Airdrie's Greatest Right Back - Paul Jonquin

12th February 2016

The number 2 shirt in our Greatest XI has been filled after a week of voting, and with 67% of the overall vote, the man who takes the right back position is PAUL JONQUIN.

PAUL JONQUIN
1961-1979 • 708 appearances • 46 goals
Paul was signed from juvenile side Edinburgh Athletic and made his first team debut for Airdrieonians in February 1962 in a 4-2 Broomfield success against Hibernian. The 18 year old retained the confidence of manager Willie Steel for the remaining league fixtures of the season as the Diamonds collected 14 points from their final ten matches to take their points total to a meagre 25 and avoid relegation. He is one of only two players who have made more than 700 appearances for the club, 708 in total while his goals scoring exploits took off in the seventies when he became something of a penalty and free kick expert relying wholly on power and accuracy. He netted 46 goals but had concentrated on his defensive duties in his earlier years and it was into his seventh season that he actually broke his duck in a 1-1 draw at Firhill on the 30th of December 1967.    

  

He was a local hero, who had not only played alongside Ian McMillan but also had the opportunity of playing under his management. Paul’s superb fitness level incredibly led to him playing in 196 consecutive matches for the Diamonds between April 1967 and September 1971. He was considered by all six managers who were his boss over the time he played with Airdrieonians as a model professional.

He had a high degree of success in his time with the club, playing for two promotion winning sides in 1965/66 as runners to Ayr United and 1973/74 as Champions returning to the top league the season following relegation. He played in the team that lost out to Celtic in the 1966/67 League Cup semi-final. In 1970/71 he played in the side that pushed Celtic to a replay in the Scottish Cup semi-final after a 3-3 draw and the team that were beaten in the final of the competition by Celtic in 1974/75 having also ran the Parkhead side  close in the League Cup semi-final earlier in the same season. He was a regular for the Diamonds during their participation in the Texaco Cup in successive seasons 1970/71 and 1971/72 during which the club recorded fantastic victories over Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Huddersfield Town losing only in the final of their second year in the competition to Brian Clough’s Derby County who also took the English Title in the same season. Alongside several Lanarkshire Cup winner’s medals he won a Spring Cup winners medal in 1976, in the only year the competition was played. 

His final playing appearance was in May 1979 in a 1-0 win at Boghead which was also followed by his retirement from football but his much happier bow came in front of the supporters at Broomfield in May 1994 when many of the Diamond heroes of the past took to the field, applauded by the fans as they also said their farewell to the old ground. At the age of just 52, Paul died only some 15 months after that occasion but his memory lived on after he was inducted into the Airdrieonians Hall of Fame in it’s inaugural year of 2002.

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