Youthful attacking midfielder Jon French joined the Tigers in July 1998 after being released by Bristol Rovers. He was selected in wide positions by manager Mark Hateley but struggled to establish himself in the first XI due to untimely injuries. When Hateley was sacked in November 1998 and Warren Joyce took over, French slid rapidly down the pecking order and started only three more games during the remainder of the season. Consigned to the reserves for the entirety of the 1999/00 season, French played just once in the first team when he came on as substitute in a December 1999 Associate Members’ Cup tie at York. He left the club in the 2000 close season.
Jonathan Charles French was born in Bristol and joined Bristol Rovers as a teenager. He made his Gas debut against Peterborough in November 1995 and scored his first goal three days later in a 3-0 Auto Windscreens Shield win over Cambridge. All looked rosy when he added a first league goal in March 1996 at Crewe, but over the next two years he struggled to gain a foothold in the Rovers first team and left during the 1998 close season after making 25 first team appearances.
French joined Barry Town in July 2000 and was a regular starter at Jenner Park for three seasons as The Linnets dominated the Welsh League and competed in European club competitions. In 2000/01 French played both legs against Boavista in the UEFA Cup, which the Portuguese side won 5-0 on aggregate, and later lifted the Welsh Cup at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground after a 2-0 win over Total Network Solutions. In 2002 Barry again won the League and Cup double, with French scoring the opener in a 4-1 Cup Final demolition of Bangor City played at Park Avenue in Aberystwyth. This came after Barry Town competed in the European Cup and despatched the Azerbaijani side Shamkir 3-0 on aggregate, French scoring the first in a 2-0 first leg win at Jenner Park. Barry then came up against the mighty Portuguese side FC Porto, and after a 0-8 schooling in Porto the Welsh side memorably won the reverse fixture 3-1, with French starting both games. Barry again dominated the domestic scene in 2002/03, winning the League and Cup double for a third consecutive year and losing to the Latvians of Skonto Riga in the European Cup. In the summer of 2003 the cost of Barry Town’s successes had mounted up, the recruitment of John Fashanu as club figurehead did not attract the hoped-for investment and the club went into receivership, meaning French had to leave the fallen Welsh leviathans.
French spent three seasons playing for Weston-Super-Mare then in 2006 he switched to Southern League side Mangotsfield United. Jon spent 2008/09 season at Paulton FC then disappeared from the scene, emerging again briefly in 2012 when he played games for Shepton Mallet FC, who were managed by his former Paulton team-mate Andy Jones.
Date/Place of Birth: 25 September 1976, Bristol
Hull City First Game: 8 August 1998, Rotherham United A (League Division 3), 21 years, 317 days old
Hull City Final Game: 7 December 1999, York City A (Associate Members’ Cup First Round), 23 years, 73 days old
Bristol Rovers (1994-1998), Hull City (1998-2000), Barry Town (2000-2003), Weston-Super-Mare (2003-2006), Mangotsfield United (2006-2008), Paulton (2008-2009), Shepton Mallet (2012)
Hull City Record
Career: 21 apps, 0 goalsJon French
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