Worcester City's only England international Ron Baynham passes away - The Worcester Observer

Worcester City's only England international Ron Baynham passes away

Worcester Editorial 19th Mar, 2024   0

TRIBUTES have been paid to Worcester City legend Ron Baynham, the only player in the club’s history to go on to play for England, who has passed away aged 94.

Baynham was until his death the oldest surviving England international player.

Born in Erdington on June 10, 1929, Baynham only started playing football when his brother put him in goal for their local junior team.

After success in amateur football, he was called up for National Service in the Army before signing for Bromford Amateurs upon his discharge.

City manager Jack Vinall heard Baynham he was available via another City player, Arthur Haynes, who lived near him, and he signed in August 1950.

During this time, City were in desperate financial peril and had released many of their better players.

They started the 1950/51 season badly, but Baynham quickly became first-team goalkeeper and proved his class with several excellent displays.

A match was arranged against a Stanley Matthews XI at the end of the season to raise funds, bringing Baynham to the attention of several Football League scouts.

New City manager Percy James, keen to help ease the financial burden, talked former Luton keeper Tommy Gibbon into recommending Baynham to the Hatters, who offered a fee of just over £1,000.

The City board turned down Luton’s offer at first, but under pressure from creditors, agreed to the transfer when Luton came back with fresh terms a fortnight later.

In November 1951, after 73 games, Baynham was sold to then Division Two side Luton, with the cash raised from the sale credited with helping to save City from bankruptcy.

During his time there, he earned Luton promotion to Division 1 in 1954/55 and he was rewarded with three England caps in 1956, against Denmark, Spain and Ireland.

Although he never won another England cap, he did manage to secure another day out at Wembley, winning an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1959 when Luton lost to Nottingham Forest.

After he retired in February 1965, he got a job as a painter and decorator as well as working at Luton Airport for many years.

A Worcester City spokesperson said: “Ron holds a special place in our history as he is the only City player ever to go on to appear for England at full international level.

“Although he never came back to Worcester, he deserves to be celebrated as one of the greatest players in our history.”


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