Challinor, Jon

Birth Date

2nd December 1980

Birthplace

Northampton

Occupation

Midfielder

Biographical Text

Jon Challinor was a regular and popular Exeter City performer for two of the club’s seasons in the Conference between 2005 and 2007. Starting with Rushden & Diamonds, he joined the Grecians from Aldershot and later played for a host of clubs into his forties. Known mainly as a non-league player, Jon somewhat belatedly appeared in the Football League with York City.

Starting with Rushden & Diamonds as a trainee before turning professional, Jon soon moved on to Stamford, Kalamazoo Kingdom (USA) and Cambridge City before joining Aldershot Town in 2003. After two seasons with the Hampshire club, for whom he scored 21 times in 78 Conference appearances, Jon agreed terms with Exeter City in May 2005.

Making his debut at Gravesend & Northfleet on 13 August 2005, Jon went on to make 45 league and cup appearances during his first season with City contributing a dozen goals along the way. He then added another nine goals to his Grecians tally in 2006/07 as he appeared 47 times in all competitions including all three of the club’s play-off games against Oxford United and Morecambe.

Returning closer to his home, Jon rejoined Rushden & Diamonds in May 2007 and, after featuring in all but one league game in 2007/08, moved to Cambridge United for a £15,000 fee in August 2008. During an eighteen-month stay at the Abbey Jon rarely played in his second season and spent time on loan at both Forest Green Rovers and Mansfield Town ahead of signing for the Stags on a permanent basis in January 2010. 

Jon’s stay in Nottinghamshire was brief and, over the next season, he had spells with Brackley Town, Newport County and Kettering Town prior to signing for York City in August 2011. Appearing regularly Jon was a member of the team that returned to the Football League in 2012 and, having played for a succession of one-time Football League clubs in the Conference, he finally made his Football League debut at the age of thirty-one in September 2012. 

After his release at the end of the season, Jon returned to Stamford on a non-contract basis which allowed him to also play a handful of Conference games for Halifax Town. Working for the Royal Mail, Jon settled into playing for The Daniels and - after a brief stint as caretaker manager during 2015/16 - won promotion in 2022/23 at the age of forty-two before completing 400 appearances for the Lincolnshire club in April 2024.

Appearances

Exeter City

League 84 (plus play-offs 3); Cups 5 (92)

Goals

League 21

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