Ron Flowers

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Ron Flowers
Personal information
Full name Ronald Flowers
Date of birth (1934-07-28) 28 July 1934 (age 79)
Place of birth Edlington, Doncaster, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Doncaster Rovers
1950–1952 Wath Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1967 Wolverhampton Wanderers 467 (33)
1967–1969 Northampton Town 62 (4)
1969–1971 Telford United
National team
1955 England Under 23 2 (0)
1955–1966 England 49 (10)
Teams managed
1968–1969 Northampton Town (player/manager)
1971 Wellington Town (player/manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ronald "Ron" Flowers (born 28 July 1934) is an English former professional footballer, most known for his time at Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was a member of England's victorious 1966 World Cup squad. He is the elder brother of John Flowers.[1]

Career[edit]

Flowers began in the Doncaster Rovers academy, where his father played semi-professionally. Whilst he flourished on the pitch at Belle Vue, he also trained as an apprentice at the Doncaster rail sheds,(it was his father's insistence that he learned a trade before chasing his footballing dream). He was later released by Doncaster and joined the Wolves' nursery side Wath Wanderers, where he soon came to the attention of the highly successful Wolverhampton Wanderers manager: Stan Cullis. Within a year, he was moved down to Molineux and soon broke into the first team, making a scoring debut against Blackpool on 20 September 1952. Prior to this time, he had served in the RAF and became an aircraftman second class at Padgate before being transferred to Hednesford.

Playing as an attacking midfield player (in modern terminology) at Wolves, he won three league championships and an FA Cup. In total, he made 515 appearances for the club, scoring 37 times.

Flowers won 49 caps for England and scored 10 goals. His international debut came on 15 May 1955 in a 0–1 friendly defeat to France. He went on to appear in the 1962 World Cup and scored two goals from the penalty spot in the group stage. From November 1958 (his second international appearance) until April 1963, he appeared in 40 consecutive England international matches; only Billy Wright has appeared in more.

He also has the distinction of scoring England's first goal in a European Football Championships game - in the qualifying round first leg against France at Hillsborough on 3 October 1962.[2]

Although his last England cap came before the finals (a friendly win over Norway), he was a member of the squad that won the 1966 World Cup, being the oldest and earliest-capped member of the squad. Flowers narrowly missed out on playing in the final itself. Jack Charlton who was due to play, caught a cold on the eve of the West Germany match. Flowers was approached by his manager, Alf Ramsey, the night before the final and told that if Charlton had not recovered by the morning he was on. After a sleepless night, it turned out that Charlton was fine in the morning and, ultimately, Flowers never kicked a ball at the tournament.

He finally left Wolves in September 1967 to join Northampton Town, where he later became player/manager. He ended his playing career at non-league Wellington Town (latterly known as Telford United) as player-manager before retiring to run a sports shop in Wolverhampton. His sports shop company: "Ron Flowers Sports" is still successfully trading on Queen Street in the town centre.[3]

In an article in the England international Official Match-Day Programme for the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine on 1 April 2009 Flowers was cited as England's best ever penalty taker (shared with Alan Shearer). He converted all six of the penalties he took for England.

In the 1966 World Cup final only the 11 players on the pitch at the end of the 4–2 win over West Germany received medals. Following a Football Association led campaign to persuade FIFA to award medals to all the winners’ squad members, Flowers was presented with his medal by Gordon Brown at a ceremony at 10 Downing Street on 10 June 2009.[4]

His younger brother, John Flowers, and his uncle, George Flowers both played over 100 games professionally for Doncaster Rovers.[5]

Ron now often visits Doncaster Rovers with his grandson, Harry who are extremely good friends with shareholder and Director Dick Watson. On 6 January is was asked at a club conference if Mr Flowers was interested in buying shares they declined to comment saying, " Ron is a supporter of the club and wants them to do well". It is rumoured that Flowers (79) is close to buying shares in the Yorkshire based club where he still has family based in Edlington.

Honours[edit]

 England

England Wolverhampton Wanderers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sherwin, Phil (15 October 2011). "Sam's late strike sees Vale in to next round". The Sentinel: The Way We Were. p. 16. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Wolverhampton Express & Star
  4. ^ World Cup 1966 winners honoured
  5. ^ "Flowers family loyal-ties facing tough test". express and star. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2013.