A player with Aston Villa from 1956-59 (albeit without breaking through to the first team) and famously club captain with Oxford United from 1959-71 making 384 league appearances, Ron really made his mark in club management. Starting out at Kettering in 1971 Ron then had four years at Cambridge United (from 1974) before joining WBA in 1978. With the ‘Baggies’ Big Ron started to hit the headlines and also managed Sky Blue Legend and now fellow CCFPA member Cyrille Regis. He spent a high profile time at Manchester United (1981-86) before returning to the Hawthorns. A season in Spain with Atletico Madrid followed in 1988 followed by spells in the manager’s chair at Sheffield Wednesday (1989) and Aston Villa (1991).
Ron came to Highfield Road in February 1995 after parting from the Villa and helped the Sky Blues survive in the Premiership and recruited some great players like Gary McAllister, CCFPA member Noel Whelan and a player who went on to partner and then succeed him as manager, Gordon Strachan (whose son Gavin is a CCFPA member). Ron saw out his managerial carrer at Hillsborough and then at Nottingham Forest and retired in 1998 to develop a career in media punditry notably with ITV and MUTV (as well as appearing on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother). He became a household name with his somewhat larger than life persona providing a stimulus for many light-hearted comedy take-offs and his idiosyncratic turn of phrase has led to his utterances becoming known as “Big-Ronisms” or “Ronglish”.
We hope to attract Ron back to Coventry this time to a CCFPA event in the not too far distant future.