SOCKS around his ankles, skinny legs hanging down from his shorts like pieces of string, and that famous fist-salute. The unmistakable vision of the legend that is Joey Jones.

Everywhere you go, everyone you speak to talks about the teenage-tearaway-from-Llandudno-turned-top-flight-footballer with the same passion as Jones showed out on the pitch for Wrexham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Huddersfield and in his 72 appearances for Wales.

Fans’ favourite Jones leaves a mark on you - just like he did with most of the wingers he came up against with those bone-crunching x-rated Seventies-style scything tackles.

“I’ve always said that I was never going to make it because of my football skills but what I did have was enthusiasm,” said Jones, now 65 and living in lockdown in the place he’s called home for almost 50 years - Wrexham.

“I loved playing football and I’d give 150 per cent - not just 100 per cent - every time I crossed that white line. I suppose that’s why fans liked me. There’s nothing like a good hard tackle to get the fans going and they saw me doing that time and time again.

“I was lucky in my career. I played for the club I loved and supported as a boy - Liverpool.

“Everyone knows what playing for Wrexham meant to me and I had and still do have really strong ties with Chelsea.”

Throw in the fact that Jones was player of the season during his 68-game stay at Huddersfield in the mid-Eighties - and you start to get why this crowd-pleaser became such a fans’ favourite.

But where did that famous fist salute that warmed up fans more than any lukewarm half-time cup of Bovril would, come from?

“It was my home debut for Liverpool against West Ham in 1975 - a midweek game and I remember the Kop chanting my name,” said Jones, who had moved to Anfield from Wrexham in a £110,000 deal a month earlier.

“I used to go and watch Liverpool and go in the boys’ pen - a section that was caged off and where we were all herded into a corner.

“Because I knew where I used to stand and I knew where my mates and my cousins were, I was putting my fist up to them - and that’s how it started.

“Fans chanting my name - I had some at QPR on my debut when I made a goal-line clearance - was something I wasn’t expecting.

“But I never distanced myself from the fans. I was only a fan on the pitch. I always like to be remembered like that.”

Being thrown into top flight football - after just 100 appearances in two years with third division Wrexham - may have taken away the threat of any pre-match nerves in what was a massive move for the 20-year-old.

“When Liverpool signed players from lower league clubs, they normally went into the reserves and had to fight to work their way into the first team,” added Jones.

“I went straight in. I’d only signed in July and I was playing from the start of the season.

“The fans giving me such a welcome helped. I was probably playing on adrenaline in those first games. I was playing for the team I support, in the dressing room getting changed next to them and playing on the same pitch as my heroes and Tommy Smith - my all-time hero.”

Off the field, it was also a big jump especially as Jones wasn’t driving at the time.

He said: “They put me in digs but I stayed in Wrexham and used to get the train to Bidston and then into Liverpool for training. I also had to go and pay the landlady and ask her not to let anyone at the club know and I wasn’t staying at her house!”

Jones played only 14 games in the 1975/76 season where Liverpool pipped QPR by a point to lift the title.

But that spell in the reserves did him the power of good as the following season only Ray Clemence, Emlyn Hughes, Ray Kennedy and Phil Neal played more than the 59 games Jones featured in during a season where the Reds won the league again and were European Cup winners.

“To be in a Liverpool team to win the European Cup for the first time, to win the league title and to play in an FA Cup final - all in one season, as you can imagine that was the best ever year I’ve had in football,” recalled Jones who topped off a stellar season by helping Wales to a 1-0 win at Wembley over arch enemies England for whom Anfield team-mates Kevin Keegan, Kennedy, Neal and Hughes were all in the starting line-up.

Winning at Wembley for someone who is famously patriotic of his Welsh roots was great, while Jones also went into the history books becoming the first Welshman to lift the European Cup.

And it was that night in Rome where the legendary Liverpool banner was unfurled - ‘Joey ate frogs legs, made the Swiss roll, now he’s munching Gladbach’.

The iconic 24ft banner, dubbed the Scouse Bayeux Tapestry, was created by Phil Downey and best mate Jimmy Cummings,

Downey explained: “In those days Joey Jones was an icon already. We called him the fan on the pitch, and he was, he was one of us, just an ordinary guy.”

Jones admits he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw it,

“When I saw it at Rome, I couldn’t believe it,” said Jones, who was presented with the prize souvenir when he left Anfield and returned to Wrexham in 1978.

“There are so many famous players in the Liverpool team, the other 10 were household names.

“The German players wouldn’t have known who I was, they’d have just thought ‘who is that skinny Welsh lad?’ To have a banner - it certainly wasn’t for my skill - it made me feel 10 feet tall.

“I think as much of that banner as I do the winners’ medal.

“I had it at home for more than 20 years. I had it wrapped up in the garage. But the only place I would let it go back to was Liverpool Football Club.”

And the only place Jones would go back to if his days were over at Liverpool - and they were after Paisley signed left back Alan Kennedy - was Wrexham.

“I was supposed to sign for Leeds United but Arfon Griffiths rang me, Wrexham were in the Second Division then and I thought I’d rather go back to Wrexham as I was living there are the time,” added Jones who returned to the Racecourse for double the price Liverpool had paid three years earlier. “I came back and Mickey went to United and Bobby Shinton to Man City, so the team that had won the Third Division Championship was breaking up.”

The three-year-cycle continued as the man who first gave Jones his chance at Wrexham, wily old manager John Neal, came calling and enticed the 27-year-old to begin a new adventure in the streets of London with Chelsea.