Former England and QPR keeper Ron Springett has died after a short illness at the age of 80.
A true west Londoner, born and raised in Lillie Road, Fulham, Springett was capped 33 times for his country between 1959-1966 and was one half of a unique transfer deal in 1967 when he came back to Rangers, his first club, and his younger brother Peter went to Ron’s club Sheffield Wednesday in return.
It was at Wednesday, Springett senior enjoyed his heyday as the England custodian. Note his fine game against Italy in 1961 (below).
In fact, had it not been for a disastrous outing against France in 1963 when England lost 5-2, Alf Ramsey’s first game in charge, Springett might have been the keeper to pick up a World Cup winner’s medal in 1966.
But lurking in the wings was a certain Gordon Banks, and Springett and by '66 was understudy to the man whose name is synonymous with England’s greatest day.
In 2009, the rules changed allowing every squad member to receive a belated medal, and Springett along with the non-players in the 4-2 win over West Germany got theirs at 10 Downing Street.
In an exclusive interview with GetWestLondon, Springett joked he would flog his to the first person who came up with £80,000, such was the going rate found by eight of the England team, including George Cohen at Fulham.
On a second personal note and in a different time, yours truly was a teacher at a comprehensive in Richmond.
A first nervous day found me in front of a year seven class, who were every bit as anxious.
There was one name on the register that sprang out, and to break the ice I jokingly asked whether Robin Springett was a good goalkeeper?
“No,” came back a girl’s voice, “but my dad was. He played for England.”
RIP Ron Springett: July 22, 1935 - September 12, 2015
Have you any memories of Ron Springett? Did you see him play?