- Born: 15 January 1929, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England
- Died: 9 June 2001, Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, England
Signed from Port Vale by Jack Smith, Ronald Allen was known as “The Complete Footballer” and the kingpin of Albion’s wonderful attack in the 1950s. Ronnie filled every forward position for the club, with center-forward undoubtedly being his best. He possessed a powerful shot in both feet, was a superb volleyer of the ball, and an ace penalty-taker, scoring well over 40 times from the spot for Albion.
The Driving Force Behind Albion’s Impressive Attack
He won five England caps between 1952-54 and also represented the Football League, the England ‘B’ team, the FA XI, and the R.A.F. Ronnie earned an FA Cup winners’ medal in 1954 when his two goals helped Albion beat Preston 3-2 at Wembley. In 1967, he led Wolves back into the First Division, and two years later, he was with Bilbao when they carried off the Spanish Cup.
For Albion alone, Ronnie, a huge favorite with the fans, appeared in 415 League games, all in Division One, and he scored 208 goals – a club record that stood for 17 years until Tony Brown surpassed it in 1978. Ronnie also played in 42 FA Cup-ties, scoring 23 goals, and he hit a splendid hat-trick in the 1954 Charity Shield game against Wolves (4-4).
During his magnificent career, Ronnie amassed a grand total of 637 League appearances (276 goals), and in all matches including friendlies, he totaled well over 800 appearances, scoring 354 times. Ronnie holds the unique record of being the only player to have scored in each of the first twenty post-war seasons (1945/6 to 1964/5 inclusive).
He was the First Division’s top marksman in 1954/5 with 27 goals. The two goals he scored in the 1954 FA Cup final sealed Ronnie’s place in Albion folklore. After he scored the penalty in the final, the referee turned to him and said: “If you had missed, I would have ordered a retake because the keeper moved.” Ronnie turned to him and said, “If you had done that, you could have taken it yourself.”
One of his most memorable goals came against Aston Villa on 29th April 1959, with almost the last kick of the game, relegating Villa to Division 2. Ronnie came back to Albion as manager on two occasions, from June 1977 to December 1977, during which he set the foundations for the team that Ron Atkinson took to third place in the league. His second spell came after Atkinson left to join Manchester United. He made his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers (home) in Division 1 on 4th March 1950, scoring in a 1-1 draw.
A Leader On and Off the Field
Ronnie Allen’s influence on West Bromwich Albion transcended his playing days. After retiring as a player, he returned to the club as a manager on two occasions, displaying exceptional leadership skills and footballing acumen. His managerial tenure set the foundation for future success, playing a pivotal role in the club’s ascent within the footballing hierarchy.
An Enduring Legacy of Greatness
As an Albion legend, Ronnie Allen’s legacy continues to resonate with fans who fondly remember him as a complete footballer, a prolific goal-scorer, and a true icon of the club’s rich history. His remarkable career at West Bromwich Albion serves as an eternal source of inspiration for generations of players and fans, keeping the spirit of greatness alive within the Baggies’ heart and soul.
Ronnie Allen scored an impressive 208 goals in 415 League appearances for West Bromwich Albion, a club record that stood for 17 years.
Ronnie’s exceptional versatility allowed him to excel in various forward positions, making him a complete player capable of leading Albion’s attack in multiple roles.
Ronnie holds a unique record of being the only player to score in each of the first twenty post-war seasons (1945/6 to 1964/5 inclusive), showcasing his extraordinary consistency as a goal-scorer.
Ronnie’s managerial stints at West Bromwich Albion set the foundations for future success, including guiding the team to a third-place finish in the league.