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Papa Johns Trophy

Gethin Jones describes “emotional” goal celebration at Wembley

3 April 2023

Bolton Wanderers defender Gethin Jones dedicated his goal in yesterday’s Papa Johns Trophy Final to his late mum.

The full-back headed in the Trotters’ fourth and final goal of the afternoon to cap off a fine performance at the home of football, but it meant so much more to Jones whose mum, Karen, passed away aged 56 in March last year.

“It was an emotional day for myself,” the Wanderers vice-captain explained. “My mum passed away last year with motor neurone disease and it’s been a difficult 18 months or so since my mum was first diagnosed.

“Honestly, without this Club, I wouldn’t be playing football right now. When it happened, I could’ve quit football. Everyone was here to support me and it was an emotional day, but that goal was for my mum.”

Watched on by a bumper crowd which marked the highest attended fixture in Europe at the weekend, the 27-year-old found the back of the net against his former team Plymouth Argyle, where he arrived on loan from Everton in 2015.

It was the presence of over 34,000 travelling Bolton fans that spurred him on.

“Even when we arrived just before the game and we walked out like we normally do when we come to stadiums, we had a look at the pitch and there were already thousands of fans here and it gave us a buzz already,” he said.

“In the first 10 or 15 minutes, it was like we had another man behind us. It felt like we had five or six extra players on the pitch with us. That showed in the first 20 minutes where we scored two goals. We took that momentum in the second half and scored early again. We’re just made up.”

Jones has felt the love from the Whites fanbase since being signed by Ian Evatt in the summer of 2020.

“I’ve been here three years now and they’ve supported us so much – me and Rico (Ricardo Santos) especially, we’ve been here from the start with the manager,” he added. “Hopefully now, we can take that into the last eight games of the season and come back in May and get that promotion.”


And skipper Ricardo Santos was the one to predict that Jones would make the score-sheet in the showpiece.

“I told him before the game, ‘today’s the day you’ll get a goal’ and he scored,” Santos said. “Me and Geth have been here since the start so he’s like my best friend. I’m buzzing for him – he’s a great kid.”

But the record result – the biggest every victory in the competition – came just as much of a shock to the Club captain, with the Pilgrims sitting second in Sky Bet League One and pushing for automatic promotion come the end of the campaign.

“When you come into this game, you never know what’s going to happen and we wouldn’t have expected this,” he admitted. “They’re a good side. Nobody would’ve thought this would be the score.

We’re taking the trophy home and that’s all that matters. It feels amazing. I’m proud of everyone at this whole Club, but especially the boys and the gaffer. We deserve this.

“It’s crazy in football. There are ups and downs. I would have never thought I’d be lifting a trophy at Wembley. Not many do it so I’ll take it!”


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