere. The Sky coverage did a great job of drowning out the wall of noise!
To be fair to sky it's not their fault all you could hear were Arsenal fans... The commentators are put in the Midland Road stand so their microphones picked up the Arsenals Songs.. Not really Skys fault!!!
[quote][p][bold]OutOfBradford[/bold] wrote: Incredible night. He's right about one thing, you had to be there to feel the atmosphere. The Sky coverage did a great job of drowning out the wall of noise![/p][/quote]To be fair to sky it's not their fault all you could hear were Arsenal fans... The commentators are put in the Midland Road stand so their microphones picked up the Arsenals Songs.. Not really Skys fault!!! Plastic Bantam
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Thu 13 Dec 12

HHITYKE says...

So, there I was sitting in my little town house in sunny South Carolina wishing I was freezing my n*ts off at valley parade. I hoped it was on Fox Soccer channel but no luck. Just by chance I surfed through those freebie channels and there it was in HD no less. My brother was driving to dinner with his kids in the car when it got to penalties so I was giving colour commentary on the speaker phone with a warning to watch my language. Well, my little nieces and nephews had no idea Uncle Allan could say those bad bad words. Not to mention screaming like a pre teen girl at a One Direction concert. My neighbors thought murder had been done. I have been a supporter for over half a century. I sit here on weekends listening to the games on my laptop trying to explain to my American son what it means to me but unless you have been a part of the club's history from being a nipper its hard to relate. Well done to all, I even had some NFL fanatics excited by the end of extra time. I could not be prouder so say I am and always will be a Bantams fan.
So, there I was sitting in my little town house in sunny South Carolina wishing I was freezing my n*ts off at valley parade. I hoped it was on Fox Soccer channel but no luck. Just by chance I surfed through those freebie channels and there it was in HD no less. My brother was driving to dinner with his kids in the car when it got to penalties so I was giving colour commentary on the speaker phone with a warning to watch my language. Well, my little nieces and nephews had no idea Uncle Allan could say those bad bad words. Not to mention screaming like a pre teen girl at a One Direction concert. My neighbors thought murder had been done. I have been a supporter for over half a century. I sit here on weekends listening to the games on my laptop trying to explain to my American son what it means to me but unless you have been a part of the club's history from being a nipper its hard to relate. Well done to all, I even had some NFL fanatics excited by the end of extra time. I could not be prouder so say I am and always will be a Bantams fan. HHITYKE
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Birky_Neil says...

HHITYKE wrote:
So, there I was sitting in my little town house in sunny South Carolina wishing I was freezing my n*ts off at valley parade. I hoped it was on Fox Soccer channel but no luck. Just by chance I surfed through those freebie channels and there it was in HD no less. My brother was driving to dinner with his kids in the car when it got to penalties so I was giving colour commentary on the speaker phone with a warning to watch my language. Well, my little nieces and nephews had no idea Uncle Allan could say those bad bad words. Not to mention screaming like a pre teen girl at a One Direction concert. My neighbors thought murder had been done. I have been a supporter for over half a century. I sit here on weekends listening to the games on my laptop trying to explain to my American son what it means to me but unless you have been a part of the club's history from being a nipper its hard to relate. Well done to all, I even had some NFL fanatics excited by the end of extra time. I could not be prouder so say I am and always will be a Bantams fan.
Lol at least you was there in spirit! It was freezing too!
[quote][p][bold]HHITYKE[/bold] wrote: So, there I was sitting in my little town house in sunny South Carolina wishing I was freezing my n*ts off at valley parade. I hoped it was on Fox Soccer channel but no luck. Just by chance I surfed through those freebie channels and there it was in HD no less. My brother was driving to dinner with his kids in the car when it got to penalties so I was giving colour commentary on the speaker phone with a warning to watch my language. Well, my little nieces and nephews had no idea Uncle Allan could say those bad bad words. Not to mention screaming like a pre teen girl at a One Direction concert. My neighbors thought murder had been done. I have been a supporter for over half a century. I sit here on weekends listening to the games on my laptop trying to explain to my American son what it means to me but unless you have been a part of the club's history from being a nipper its hard to relate. Well done to all, I even had some NFL fanatics excited by the end of extra time. I could not be prouder so say I am and always will be a Bantams fan.[/p][/quote]Lol at least you was there in spirit! It was freezing too! Birky_Neil
  • Score: 0

10:54pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Bantam76 says...

kiwibantam wrote:
Such is the global appeal of Bradford City, we even got air time on New Zealand tv for our exploits beating the "mighty" Arsenal. Great night, did anyone else hear their fans sing, apart from when they scored, I just thought they just sat there looking glum!!!!!!!!!
Their fans tried a few times to get behind their team, but in all honesty, the noise was so pitiful that it was immediately drowned out by the 20,000 home fans!! What an experience! The fans really were the twelfth player that night - hope I get to see that again! Proud to be a fan, proud to be there...
[quote][p][bold]kiwibantam[/bold] wrote: Such is the global appeal of Bradford City, we even got air time on New Zealand tv for our exploits beating the "mighty" Arsenal. Great night, did anyone else hear their fans sing, apart from when they scored, I just thought they just sat there looking glum!!!!!!!!![/p][/quote]Their fans tried a few times to get behind their team, but in all honesty, the noise was so pitiful that it was immediately drowned out by the 20,000 home fans!! What an experience! The fans really were the twelfth player that night - hope I get to see that again! Proud to be a fan, proud to be there... Bantam76
  • Score: 0

12:16am Fri 14 Dec 12

lonniejockstrap says...

HHITYKE wrote:
So, there I was sitting in my little town house in sunny South Carolina wishing I was freezing my n*ts off at valley parade. I hoped it was on Fox Soccer channel but no luck. Just by chance I surfed through those freebie channels and there it was in HD no less. My brother was driving to dinner with his kids in the car when it got to penalties so I was giving colour commentary on the speaker phone with a warning to watch my language. Well, my little nieces and nephews had no idea Uncle Allan could say those bad bad words. Not to mention screaming like a pre teen girl at a One Direction concert. My neighbors thought murder had been done. I have been a supporter for over half a century. I sit here on weekends listening to the games on my laptop trying to explain to my American son what it means to me but unless you have been a part of the club's history from being a nipper its hard to relate. Well done to all, I even had some NFL fanatics excited by the end of extra time. I could not be prouder so say I am and always will be a Bantams fan.
Great stuff mate glad you got to watch the game. I have watched it 3 times now, once at VP and twice recorded. I am so impressed with the discipline and performance of those '4th division' players. If we don't get promoted this season with this squad we never will.
[quote][p][bold]HHITYKE[/bold] wrote: So, there I was sitting in my little town house in sunny South Carolina wishing I was freezing my n*ts off at valley parade. I hoped it was on Fox Soccer channel but no luck. Just by chance I surfed through those freebie channels and there it was in HD no less. My brother was driving to dinner with his kids in the car when it got to penalties so I was giving colour commentary on the speaker phone with a warning to watch my language. Well, my little nieces and nephews had no idea Uncle Allan could say those bad bad words. Not to mention screaming like a pre teen girl at a One Direction concert. My neighbors thought murder had been done. I have been a supporter for over half a century. I sit here on weekends listening to the games on my laptop trying to explain to my American son what it means to me but unless you have been a part of the club's history from being a nipper its hard to relate. Well done to all, I even had some NFL fanatics excited by the end of extra time. I could not be prouder so say I am and always will be a Bantams fan.[/p][/quote]Great stuff mate glad you got to watch the game. I have watched it 3 times now, once at VP and twice recorded. I am so impressed with the discipline and performance of those '4th division' players. If we don't get promoted this season with this squad we never will. lonniejockstrap
  • Score: 0

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