Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Ron Baynham

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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, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher and John Ryan, Syd Owen, Marvin Johnson, Malcolm MacDonald, Bob Hatton, Steve Buckley and Chris Coyne.

The latest subject of our ongoing series is Ron Baynham, as suggested by Big Al.

Now I should admit I’m entering, once again, unchartered territory when it comes to looking at the career of Ron Baynham.

His spell between the posts, at Kenilworth Road, came before I had my interest in Luton Town nurtured by my late father.

However, I will admit that I’ve always had an interest in goalkeepers with, during my younger days – Tony Read, Keith Barber, Graham Horn, Jake Findlay and Milija Aleksic being heroes of mine.

Perhaps that interest was increased due to the fact I played in goal for both my junior and high schools before the offer of an evening paper round tempted me away from a possible tilt at going further in the game.

Yes, money talks!

The career of Ron Baynham has, on researching, thrown up some interesting facts.

It appears he was reluctant to begin a career in goal, rejecting advances from Wolverhampton Wanderers, a top club in the 50’s, as he doubted his own ability, despite proving his worth during his spell in the Army doing National Service.

After finally being tempted to show what he was capable of, with Worcester City, and with his confidence boosted, he accepted an offer to join Luton Town, in 1951.

It was a move that was to see Ron stay at the club for 13 years, something that is unheard of in the modern football of today.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Ron, for the first four seasons he was with the Hatters, he had to compete with Bernard Streten for the green jersey. However, his perseverance ensured he was the first choice come 1955.

Baynham went on to make an impressive 388 appearances for the Hatters and during his time with us earned 3 England caps.

Ron also kept goal for Luton Town in their only ever FA Cup Final appearance, in 1959 against Nottingham Forest.

Unfortunately, Ron was to be part of the Luton side that slipped down the divisions and ended up in the old fourth division, before retiring in 1964 at the age of 35.

Research shows that Ron is the oldest surviving player to have represented England, a fine feat may I say.

Footage of Ron keeping goal for Luton in that aforementioned FA Cup Final can be seen in the You Tube clip below, courtesy of British Pathe.

Ron Baynham – Mini Fact File

Name – Ronald Leslie Baynham

Date of Birth – 10-June-1929

Place of Birth – Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

Position – Goalkeeper

Height – 6 feet 1 inch

Career – Erdington Rovers, Bromford Amateurs, Worcester City, Luton Town

International Career – England (3 appearances)

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Ron Baynham, 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 – John Still suggested by Mad Hatterl


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – The Legends Series – Chris Coyne

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  • Nick says:

    I attended games with Ron in goal but I was young and cannot remember much apart from him bouncing the ball a lot before hoofing it upfield. However my Father and Grandfather, who watched nearly all of his home games, said he was the best goalkeeper in the league during the late 1950’s.

  • Ken says:

    Remember seeing Ron get knocked out at the Oak Road end. Once the smelling salts had brought him round he continued with the trainer holding a cigarette for him whilst the game carried on. Cannot remember who we played or the result but I wasn’t very old.

  • Steve Tierney says:

    Ron’s career was a few years before my time as a youngster following the Town at the Bobbers end, however I do recall a Scottish keeper by the name of Sandy Davie who played during the 68-70 seasons. Think he eventually ended up in New Zealand (playing for them internationally!).
    Would like to see Brian Stein on the legend series please.

  • Tony Byfield says:

    Ron Baymham was my boyhood hero, being a goalie myself. He was good in the air, his positioning was first class and distribution better than most. The clip from the Cup Final showed Luton disn’t start well and Forest deserved to win. Brendan McNally was injured in the tackle on Roy Dwight becoming mainly a passenger on the wing,
    In case anyone dosen’t know Dwight is the uncle of Elton John.

  • BigAl says:

    Hey Tony Byfield! No swear words on this site please. I think Mad Hatter might, just might, permit the words Elton Dwight :))

  • Tony Byfield says:

    Sorry BigAl but it is some years since EJ was owner of that mid table team.

    Attention MH. You make Ron Baynham 99 years old. I think you will find he was born in 1929.

  • Mark says:

    Did not Ron Baynham once suffer a fairly serious head or neck injury in the Sixties. Seem to recall my mother taking me to one side worried it might upset me as I played in goal for the school.
    Not only the oldest living player to have played for England but the only survivor of the 59 final?

  • Alan Hing says:

    I’m sure I remember him plsying as a forward in one of the really desperate times.

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