Simon Jones will likely hold a special place in the heart of all English cricket fans for his artistry with the ball and, of course, the role he played in the 2005 Ashes triumph.
It appears the feeling is mutual as, speaking on the latest episode of ‘The Shackles Are Off’ podcast, the ex-England seamer waxed lyrical about the Three Lions support – and particularly the Barmy Army.
Despite injury issues doing all they could to stop him, Jones featured 26 times for England and took 66 international wickets.
The Welshman produced some bewitching spells of bowling, was a firm fan favourite, and remains the owner of what many believe is the best Barmy Army song.
Speaking on ‘The Shackles Are Off’ podcast, Jones revealed just how special it was to hear it sung from the stands.
He said: “The biggest thing about that is that it made you feel as if you’d made it. It made you feel wanted, it made you feel as if you’re part of the side.
“When they sung it honestly the hairs on the back of your neck go up. It was such a special feeling just to have them singing. You run in a little bit quicker, you bowled a little bit quicker. It really got your beans going, it was amazing.”
The former England bowler also heaped particular praise on the Barmy Army’s performance in the West Indies in 2003/04.
He said: “The Barmy Army on that trip were unreal.
“I remember playing at Barbados and I think 80% of the crowd were English. The West Indians hated it but the Barmy were relentless. All they did was sing each day.
“There might have been a lull in the game where things went quiet but that’s what they do, that’s what they’re special at. Geeing us on.
“It was baking hot and I mean boiling. Hoggy had heatstroke I think in Barbados, it was roasting. The Barmy Army were sensational on that trip.
“We made the mistake of going over to see them after Harmy got 7-12 because they were all absolutely smashed. It was so good to see that they’d enjoyed themselves so much.
“We had two days off. We finished the game in two-and-a-half days, so I think in total we had about four or five days off before the next Test. We went back to the hotel, celebrated, and the Barmy Army came round as well.”
For the full interview with Simon Jones, check out the latest episode of ‘The Shackles Are Off’ podcast…