Spurs great Ron Burgess honoured in Wales
12 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
The great Ron Burgess will be honoured in Wales today (Wednesday).
Our legendary former half-back and captain of our 'push and run' team that won the First Division title back in 1950-51, Ron's contribution to Welsh football will be recognised with the unveiling of a plaque by Gwent County Council at the Cwm Welfare Ground where he was born in Cwm, Ebbw Vale.
Ron's is an incredible story.
He joined the junior staff at the club as a forward back in 1936 but after 12 months, was told he wouldn't make the grade.
As he prepared to return home, he popped into White Hart Lane to watch the A team play.
The A team were short, Ron filled in at half-back - playing that position for the first time - and the rest is history.
He signed professional forms in 1938, made his debut at Norwich on February 2, 1939 and went on to make 324 appearances in all competitions, scoring 16 goals.
An inspirational skipper, Ron led from the front as we won the Second Division title in 1949-50 and the big prize in 1950-51 under Arthur Rowe.
He also captained Wales and between 1946 and 1958 missed only two internationals. He was the first Welshman to play for the Football League representative team and also played for Great Britain against the Rest of Europe.
Ron moved back to Wales in a player-coaching role at Swansea in 1954, eventually taking over as manager. He was instrumental in the arrival of two further Spurs legends - Cliff Jones and Pat Jennings - Cliff switched to Spurs from Swansea in 1958 and Ron was manager at Watford when we signed Pat in 1964. He passed away in February, 2005.
Cliff gave us this tribute this week.
"I’ll bring Bill Nicholson straight in at this point and when he spoke about Spurs players he always said one of the greatest players Spurs ever had was Ron Burgess and coming from Bill, that’s important and means a lot.
"As a player, he was integral to the ‘push and run’ team that won the title and he was all-action, defensive then he’d move into midfield to join the attack. He was a like Dave Mackay and so influential to that team at that time.
"Ron was the manager of Swansea when I was transferred to Tottenham.
"He’d come down a couple of years earlier as a coach, he was also captain of the Welsh team when I first played in 1955. He was a special player.
"I can remember when I was transferred to Tottenham there were quite a few clubs in for me - Arsenal, Wolves, Manchester United - and Ron said to me ‘do yourself a favour, sign for Tottenham, they will suit your style of play’.
"He was a special character and a special player and it’s great that he’s been recognised by Gwent because he was a true Welshman. It’s thoroughly deserved."