Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – John Ryan

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For the latest in our ongoing series covering those who have achieved legendary status among the support, we feature another former player who became a fans favourite.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton, Kevin Nicholls, Tony Read and Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton and Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson and Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston and Paul Futcher

The latest Hatter to be featured is John Ryan, as suggested by Trevor Bradley.

Every side that has aspirations of being a successful one needs a player who is capable of producing 7 out of 10 performances every game, a Mr Dependable, as they say.

John Ryan was one such player, rarely the star of the show but somebody who does his business, much to the gratitude of the support.

John’s professional career didn’t start as he’d have hoped, after joining Arsenal, from Maidstone United, he never actually played a first team game for the Gunners being restricted to reserve team matches.

A move to Fulham, in 1965, saw the same scenario played out and in 1969, probably as something of a gamble, Luton Town signed John on a free transfer.

John was to remain at Kenilworth Road until 1976, having established himself as a fans favourite.

Playing as a full-back, his runs down the wing, in support of the attack, stood him well and allied with his shooting ability he proved to be a formidable part of the side.

Sadly, all good things come to an end, and in 1976, for a fee of £60,000 he joined Norwich City.

Whilst with the Carrow Road outfit, John was converted, successfully, to a midfield role, did Luton miss that particular trick?

Later on in his career, John took on the role of player manager at Cambridge United and racked up an unusual statistic being sent off on three occasions in five games, I doubt that feat will ever be matched by anybody.

John Ryan, Mr Dependable, and someone who rarely, when selected, let the club down.

Please feel free to view the following clip of John scoring a spectacular goal a placed in the public domain by the wonderful people of LUTON VIDS

John Ryan – Mini Fact File

Name – John Gilbert Ryan

Date of Birth – 20-July-1947

Position – Defender / Midfielder

Career – Maidstone United, Arsenal, Fulham, Luton Town, Norwich City, Sheffield United, Manchester City, Stockport County (player coach), Chester City (player coach), Cambridge United, Seattle Sounders

Managerial Career – Cambridge United, Sittingbourne, Dulwich Hamlett, Dover Athletic

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of John Ryan, please feel free to do so in the comment facility beneath this article.

If you can think of anyone who deserves nominating for coverage in this ongoing series, please drop their name into the comment facility beneath this article.

My thanks go to those who have already nominated faces from the past, they will all be covered, in time.

Next up in the series will be – Marvin Johnson suggested by Alan R


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – Not The Way To Win Friends And Admirers

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1 comment

  • jimbo says:

    i always remember him running like crazy down the wing, with his sleeves rolled up, always pressing forward. very good player for luton.COYH.

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