Born at Alexandria, Dunbartonshire on February 18, 1931, John Johnston Ryden played junior football for Denhny Juveniles and Duntocher Hibernians prior to signing for Alloa as a part time player on May 13, 1950.
He remained at the Scottish Division ‘B’ club until February, 1954, when offered full time terms by Accrington Stanley - then members of the old Third Division (North). A virtual ever-present for Accrington, netting once in 80 League outings, he arrived at White Hart Lane for a reputed £8,400 fee on November 2, 1955.
Following a spell in our Combination side he scored on his senior debut at Preston on Easter Monday 1956. Although on our books for five and a half years his senior opportunities were condensed into a three year period. The last of his 68 first team appearances came against Leeds United on March 14, 1959.
John captained our second string throughout the 1959-60 and 1960-61 seasons taking his Combination appearance total to 118 matches.
In June, 1961, he signed for Watford, netting once in 24 League games for the Hertfordshire outfit. He started a three year spell at Southern League club Romford during October, 1962, and later had stints at Tunbridge Wells (1965-66) and as player/manager of Bexley United (1966-67).
On leaving the game John stayed in Kent, working for a Maidstone based finance company while living at Orpington. He had resided at Keston, Kent, in recent years and made regular visits to our Legends Lounge at White Hart Lane until ill health prevented him from doing so.
John Ryden passed away at home on August 16. He is survived by wife Mary and daughters Pat, Fiona, Nell and Oonagh.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
With thanks to Club Historian, Andy Porter.