John Arthur Eyton-Jones.

There was a “larger than usual” crowd of Journalists filling the Anfield Press Stand when the Everton players took to field, on the 7 of January 1888, to play Nottingham Rangers. They were here to record what side the club executive would place in field following the one-monthsuspension they had incurred for paying players they had imported fromNorth of the Border. The Scots had now departed so they were obligedto fill the vacant positions with local amateur players who were eligible for selection. One of them, John Arthur Eyton-Jones, had been born, 1863, at Wrexham in North Wales.  

The 1871 census records that Thomas Eyton-Jones is living with his Wife Sarah at Priory Street in Wrexham where they are waited up on by 5 servants. They have 3 sons Thomas John and Hugh who attend the local Grove Park School.

On the 8th of October 1880, the name of JA Eyton-Jones appears playing football, for Saffron Waldron Town in an FA Cup tie at the Oval Cricket Ground in London. Outclassed by the Old Carthusians, they were beaten 7-0. The 1881 census reveals that John is living in thisEssex town and is a Medical Pupil under the instruction of Dr Henry Stear. Next year he returned to the family home and continued his training at Birkenhead Hospital.

Arthur has joined the Hare and Hounds Athletic Club and, along with his brother Thomas, is playing association football for them during the months of Winter. On the 17th of March 1883, while on the register with this club, he won his first international cap when he represented Wales as they played out 1-1 draw, with Ireland in Belfast. The following season Arthur signed for Bootle and took part in the inaugural game of football on the Hawthorne Road Cricket Ground. Aston Villa, their opponents, were leading 1-0 when Arthur scored to bring the sides level. The visitors however, disputed the goal so the referee, taking in to account the torrential downpour, decided to terminate the game.

On the 13th of January 1884, Arthur joined 1st Volunteer Brigade, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was granted the rank of Surgeon-Lieutenant. (He resigned his commission one year later.)

The Welshman continued to appear in the Bootle side throughout the season and was, on the odd occasion, joined by his elder brother Thomas. Next season he again appeared in the Bootle colours and first encountered their neighbours Everton.

The game took place, 1st of November 1884, at Hawthorne Road where the visitors won 2-1. Arthur paid his first visit to Anfield on the 31st of January – when Bootle and Everton met in the Liverpool Cup – where the home side won by 3 goals to 1. He then took part in all 3 of the home internationals.

On the 9TH of February he scored his only international goal as Wales beat Ireland 6-0 on the Racecourse Ground at Wrexham. He returned to same venue on March the 17th but could little to prevent England from running out winners, 4-0. Arthur Eyton-Jones then made his 4th and final appearance for his country, 2 weeks later, as they were defeated, 4-0, byScotland at Cathkin Park in Glasgow. The Welsh FA however, still held his registration so he always appeared in the newspapers, representing Wexham.

The 1885-86 campaign proved to be the last full season Arthur would spend with Bootle as they battled for local supremacy with Everton. His side lost their home game with them, 2-1, but managed a 2-2 draw in the return fixture at Anfield. The 2 sides however, met in the final tie of the Liverpool Cup at Walton Stiles. The game was won, by Everton, courtesy of a single goal that scored by Welsh International, “Job” Wilding.

Next season, after an absence of 4 years, Bootle entered the FA Cupand received a home draw against Bolton based side, Great Lever.Arthur made his final appearance as they were beaten by 4 goals to 2.He was then reported to have gone in to semi-retirement before his reappearance at Anfield.

The Everton committee met on Friday evening to discuss what team they could assemble and released the names of 10 players plus A N Other who turned out to be Arthur. The start of the game was delayed by the late arrival of home team who played most of the first half with 10 men. The visitors won the game by 3 goals to 1. Arthur made another 13 appearances, the last one being against Bolton Wanderers, for Everton and retired from the game. Next year he qualified as a Doctor and set up a practice at 78, High Street, Gringley on the Hill in Nottinghamshire.

On the 28th of July 1891, JA Eyton-Jones married Scots born Annie StodartMilne at the church of St Phillip in London and his only child Margaret, was born 2 years later. In 1895 the family moved back to Wrexham where they occupied a fine house, with the name of Abbotsford, at Grosvenor Park. Annie died here in 1908. The 1911 census reveals that Arthur has remarried and is practicing from his home at 66, Union Street West, in the Lancashire town of Oldham. He is assisted by his daughter, Margaret.

In March 1915 Arthur joined the Royal Army Medical Corp and was attached to the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance. He was granted the rank of Captain and awarded a Silver Medal at the end of his service. The family were then living at a house, named Abbeydale, in the Gresford area of Wrexham. They later moved to Mount Road, Higher Tranmere, Birkenhead where the head of the household became a Surgeon at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary. John Arthur Eyton-Jones was residing at this address when he died on the 2nd of March 1948. The Funeral service took place at the church of St Paul before interment at Wrexham Cemetery.

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