JACK Jones had two clubs circling for his services when he, wife Mary and their growing family decided to depart Melbourne where he had been a key player for Essendon in the post-World War II era.
The year was 1954 and Albury edged ahead of the other club in the mix, Moe, after Jones and his wife had pulled into a bed and breakfast owned by Jack Adams, who had strong ties to the Tigers.
A 25 pounds per season coaching deal was clinched later and nearly seven decades on the impact Jones had on Tigerland including the 1956 premiership and one which slipped through the club's fingers the following year remains strong.
"He was pure class, selfless, kind, so wise and worldly," another Tiger Hall of Famer Paul Spargo said.
"Words can't describe the respect I had for him personally, both as a family friend and mentor.
"He was universally respected and was held in the highest regard at Albury.
"He came up to talk to the players a few years ago, we offered to fly him up, he caught the train.
"That was the type of person he was."
Spargo's father-in-law Leon Pain was part of an all-star Tiger line-up in the 1950s which also included Lance Mann, Jim Robison, John Stoney, Reg Gard, Barry Takle and John Ziebarth.
A major form slump at the beginning of his first year conspired to see Albury miss finals even though the Tigers thrashed eventual premiers Wangaratta by 10 goals before making amends in 1956.
Albury also led the 1957 grand final against Wangaratta by 27 points at three-quarter time before being beaten by two points with Lance Oswald, a St Kilda Team-of-the-Century member, kicking a late goal to get Wangaratta home.
Jones kicked four goals in the grand final to finish with 59 for the year and in his 75 matches for Albury he booted 171 goals and played in successful Ovens and Murray inter-league campaigns in 1955 and 1957.
He finished top-five in the 1958 Morris medal which finished in a tie between two other AFL stars who had headed bush, Myrtleford's Jim Deane and Wangaratta Rovers' Bob Rose.
The Tigers lost the preliminary final to Wodonga in 1958 by just four points before a broken jaw interrupted Jones' final season in the O and M in 1959.
One player who witnessed first-hand Jones' goal-kicking prowess was Tiger team-mate Graeme Ward, who also played for Corowa and Myrtleford including the Saints' 1970 flag due to employment transfers as a stock agent.
A lasting memory for Ward was his coach kicking six goals against the Saints in his return from serious knee injury opposed to Mick Flecknoe, who had joined Myrtleford after playing alongside "Polly" Farmer at East Perth.
Flecknoe generally also played at centre half-forward, but had his hands full trying to curb the Tigers' coach.
"He was doing these running drop-kick goals all day," Ward said.
"Jack was one of the most genuine and likeable people you could meet.
"With the personality he had, he was able to get through to players in the nicest possible way with the best results.
"He was a great advertisement for how the game should be played."
Jones worked at Hines butchery in Kiewa Street and later coached Kergunyah before the family returned to Melbourne.
Jones served in 24th Infantry Battalion in New Guinea and Bougainville and played in three Essendon premiership teams before joining Albury.