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Author:  SOUTH OSSETTIAN [ Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:18 pm ]

you've all seen the goal he scored, it won the goal of the season competition on Match of the Day and was in the title sequences of the Match of the Day. It gets shown every year, usually in January and usually when its the 3rd round of the FA cup and that man spent 4 years with Ossett Albion at the end of his playing career.

Ronnie Radford was born in South Elmsall in 1943. He was on the books of Sheffield Wednesday until joining Leeds United in October 1961 (Don Revie had been appointed manager in March 1961). He never played in the first team and in 1963 Ronnie went to play for Cheltenham Town in the Southern League Division 1. Cheltenham win promotion to the Premier Division in 1964. To indicate how strong the Southern League was at this time, German keeper Bert Trautmann was on a monthly contract with Wellington Town (later Telford United). In 1965, Ronnie transferred to another Premier Division side, Rugby Town, but after a year returned to Cheltenham. In 1969, Cheltenham reached the League Cup final, losing to Cambridge United, but they were also relegated back to Division 1. Ronnie signed for Newport County in Division 4 in July 1969.

At Newport, Ronnie played 41 games in the 1969-70 season, scoring 4 goals. Newport finished in 21st and had to seek re-election back to the Football League. Bradford Park Avenue weren't so lucky and they were replaced by Cambridge United. Ronnie was voted Player of the Year at Newport. Other notable names at Newport at that time include Steve Aizlewood, who later played for Swindon & Portsmouth and is the older brother of former Leeds &Wales midfielder Mark Aizlewood; Ray Mabbutt, who had played for Yorkshire Amateurs while doing his national service up here and is the father of Gary Mabbutt the former Tottenham & England defender and Kevin Mabbutt (Bristol City & Crystal Palace). Also, Bobby Ferguson a full back from Newcastle who took over from Bobby Robson as Ipswich manager in 1982 and died aged 80 this year.

In 1970-71, Newport again finished in the re-election zone, in 22nd. Ronnie played 34 games and scored 4 goals. Newport were re-elected but Ronnie moved back into the Southern League to join Hereford United.

Author:  SOUTH OSSETTIAN [ Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:35 pm ]

Hereford were managed by the Leeds, Juventus & Wales legend John Charles. He had been with Hereford since 1966 first as a player then replacing Bob Dennison as manager a year or so later. Hereford had tried to join Football League before but had failed to make headway before in the election process, where the 92 Football League chairmen would vote on whether to keep in the bottom 4 clubs in Division 4 or elect a suitable club out of non league. John Charles surprisingly resigned in October 1971 and was replaced by former Sheffield United striker Colin Addison. Hereford regularly attracted attendances of over 6000 and they came to national attention with their run in the FA Cup. After beating Northampton Town, they were drawn away at Division 1 Newcastle United.

Newcastle's cup pedigree was undoubted. 3 years earlier they had won the Inter City Fairs Cup beating the likes of Feyenoord, Sporting Lisbon, real Zaragoza, Vitoria Setubal, Glasgow Rangers and Ujpesti Dozsa from Hungary. The previous season Newcastle had knocked Inter Milan out of the Fairs Cup. The match at St James Park ended 2-2 and the replay was scheduled for the following Saturday and the BBC cameras and a young commentator called John Motson was there to do brief highlights for Match of the Day later that night. On a muddy pitch a very strong Newcastle side - Liam McFaul, David Craig, Frank Clark, Irving Nattrass, Pat Howard, Bobby Moncur, Viv Busby, Tony Green, Malcolm Macdonald, John Tudor and Terry Hibbitt - struggled against the part timers from Hereford. Supermac scored for Newcastle, Ronnie scored his wonder goal from 30 yards out and former Barnet striker Ricky George scored the winner. Hereford, and the nation, went potty and match of the day upgraded the game from a brief report at the end of the programme to the main feature. Newcastle were that annoyed, the next week they went to Old Trafford and beat Manchester United 2-0, their first win there since 1951.

In the next round, Hereford were drawn against another club with a famous cup pedigree, West Ham United. The game at Edgar Street ended 0-0 and in the replay the Hammers had the following side out - Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore, Harry Redknapp, Clyde Best, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking and Bryan 'pop' Robson. West Ham won 3-0 with Geoff Hurst scoring a hat trick. If it's good enough for West Germany, its good enough for Hereford. West Ham then lost to soon to be relegated Huddersfield in the next round. By the way, the Bobby Ferguson in the West Ham team was a Scottish keeper.

Author:  SOUTH OSSETTIAN [ Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:57 pm ]

Hereford's cup exploits had created a fixture backlog and they were overtaken by Chelmsford City who won the Southern League title. When Hereford applied to join the Football League, they were voted in at the expense of Barrow.

Their first season in Division 4 was a huge success, finishing in 2nd and winning promotion to Division 3. Ronnie played in 32 games and scored 3 goals. Playing for Hereford in goal this season was a young keeper from Coventry City called David Icke, he played most of the season before retiring due to arthritis. The following season, 1973-74, Hereford struggled in Division 3 and finished 18th. Ronnie played 39 games and scored 3 goals. Ronnie left Hereford and returned to the Southern League as player manager of Worcester City. His time there was not a success and by December he had reverted back to playing only, with another Southern League side, Bath City. He later played for Forest Green Rovers though its not known if they were still in the Gloucestershire League or the Hellenic League by that stage.

Ronnie was a joiner and carpenter by trade and he eventually returned to Yorkshire, living near Wakefield. In 1984, he joined Ossett Albion as a coach, the manager was John Ogilvie. More often that not, Ronnie would stand at the other side of the pitch from the dug out and watch the game from there. Everyone knew he was and tended to leave him alone, except when it was FA cup day and Football Focus had shown his goal again, then a rare smile would break out on his face, when people mentioned it. I never saw him play for Albion, but evidently he did play the occasional game, form what I could gather, usually at the end of the season when a number of Albion players would off to play cricket then Ronnie would have a game, I'm sure someone like Neville Wigglesworth or Geoff Pyke could confirm or deny that.

Albion won the Division 1 title in 1987 but they had a difficult couple of years in the Premier Division after that. At one point Ronnie took over as manager but I don't know how long that was for. I think he had left Albion by 1988 or 1989.

With John Motson due to retire from the BBC this year, I'm sure that goal is going to be shown again and again in the next few weeks.

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