A few months ago, we broke the news that Dan Jones had stepped down from his position of Chairman. However, we were delighted that he agreed to stay with the club and remain on the committee.
A well-respected figure around the club, it was a unanimous decision from the committee that saw him awarded an Honorary Life Member accolade at Rangers.
A busy man, Media Officer Pete Arnett managed to grab five minutes with Dan and ask him about his time at Rangers, here is what he had to say.
(PA) Twenty-six years is a long time to be involved with any club! For those who may not know about your background, could you give us a résumé of your time at Rangers?
(DJ) "I came back to the Deighton in 1993 having played just about all my junior football at Deighton then a season at Wetherby. I then packed in playing football for a period of time, but my mate Nick Thompson asked if I would be interested in playing for him on a Sunday, I agreed and as they say, the rest is history!
I went on to manage the Sunday Reserves, the Saturday Reserves and also the Saturday First-Team.
All in all, I played and managed for around seventeen years. But, after a while with family, life, work etc, I stepped away from management as I couldn't dedicate as much time as I liked plus I felt pretty worn out with it all and decided to take on the role of chairman."
(PA) You spent a fair majority of time as a Manager, what memories stick out the most for you?
(DJ) "I think it has to be winning my first bit of silverware for the First-Team as manager, which was the Challenge Cup against a virtually unbeatable Thirsk Falcons side."
(PA) You have seen plenty of players come and go, which one do you remember the most and why?
(DJ) "I’ve seen many fantastic players at the club over the years, but Nick 'Lefty' Morris has to be up there with one of the best. His goal ratio was fantastic in the Harrogate league at the time, and he would quite easily compete in today's West Yorkshire Premier League.
I was lucky enough to manage Nick towards the end of his Deighton playing days and he was a class act.
I could list many, many more though."
(PA) You moved into the role of Chairman and probably oversaw the biggest transition in the club’s history with an almost new era following the heavy defeat against Bedale, what was it like before and after that game? What gave you the motivation to carry on after that game?
(DJ) "It was a strange day to be honest, but I think if that game and result hadn’t have happened, we wouldn’t have ended up where we are today.
Following the game, we were all shocked, but It forced us to sit down and work out where do we want to be in five years’ time and how are we going to get us back to where we needed to be and beyond.
We had to make the club more sustainable with younger players that would stay with us on that journey, and after speaking with several people we identified and sold our vision to them we have accomplished probably a good ninety percent of that plan as we won a historic treble and double and got accepted back to the West Yorkshire league and then a promotion to the First Division. Now hopefully the lads can push on and end up where our vision wanted us to be."
(PA) We saw some golden years in Rangers history with the treble and double winning sides in the Harrogate League, what are your memories of that period?
(DJ) "Simple. In my twenty-three plus years before that I’d not witnessed a togetherness within the club as there was that season. From training, socials and matches, that's what carried us all the way that year. Plus, we had some damn good players as well!"
(PA) When some possibly didn’t think we could do it, you oversaw our traverse over to the West Yorkshire Leagues, how much of a gamble was it and how proud were you when the club was accepted into the leagues?
(DJ) "It was gamble we had to take. If we hadn't and we didn't get accepted, I'm not sure the club would still be here. The process did cause many sleepless nights, but the end result was the icing on the cake after all the success we'd had the previous year. It was certainly a case of big credit to everybody involved in what we did."
(PA) You have seen the club grow quite spectacularly on and off the pitch over the years, if you had to pick some moments that really fill you with pride, what would they be?
(DJ) "To be honest, I'm bloody proud of everything we've done! Just keeping the club solvent was (and is) a huge challenge, but from a pure on the field perspective, it has to be the historic treble and double which I don’t think will ever be done again.
Attracting and mentoring young players and giving them a purpose fills me with pride and seeing them develop and becoming more confident in everything they do is superb.
As mentioned before, our long overdue return to the West Yorkshire league, and the fact that we have also been competitive in it has really filled me with pride."
(PA) If you could give yourself some advice as to what pitfalls to avoid, what would it be?
(DJ) "Ha, don’t take it too seriously."
(PA) Even though you have handed over the reins to Rich, you still want to be involved with Deighton, which is fantastic for us, but how important was it for you to still be part of the Committee?
(DJ) "I want to help the club finish what we started, and in Rich we have a great guy that is well suited to the role He's already made huge and exciting progress in many areas which I'm sure we'll be sharing with all our players, supporters and sponsors very soon."
(PA) What words of advice do you have for Rich?
(DJ) "Rich is a pretty clued up guy. I'm sure if he needs any advice on anything he knows where I am."
(PA) Is there anything that you would like to say to the club, its fans and people who have worked/watched over the years?
(DJ) "My journey with the club will continue and for me, it just gets under the skin! I've also been so lucky to manage and work alongside some brilliant character's over the years.
I'd also stress that those who we've lost along the way are always remembered and honoured as they were part of the DNA and foundations the club was built on.
I've loved every minute, and my managerial career starts again, but this time running the under 7's that Ellis (Dan’s son) plays for, which surprise, surprise …. it's Deighton!"
As they say "Once a Blue always a Blue."