Ward Ralph Image 2 Bradford Park Avenue 1932

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Description

Oadby, Leicestershire born full back Ralph Ward began his career playing non league football at Kettering Town in 1926 and Hinckley United from 1927, and represented England at schoolboy level, spending time as an amateur on the Leicester City ground staff in 1928-29 without playing for their first eleven before joining Second Division Bradford Park Avenue in November 1929 from Hinckley United, where he made his Football League debut against Southampton in October 1930. He first got a significant run in the first team in 1932 and was near ever present in 1934-35. He impressed Tottenham Hotspur manager Jack Tresadern when Spurs needed a replay to overcome fellow Second Division outfit Bradford in the fifth round of the FA Cup in the February 1936 and signed for Tottenham in March 1936 after 137 appearances for The Avenue.

A tough nut, Ward sparred with the heavyweight boxer of the late 1920’s and 1930’s Reggie Meen Ward and used his physical presence to his and the team’s advantage. He weighed nearly 14 stone yet stood only a little over five feet eight inches tall. His tough approach to the game earned him the nickname “The Butcher”.

He was an ever present in 1937-38 and played for Spurs both sides of the Second World War. Ward captained Spurs side during wartime and was the club penalty taker during his time at the club, having a good scoring record from the spot. By the time he joined Crewe Alexandra in August 1946 he had scored 11 times in 135 peacetime appearances having lost 7 seasons to the War, of which 8 were penalties.

He finished his career with 3 seasons at Gresty Road scoring 7 goals in 99 appearances before joining non league Oadby Town in 1951.

 

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