Jimmy Jones was part of successful - and controversial - era at Norwich City

The 12 years Jimmy Jones served as a Norwich City director encompassed the most successful days in the club's history, but also some of the most controversial.

Mr Jones was 45 when he took his place in the Carrow Road boardroom in June 1983, one month after the appointment of Robert Chase as a director.

He had first watched the Canaries as a 10-year-old at Ashton Gate in his home city of Bristol.

The two businessmen each bought �25,000 worth of shares to join a board chaired by Sir Arthur South. For a decade after Sir Arthur's exit, they were to become the central figures in running the club.

In September 1985, Mr Jones resigned from the board in protest at the decision to award the contract for the new �1.5m City Stand to R G Carter.


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The whole board, including Sir Arthur, stood down over the controversy. Only two members survived when the new team of directors was announced in January 1986, Mr Chase becoming chairman and Mr Jones being appointed vice-chairman later the same year.

The Canaries hit new heights during their time in office. After becoming Division Two champions in 1986, they finished fifth in Division One in 1987, fourth in 1989 and, as founder members of the FA Premier League, third in 1993. That achievement by Mike Walker's team brought European football to Norwich for the first time with famous UEFA Cup wins over Vitesse Arnhem and Bayern Munich. Mr Jones once named the Arnhem victory as the proudest moment of his time with the club.

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Ground redevelopment included rebuilding the City Stand in 1986 and the Barclay Stand in 1992, when Carrow Road was converted to an all-seater stadium.

Controversy was never far away, however. The board survived an extraordinary general meeting in January 1988 that followed protests over the sacking of manager Ken Brown, and demonstrations followed relegation from the Premiership in 1995.

In the wake of relegation, Mr Jones was understood to have played a key role in recruiting Martin O'Neill as manager. In October 1995, he announced he was stepping down as a director, citing ill health, though he retained a 19 per cent shareholding. After O'Neill resigned in December 1995, Mr Jones revealed he had been unhappy about recent events and called on Mr Chase to 'pack it in'.

With the club in financial crisis, Mr Chase sold his shareholding to club president Geoffrey Watling in May 1996, but Mr Jones never regained a place on the board.

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