Ron Atkinson | After Dinner And Speaking EngagementsRonald Atkinson was born in 1939 and is a former English professional football player and manager. Well known for his time in football management, he was born in Liverpool and possesses great charisma and sparkle. He is also well known for his time as one of the country's most loved football pundits. His idiosyncratic use of the English language has led to the term Ronglish to be used for his unusual terminology and phrases. He has two nicknames - 'Big Ron' and 'Bojangles'!
Although a Merseysider by birth Ron grew up in Birmingham and he signed for Aston Villa at the age of seventeen. However, he never played a first team match for them and in 1959 he transferred to Oxford United. His younger brother Graham also played for Headington, as the team was known in those days. Ron made hundreds of appearances for the club and earned himself the nickname of 'The Tank'. He became captain of the club and saw their rise from Southern League to the Second Division in only six years. This was a somewhat impressive achievement!
Although Ron's time as a player at Oxford United should be recognised, it was his role in management that he is best remembered for. Ron managed a number of clubs during the late twentieth century and had considerable success in the process. His first managerial role was at Kettering Town in 1971. At the young age of thirty two he demonstrated that he was very capable in this role, and in 1974 he moved to Cambridge United. Here he was also successful and in 1978 he took on the role as manager of First Division West Bromwich Albion. He guided the team to third place in the league in 1979 and also to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
In 1981 Ron became the manager of Manchester United. A complete opposite to his predecessor David Sexton, he was easy going and possessed an extrovert character. He did well in his five seasons for the team - in fact they never finished worse than fourth in the league! In the 1982-1983 season they won the FA Cup, and in 1983-1984 they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup. Ron is also credited with signing one of Manchester United best ever players - Bryan Robson. In 1986 Ron was replaced by Alex Ferguson and he returned to West Bromwich Albion where he spent one year.
Following this brief return to West Bromwich, Ron had a high profile move to Atletico Madrid. He subsequently went on to manage Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Coventry City and Nottingham Forest.
After retirement from management Ron continued to work as a football pundit entertaining audiences with his idiosyncratic use of phrases (the aforementioned Ronglish or Ronisms!). He worked on ITV and covered a number of live matches.
Ron is a superb after dinner speaker who is available for speaking, corporate events, and question and answer sessions.
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