Cliff's tribute to Ron
29 December 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Cliff Jones has paid tribute to his double-winning team-mate and friend Ron Henry, who sadly passed away on Saturday.
A key member of the team during the glory, glory years of the early 1960s, Ron, a left-back, played 131 consecutive matches after getting his chance on November, 1959, following an injury to Mel Hopkins.
In fact, he played 187 of 188 matches for us in all competitions between November 28, 1959 and December 7, 1963, missing only the trip to Blackburn on April, 1962.
During that time he helped the club to the famous First Division championship and FA Cup double in 1961, retain the FA Cup in 1962 and create history again by lifting the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. He made a total of 287 senior appearances in all competitions between 1955-1965.
Injury finally forced Ron to retire from playing at the highest level in May, 1969 but he continued to serve in various coaching capacities. Even then, he would play whenever the opportunity presented itself and in so doing, ended up with the longest playing career of any Spurs player – he appeared in his first game for us in November, 1954 and his last in March, 1977.
Below: Ron, front left, with Cliff behind him as Danny Blanchflower and the team parade the FA Cup at Wembley in 1961
Flying winger Cliff was with him every glorious step of the way after joining the club in February, 1958 and gave us this tribute…
“Mel Hopkins was our main left-back but he picked up a severe injury playing for Wales against Scotland at Hampden Park in 1959. In came Ron and he never looked back.
“Once Mel was fit again, he couldn’t get back into team because Ron was so consistent. He made that position his own throughout what we call the ‘glory years’.
“Both Ron and Peter Baker, the full-backs, were unsung heroes of that team.
“Their performances allowed the likes of Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower to flourish from their positions because they had that security behind them. They were so dependable and Bill Nicholson knew their importance in that team.
“Ron was such a strong, powerful player. He was a great trainer, had a terrific left foot, quick feet, good judgement and was just an all-round outstanding player. I can’t remember many opponents getting the better of Ron.
“He was Tottenham through and through, Ron. He finished his National Service, joined the club and was at Spurs throughout his life, playing, coaching, he was even physio for the youth team.
“It was a special period for the club and Ron was a big part of that, an ever-present in that double team.
“It’s always sad to see a member of the team that was such a special part of the club’s history pass away and Ron was a huge part of that team.”