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30 January 2013

Richard Day looks back at the ex-Gills career

Ron was born in Edmonton in June 1920 and played for Edmonton Schoolboys and Enfield as a youngster.

Having guested for both Bradford City and Stockport County during World War II he signed for Fulham in 1946 and he went on to make 42 appearances for the Cottagers in his four years at the club.

He did gain some success during his time at Craven Cottage, captaining their reserve side to the Football Combination title in 1949-50.

Then in June 1950 the full-back joined Gillingham and he made his debut against Colchester United as the club returned to the Football League in August 1950.

He went on to be an ever-present in two consecutive campaigns, 1952-53 & 1953-54, in fact following a 0-0 draw at Brighton in February 1951 he made 121 consecutive League and cup games before an injury forced him to miss the encounter with Leyton Orient at Priestfield in September 1954.

His one and only goal for the Gills came in a 4-2 defeat at Bournemouth in September 1952.

After almost five years and 204 appearances for the club he signed for Medway neighbours Chatham Town.

During his time at Priestfield, Ron had qualified as a FA coach, something he brought to use after retiring as a player.

He began coaching Norway’s national side in January 1956 as they looked to reach the 1958 World Cup finals, they faced home and away qualifiers with Bulgaria and Hungary but only managed one victory, 2-1 against the Magyars in Oslo in June 1957.

After 17 games in total, five wins, four draws and eight defeats, he left his post in December 1957.

Time was then spent as manager at Cheltenham Town and Wellington Town before becoming assistant coach under Harry Catterick at Everton in 1963. During his time at Goodison Park the Toffee’s won the First Division title, the FA Cup (1966) and the FA Youth Cup (1965)

Ron was then coach and assistant coach in different spells at Newcastle United with his time at St James Park being split by eight months as boss of Walsall, he left the Saddlers in February 1970.

Spells then followed in Iceland, Holland, Egypt and Kuwait before he returned to the North East and coached at Brandon United and Gateshead before taking a similar role at Northern Premier League Workington in 1985.

Ron died in Cockermouth on September 24 1985, he was 65.

N.B - In the 1951-52 team photo Ron is standing far right

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