Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
UK version International version About the versions|Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 13:15 GMT
Obituary: Ron Greenwood
Ron Greenwood
Ron Greenwood: Manager of flair and foresight
Ron Greenwood, who has died at the age of 84, established his reputation as manager of West Ham before he was suddenly elevated to England manager - where he helped to restore the country's pride.

Born in Burnley, Lancashire, he spent nearly the whole of his career in London, where his family moved when he was 10.

After leaving school, he became an apprentice signwriter, but rapidly experienced some marked changes in his life.

No sooner had he signed for Chelsea in 1940 than he was exchanging the club strip for an RAF uniform.

He won 33 and lost 10 of his 55 England matches
He won the FA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup as a club manager
Greenwood took England through the 1982 World Cup unbeaten - but they still crashed out

Most of Greenwood's playing career after the Second World War was spent with Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham.

After retiring as a player, Greenwood was in charge of the England youth team, before he combined the roles of Arsenal first-team coach and England Under-23s manager.

In April 1961, he was appointed manager of West Ham. He spent 16 years there, taking the Hammers to FA Cup glory in 1964, beating Preston North End.

They added another honour a year later by beating TSV Munich in the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Generally, West Ham's performance in the League was not as impressive during Greenwood's reign, with sixth in 1972-73 the highest placing.

But he was an intelligent, thoughtful coach, who preached simplicity but also instilled skill and enterprise among his players.

He nurtured the talents of West Ham's famous World Cup-winning trio of Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.

Greenwood was credited with converting Hurst from a journeyman left-half into one of the world's most feared strikers.

He also helped to develop the ability of Trevor Brooking.

Quiet and methodical, Greenwood could also be tough, as he demonstrated in an incident involving Bobby Moore, five years after the legendary defender led England to World Cup glory.

It was only the intervention of the West Ham board that stopped Greenwood from transfer-listing Moore and stripping him of the captaincy after late-night drinking before an infamous Cup defeat at Blackpool.

International problems

Greenwood's outstanding coaching ability was recognised at the highest level in 1977, when he was appointed as England manager.

There was no England side in the 1978 World Cup finals, and next time round, they had to beat Hungary in Budapest to reach the final stages in Spain. They managed it 3-1.

But as several others were to discover, managing England was not easy. Too often England lost when they should not have done, and Greenwood got the blame.

Neither with West Ham nor with England did Ron Greenwood enjoy a particularly warm relationship with his players, and was regarded by some as distant and aloof.

But he believed the manager should not be one of the boys and should be firmly in charge.

If Ron Greenwood often did not enjoy the affection of players, he invariably commanded their respect.

Ex-England manager Greenwood dies
09 Feb 06 |  Football
Ron Greenwood's career in pictures
09 Feb 06 |  Photo Galleries
Tribute to a Hammers legend
09 Feb 06 |  Football

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport