the home of cult football
Atky, Noadesy, Saundersy. Our top ten managers called Ron...
One of the game's biggest characters, 'Big Ron' or 'Mr Bojangles' had a reputation for free-flowing teams and free-flowing jewellery. His most high profile job was Man Utd but what he did at Sheffield Wednesday shouldn't be underestimated - single-handedly changing them from a kick and run outfit to one of the best footballing sides of the early 90's. Just don't mention the Desailly debacle. Doh !
One of football's legends. Now retired from the management game, he works as a tv pundit alongside his dour Scottish counterpart, Tommy Stein, mostly comparing the modern game with the good old days - "it's a far cry from small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts. Isn't it? Mmmmm. Marvellous." etc.
Better known as a chairman, Noades has actually had 2 stints as a manager. His first managerial post (possibly, one of the most bizarre appointments ever), came in 1998 at Crystal Palace. Noades had done a deal to sell the club to Mark Goldberg - and what a 'deal' it was ! For £22m Noades sold him the club (but not the stadium), lent him £5m to do the deal and then used a Chinese-burn to persuade him to replace the ridiculous Lombardo/Brolin partnership with the equally ludicrous Lewington/Noades. Noades promised to give the players the biggest boot up the backside since Father Ted connected so sweetly with Bishop Brennan's behind, but after losing their opening two InterToto games to the mighty Samsunspor they were replaced by Terry Venables. Noades' managerial credentials were raised in 1998 though, when he took over as chairman at Brentford, made himself the gaffer, and achieved promotion to league 1.
An under-rated Ron, Saunders rebuilt Aston Villa in the 70's and early 80's, culminating in the club winning its first league title since 1910. Sometimes you wonder if Claudio Ranieri and Rafa Benitez have ever heard the old adage about sticking to settled side - well Saunders had; he used only 14 players that season. And were they tired ? Pah ! The likes of Tony Morley and Peter Withe laughed in the face of tiredness, and young Gary Shaw would have cried if Saunders had suggested resting him. Doug Ellis rewarded Saunders in his own inimitable way - by arguing over his contract, and the following season he was gone - resigning just before Villa's greatest moment - their 1982 European Cup triumph. Whilst Tony Barton will go down in history as the man who lead them to glory over Bayern Munich, unofficially it will always be known as Saunders' team. Flirtations with local rivals Birmingham and West Brom followed, and after he was sacked by the latter in 1987 he never returned to management.
The only international Ron to make our top ten, which says everything you need to know about the man. 5 times winner of the prestigious Rotterdam Ron of the Year award , he was given the award permanently in 1999 and told never to come back.
West Ham's gaffer from 1961-74, Greenwood is considered one of English football's finest coaches. At club level he won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup, as well as developing a fine array of local talent such as Martin Peters and Bobby Moore. He was handed the reigns to the national job in 1977, and despite going through the 1982 World Cup finals unbeaten, he resigned afterwards and didn't manage again.
Tipped for greatness at the turn of the century as he transformed the fortunes of unfashionable Rotherham from a team previously associated only with the Chuckle Brothers, to one that could actually compete with their dancy-Dan Sheffield neighbours. However, things started to turn sour when he managed to make a complete ar*e of himself at the hands of a prank phone call - allegedly offered the vacant Ipswich job by their chairman, Moore told a national radio station that he would be delighted to accept the job, only to discover that the real chairman had no intention of offering the post to the over-excitable Scouser.
One of the original Ron Manager's, and one of the best, his colourful managerial career took him all over the place, starting with Wolves in the mid 60's, and then a whole series of intriguing appointments, including 4 years basque-ing it up with Athletic Bilbao, the Saudi national team, a stint with Greek giants Panathinaikos and then back to the black country with West Brom, the club he'd starred at during playing career. Part of West Brom's fantastic Don-John-Ron-Ron-Ron-Ron-John sequence of managers in the 70's and 80's.
Former assistant to the Warnock-loathing Stan Ternent, this particular Ron got his big chance at Gillingham when first Ternent, and then Neale Cooper, left the role. Jepson, using all the tactical nous he'd learnt from his playing days alongside Andy Booth at Huddersfield, managed to get the club up to mid-table safety. However, 5 defeats from 6 saw a Ron resignation in September 2007.
Not technically a Ron, but it rhymes and he looked like one.
We nearly went for Ronus Michels, the slightly less talented brother of Rinus. But he's an IT manager, allegedly, so he doesn't count.
From the 70's to the 80's, West Brom had an extraordinary sequence of Don-John-Ron Managers...
So there you are, Don-John-Ron-Ron-Ron-Ron-John.
This was ruined by the appointment of Nobby Stiles in 1985. However, just imagine if Nobby's actual name was Nonny...
Ah yes, if only... Don-John-Ron-Ron-Ron-Ron-John-Non-Ron-Ron.