Ron was one of two new signings at the County Ground in the summer of 1972 - the other being Eire striker Ray Treacy. Ron stayed just one season, but returned early in 1976 and was instrumental in causing a major F.A.Cup upset, with Town being the victims !
A talented midfielder, Ron possessed qualities that came to be recognised by both Dave Mackay and Brian Clough. Tottenham-born, Ron joined Spurs on schoolboy forms, but had to travel across London to Millwall to earn an apprenticeship and it was there that he made his League debut at the age of 17 in 1967. But it was in the F.A.Cup that Ron claimed his first senior goal, in a Third Round replay for the Lions against Middlesbrough in 1969. Eighteen months later he moved to Cambridge United, but after just a dozen games joined Kettering Town, where he had the chance to impress Ron Atkinson in his first managerial post. Swindon became Ron’s next port of call in July 1972.
His Town debut came in a local derby victory over City, when he replaced fellow north Londoner and ex-Spur, the late Ray Bunkell, at half time and his first start came three weeks later at Huddersfield. Ron made just 25 appearances, but had several midfield partners in the vastly experienced Joe Butler and Roger Smart and the injury-stricken Terry Hubbard. And after a season when Town finished a disappointing 16th in the table, Ron was surprisingly handed a free transfer by Mackay’s successor Les Allen. He went to the Goldstone Ground in July 1973, when Pat Saward was in charge.
Clough took over in the November and Ron did his best to impress by netting a hat-trick in a 4-0 away win at Charlton just after Christmas. But after 27 League appearances for Albion he found himself excluded from the team sheet and, on daring to question that decision, was told “Young man, take the wife and kids and go for a long walk down the pier !” But Ron’s journey took him instead to Tooting.
In his second season there, Tooting - who had already played nine F.A.Cup ties - were handed a trip to Swindon in the Third Round. Yet, despite conceding two goals in the first six minutes, Ron inspired his side back to 2-2 and they then dumped Town out in the replay. He moved closer to home in 1977 to Enfield, who won the Isthmian League twice during Ron’s four year stay and in 1980/81 he again assisted a non-League club to the Fourth Round of the F.A.Cup.
In the summer of 1981 Ron moved to Dagenham, where he stayed just a season, followed by similar spells at Barnet and Walthamstow Avenue, before hanging up his boots at the age of 35. For nearly thirty years now, Ron - who will be 60 in May and has five grandchildren - has commuted from his north London home to his job as a messenger in the post room of a company that trades in sugar, based in the city.