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Ron Saunders RIP
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Ron Saunders RIP

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Pete’s Picture Palace
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Joined: 19 Feb 2013
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Location: Wallington Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:06 pm 
Post subject: Ron Saunders RIP
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I know there's a thread about Ron on the new board but for the sake of completeness I thought it apt to advise of the passing of Ron Saunders, who left us on 7th December aged 87.

Born in Birkenhead in 1932, Ron started off at Everton where he played only 3 league games in 4 years. He left the club and the league and headed south to ambitious Southern Leaguers Tonbridge Angels, where he stayed for 2 years before signing for Kent neighbours Gillingham, and that's where his league career as a rampaging centre forward took off. 20 goals in 50 games there triggered a move to Portsmouth in 1958 and in 6 years there he scored 145 goals in 236 games. Shorter spells at Watford and Charlton followed with a healthy goals/match rate before he retired in 1967 and took up a post as player-manager at Yeovil Town.

Briefly there and then Oxford before taking over at Norwich on 1969 and guiding them to their first ever spell in the 1st Division in 1972. Manchester City came calling but he didn't last long there and moved to Aston Villa in 1974, spending 8 years there and in 1980/1 took them to a first league title in 70 years and a European Cup spot. Contract differences forced him to resign mid-season with Tony Barton taking the team to the EC final and a win over Bayern Munich. Ron joined Birmingham and then West Brom before retiring in 1987 aged 54.

My photo shows Ron in action for Pompey in 1961/2 at Selhurst Park against Palace in the FA Cup 1st round. Palace won this game 3-0 but you can see the effect Ron had on defences as Gwyn Evans and Bill Glazier combine to somehow thwart Ron as he lurks menacingly.

A true football man of the old school. RIP Ron.
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