The Full Wiki

Ron Saunders: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ron Saunders
Personal information
Full name Ronald Saunders
Date of birth 6 November 1932 (1932-11-06) (age 77)
Place of birth    Birkenhead, England
Playing position Striker
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Tonbridge Angels
Charlton Athletic
003 00(0)
049 0(20)
236 (145)
039 0(18)
065 0(24)   
Teams managed
Yeovil Town
Oxford United
Norwich City
Manchester City
Aston Villa
Birmingham City
West Bromwich Albion

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Ron Saunders (born 6 November 1932 in Birkenhead, Cheshire) is an English football player and successful manager. He remains the only manager to have taken charge of Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion, normally bitter rivals.


Playing career

As a player, he was a hard-shooting centre forward. He scored over 200 goals in 13 years as a centre-forward for Everton, Gillingham, Portsmouth, Watford and Charlton Athletic.[1] Saunders was leading goalscorer for six consecutive seasons at Portsmouth[2] and his goals were a key factor in helping Pompey win the Third Division title in 1962.[3] He remains their third highest goalscorer to this day.[citation needed] He retired from playing in 1967, when with Charlton, and became manager at non-league Yeovil Town.[3]

Norwich City

As a manager Saunders first tasted success at Norwich City, guiding them to the Second Division title in 1972, which saw them promoted to the First Division for the first time in their history. Saunders steered Norwich City to survival in their first season in the top flight. They also reached the Football League Cup final, losing 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur.[4] He resigned as Norwich manager on 17 November 1973 following a boardroom row after a 3–1 home defeat to Everton.[5]

Manchester City

Five days later, Saunders accepted an offer to take over at Manchester City.[6] They finished 14th in the First Division and for the second season running Saunders managed a team to the Football League Cup final, but once again they lost - this time to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Soon afterwards, he accepted an offer to move down to the Second Division and take charge of Aston Villa.[7]

Aston Villa

He guided Villa to promotion to the First Division (as runners-up in the Second Division) in his first season as manager, also winning the League Cup. He established them as a strong First Division club, winning the League Cup again in 1977. In 1980-81, he guided Villa to First Division title glory for the first time in 71 years.[8]

He resigned from Villa in January 1982, due to a disagreement with the board over his contract. At the time, Villa were mid table in the First Division but in the quarter-final of the European Cup. His assistant Tony Barton took over, guiding them to European Cup glory four months later.[9]

He also had a cameo role in the ATV soap opera Crossroads in 1981.[10]

Birmingham City

Surprisingly he moved straight to Villa's arch-rivals, Birmingham City. They went down in 1984 but he got them back into the top flight at the first attempt. In January 1986, Saunders walked out on struggling Birmingham to take charge of local rivals and fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion.[11]

West Bromwich Albion

He was unable to stop Albion from sliding into the Second Division and was dismissed in September 1987, after failing to get them back into the First Division. This was his last managerial role.[12]


In a friendly fixture staged as a testimonial for the recently deceased Tony Barton, Saunders appeared at Villa Park in 1994 as manager of a Villa side drawn mostly from players who had played in the European Cup final in 1982, against a West Midlands all-stars side. This was the first time he had returned to the club since his resignation some 13 years earlier.[citation needed] In December 2006, the 74-year-old Saunders was the guest of honour at Villa Park for the match between Aston Villa and Manchester United, invited by new chairman Randy Lerner.[12] He returned to Villa Park shortly after, on 5 May 2007, for the 25th anniversary celebrations of the 1982 European Cup win.[13]

His long-standing record of scoring 4 hat-tricks in one season for Tonbridge Angels was recently beaten by Jon Main.


  1. ^ "Ron Saunders". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Pompey 1st Team Squad: 1958/59". PompeyRama. Retrieved 28 January 2010. , and subsequent season pages.
  3. ^ a b Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. p. 205. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1. 
  4. ^ "Club History - 1970 to 1985". Norwich City F.C.,,10355~1025326,00.html. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Green, Geoffrey (19 November 1973). "No valid answers for collective decline". The Times: p. 8. "Last year, Norwich only just escaped relegation by a whisker and again find themselves in the shadows, made even darker on Saturday night when their manager, Ron Saunders, resigned after an angry scene in the boardroom following the 3–1 home defeat by Everton." 
  6. ^ "Derby players not to go on strike". The Times: p. 11. 23 November 1973. 
  7. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  8. ^ "Villa Legends Ron Saunders". Aston Villa F.C.,,10265~1130611,00.html. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Ward, Adam; Griffin, Jeremy. The essential history of Aston Villa. Headline. p. 129. ISBN 075531140X. 
  10. ^ "Ron Saunders". Mirror Football (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  11. ^ Matthews. Birmingham City: A Complete Record. pp. 42–44. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  12. ^ a b Jawad, Hyder (6 December 2006). "Saunders to return to Villa Park". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "O'Neill: Heroes should inspire". Express & Star (Wolverhampton). 4 May 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 


  • Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. p. 205. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1. 


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address