Sheffield Wednesday: Former Owls legend Ron Springett dies, aged 80

Ron Springett  former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper
Ron Springett former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper
1
Have your say

Sheffield Wednesday have lost “a great man and a great player” after the weekend passing of legendary goalkeeper Ron Springett.

Former Owls team mate David Ford led the tributes to the ex-England international who died aged 80, after a short illness, describing Springett as “a true Wednesday hero.”

Ford watched Springett from the terraces as a boyhood Wednesdayite, then became a colleague of the Londoner and said he watched in awe at the way in which Springett would bring a calm to the team when the Owls were under pressure.

“He was a great man and a great player and I was so sorry when I heard the news,” Ford said.

“I grew up as a boy supporting Wednesday and I used to watch him play - he was a great goalkeeper, a true Wednesday hero, and I saw for myself when I got into the team just how good he was.

“There was a calmness about him - when he was playing you were sure, he brought confidence to everyone else in the team.

Ron Springett , who passed away at the weekend, aged 80

Ron Springett , who passed away at the weekend, aged 80

“If we were ever under pressure he would just rise up and pluck the ball out of the air. He’d look around and had a look about him as if to say ‘what’s all the fuss about’ though he would never have said such a thing.”

Then boss Eric Taylor signed Springett from QPR in March 1958, though the keeper, who would go on to represent England at the 1962 World Cup and then feature in the squad for the home success four years later, as understudy to Sheffield-born stopper Gordon Banks, never moved north.

Such was Taylor’s desparation to bring Springett to Hillsborough that the manager made the very rare decision to allow him to remain in London and train with QPR and only meet up with the team for games.

“That tells you all you need to know about Ron,” adds Ford. “The fact that he was wanted so badly that they would do that, but also his professionalism, they knew they could trust him, that he would be there every day, working hard.”

Ron Springett

Ron Springett

Springett made 384 appearances for Wednesday, including the FA Cup final defeat to Everton in 1966, before moving back to QPR in a swap deal with his brother, Peter a year after the showpiece at Wembley. He earned 33 England caps while at Hillsborough, making his debut against Ireland at Wembley in 1959.

In 2009, Springett and his fellow non-playing squad members from the 1966 World Cup final were presented with winners’ medals in a Downing Street ceremony, following a change in policy by world governing body Fifa.

The Football Association said: “We would like to express our deepest condolences and our thoughts are with Ron’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Meanwhile, Wednesday tweeted: “A terribly sad day as we learn that club legend Ron Springett has passed away, aged 80. RIP.”

Sheffield Wednesday's 1966 FA Cup Final team, which was beaten 3-2 by Everton at Wembley,'Back row, left to right, Jim McCalliog, Peter Eustace, Ron Springett, Gerry Young, Sam Ellis, Wilf Smith;'Front row, Graham Pugh, John Fantham, Don Megson (Captain), David Ford and John Quinn

Sheffield Wednesday's 1966 FA Cup Final team, which was beaten 3-2 by Everton at Wembley,'Back row, left to right, Jim McCalliog, Peter Eustace, Ron Springett, Gerry Young, Sam Ellis, Wilf Smith;'Front row, Graham Pugh, John Fantham, Don Megson (Captain), David Ford and John Quinn

Walking back into Hillsborough former Owls legend Ron Springett

Walking back into Hillsborough former Owls legend Ron Springett