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GCR Books

Ronald Westcott: Arsenal’s unluckiest player ever of whom we know so little.

By Tony Attwood

Ronald (known as Ronnie) Wescott is a player who despite playing for Arsenal in the 1930s is a player whose entry here is going to be sadly very short, for he suffered a career ending injury in just his second game for Arsenal.

He was born on 19 September 1910 at Wallesey in Cheshire and played initially for Banbury Spencer.  I think Banbury Spencer was actually “Spencer Sports Club” which was formed in 1931 as part of a recreational and social organisation tied a local company.  By 1934/5 they had risen through the leagues to the local senior league.  In the 1960s it mutated into, or merged into Banbury United.

One news item I located says that on 5 November 1935 Arsenal signed as a professional “Ronnie Westcott, a centre forward from Banbury Spencer, the Oxfordshire amateur club, which competes in the Birmingham Combination. Westcott, who is 22 years of age, 5ft. 11in. high, and weighs 11st. 12lb”.

But Ronald Westcott’s two appearances and one goal in 1935/6 were the total of his first team appearances for Arsenal.  He was indeed seen as a promising player but he was injured in the knee in his second game, and never played again, and thus retired at the age of 26.

However Arsenal.com says, “He quickly found a new talent on the golf course, and eventually turned professional.”

His brother Dennis was also a footballer and was the league’s top scorer in 1946/7.

Here are Ronnie’s two Arsenal games…

Date Match Result Competition
28 Mar 1936 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal D 2-2 League Division One
01 Apr 1936 Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers D 1-1 League Division One

That is, I know, a very modest account of an Arsenal player of the 1930s, but it is all I can find out.  If you have anything else at all on Ronnie, including what else he did after leaving Arsenal, and indeed the date of his death so that we may record that too, I would be very grateful to receive it.

Arsenal players 1934/5 and 1935/6

The 1930s, the players, the crowds, the tactics

Arsenal in the 1930s – the complete record

 

5 comments to Ronald Westcott: Arsenal’s unluckiest player ever of whom we know so little.

  • Neil Owens

    Hi Tony
    Not much to add except Ronnie was one of eleven children 2 girls and 9 boys. My father’s brother married one of the Girls Winifred. As a child i was told about the family all of whom were sporty no fewer than 5 of the boys played professional football including Ronnie and Dennis but my aunt recalled the best footballer of all was in the army and never played professionally. My father told me of Ronnie but until now had found no reference to him, i can see why as his career with Arsenal was so short.

  • Thanks for getting in touch Neil. Do appreciate it.

  • john ward

    I met Ronnie Westcott’s son – also Ron – whilst working for the Revenue ( now HMRC), he was goalie for Carshalton. Not a lot of use I know, but an “interesting fact”. Ron was District Inspector of Croydon 4 (or 5) as I remember.

  • Every extra fact is helpful John. Many thanks.

  • Brian Spurrell

    Ron Westcott was with Callenders Sports in Belvedere (south-east London) from 1938-52 as player then coach from 1950. Ron replaced Charlie Fuller (1952 GB Olympic football captain) as manager of Erith and Belvedere FC in November 1955 (he’d played a wartime game for them in 1941). The Deres finished second bottom of the Corinthian League that season and 10th of 15 in his only full season as manager before leaving in summer 1957, replaced by Tim Davies. His best day as Deres manager was a 7-3 FA Amateur Cup win v Ely City on 12 January 1957. Re his becoming a professional golfer: while still Deres manager he missed a 1-1 League draw v Chesham on 1 September 1956 as he was busy winning the Bishop’s Bowl golf tournament at Sevenoaks! (Imagine Arsene missing a match to play golf…)

    Ron’s younger brother Dennis scored 105 goals in 128 league appearances for Wolves from 1937-48. In 1938-39 he won an FA Cup runners-up medal and scored 43 goals, a record broken by Steve Bull 50 years later. On 7 December 1946 Dennis scored four in the first half of a 5-1 Wolves win at Anfield – the last player before Andrey Arshavin to score four away to Liverpool. That same year he was one of the first players subject to Wolves manager Major Frank Buckley’s bizarre “monkey gland” injections. From 1948-53 he scored prolifically for Blackburn, Manchester City and Chesterfield.

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