Tom Waring

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Tom Waring
Pongo Waring.jpg
Waring in 1927
Personal information
Full name Thomas Waring
Date of birth (1906-10-12)12 October 1906
Place of birth Birkenhead, England
Date of death 20 December 1980(1980-12-20) (aged 74)
Playing position Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1926–1928 Tranmere Rovers 24 (23)
1928–1935 Aston Villa 216 (159)
1935–1936 Barnsley 18 (7)
1936 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 (3)
1936–1938 Tranmere Rovers 74 (42)
1938 Accrington Stanley 22 (10)
1938–1939 Bath City
1939 Ellesmere Port Town
1939 Graysons
1939 Birkenhead Docks
1939 Harrowby
1939–1940 New Brighton 0 (0)
1946–? Ellesmere Port Town
National team
1931–1932 England 5 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Waring (12 October 1906 – 20 December 1980) was an English professional association football player. Nicknamed "Pongo" after a famous cartoon of the time, Waring is one of Aston Villa's all-time great centre forwards. In his career, he scored 243 league goals in 363 matches over 12 seasons for 5 different clubs.


He signed for Tranmere Rovers in 1926, scored 6 of the 11 goals scored against Durham City. He moved to Aston Villa for £4,700 in 1928. As well as playing football, Waring also worked for The Hercules Motor and Cycle Company in Aston.

Aston Villa[edit]

A crowd of 23,000 saw him play on his Villa debut in a reserve game against local rivals Birmingham City, in which he scored a hat-trick.

His 226 appearances for Villa yielded 167 goals, including 10 hat-tricks and a club record 49 league goals in the 1930–31 season, 50 goals in all competitions. He is considered an Aston Villa legend, a reputation buoyed by his likeable personality as discussed by Villa's captain of the day, Billy Walker. In Walker's autobiography, he wrote:

There were no rules for Pongo. Nobody knew what time he would turn up for training—ten o'clock, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, it made no odds. Nobody on the staff could do anything with him although I think I can claim, as the captain in his days, to be the only person able to handle him. He was a funny lad indeed. We started the weeks training on Tuesday mornings and every Tuesday he followed a habit which he could never break. He would go round all the refreshment bars on the ground and finish off the lemonade customers, storing the remains in the bottles! Then he would start a little of his training—but that seldom lasted very long.

Later clubs[edit]

In November 1935, Waring went to Barnsley, angering many Villa fans and prompting 5,000 of them to call for his return to the club. After a spell at Barnsley, Waring also played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers (for a second time), Accrington Stanley, Bath City, Ellesmere Port Town, Graysons, Birkenhead Docks and Harrowby. He guested for New Brighton in 1939–40, and after the war he returned for a second spell with Ellesmere Port Town.[1]

International career[edit]

Waring was also capped five times by England.


He died in December 1980 at the age of 74. His ashes were scattered in the Holte End goal mouth before a game against Stoke City.


  1. ^ "Visitors Score Ten Goals". Formby Times. 13 April 1946. 

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