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Ron Saunders Returns Part 2

Ron Saunders Returns Part 2

In summing up the “Saunders Years” did he leave as a legacy at Villa?

In a recent Interview by one of Villas former players and legend Tony Morley. He states the following about his former manager:-

“Villa now have the chance to pay homage to the finest manager in the clubs history. Ron Saunders left Villa under unfortunate circumstances, had he stayed I have no doubt that Aston Villa and not Liverpool would have been the team of the 80’s”

Saunders resigned when he found out his contract had been modified by the then Chairman Ron Bendall.

*If memory serves me right Saunders wanted to keep his three year rolling contract*. Bendall left the club in late 82, I often wonder if the fall out with Saunders helped to make his mind up with regard to his future at the club.

Morley continues:- “I liked Ron he was ruthless but always for the right reasons. He is also Interested to see how Ron Saunders will react to meeting Ellis again, Ellis who left as Chairman earlier this year after selling the club to Randy Lerner has had an uneasy relationship with some of the players from the team of 1980-82 and did not always see eye to eye with Saunders.'

Ellis was Chairman from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1982 to 2006 either side of Villas most successful period in recent years. Visitors to Villa Park and Bodymoor Heath are often surprised there are NOT too many photograph of the Championship and European Cup winning sides.

For me personally as a Villa Supporter I never got the chance to say “Thank you” to Ron Saunders for what he gave me as a Villa Supporter through his time at the club. He was there one minute and gone the next.

The club owes Saunders a debt of gratitude for what he achieved during the “Saunders Years” Moreover, I hope on Saturday he is delighted with the reception he receives on his return to Villa Park. There will be grown men shedding tears as the memories of Morley, Mortimer Withe and Shaw come flooding back across the pitch. I hope he goes’ onto the pitch one more time for the Thank You he never got 24 long years ago.

Ron Saunders has been badly treated by the Management of Aston Villa for far too long, even in the Aston Villa History “A Complete Record “ Ron Saunders achievements are not as fully recognised as they should have been. The sad thing for me on a personal level is if he had been left alone to manage the Villa team he could have achieved much much more than he did and his legacy could have matched that of Bill Shankley, Bob Paisley, Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson, the Name Ron Saunders should have been allowed to have the chance to be up there with the all time greats of English football Management.

And finally

This is not the whole story, many people may have differing memories and should write them down and post them. Some say he was a dour man, this has mainly come from the press of the day who Ron Saunders had scant regard for and cared not they painted a picture of a morose manager.

By col8

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Monday December 18 2006
Time: 11:52AM


Great stuff, Col. I'll be one of the grown men shedding a tear at Villa Park on Saturday. Who knows what Villa would have achieved had Saunders remained at the club ? Let's all give the old fella a rousing reception on his belated return.
18/12/2006 12:33:00
Lets just pray his reception isnt spoilt by the Burberry boys singing '***** on the city!"
18/12/2006 13:32:00
Can't tell you how p****d off I am that due to family Christmas commitments I wont be there saturday. probably just as well though, dont want the kids to see daddy crying as I surely would if I was there.
18/12/2006 14:04:00
At the time of Ron's appointment (summer 1974) I was totally against it. What you have to remember is that a certain Brian Clough wanted the job and I was very dissappointed when he wasn't given it, but not surprised - well Ellis (Mr. Aston Villa) could not stand anyone grabbing the attention from him! Just as people have alluded to in previous posts, we will never know what might have happened if Ron had been left to manage from 1982, also, we will never know what might have happened if Mr. Big Head had been given the job in 1974!
18/12/2006 14:18:00
Don't know about sat, a tear rolls down from my eye now. you git Col. Thanks for that, great article, and nice for the younger fans to get a history lesson, I envisage you in a candle lit vault deep under Villa Park in a hooded long robe, oh keeper of the scrolls, guardian of our history. UTV
18/12/2006 15:23:00
Ruthless for the right reasons! Great quote from Tony Morley.
18/12/2006 15:33:00
18/12/2006 15:46:00
There were no pictures at Bodymoor untill a couple of weeks ago when MON was given permission to put some up.
18/12/2006 16:08:00
Dad took me to the Villa for the first time to see Peter Withe's home debut for the club 1980-81 season - and what a season it was! Whenever we played football as kids in the park, they all wanted to be Dalglish or Keegan. I just wanted to be Gary Shaw or Tony Morley or Gordon Cowans. That really was a class team - I could never understand why the press played it all down with their 'villa never won it, Ipswich threw it away' crap. We deserved it that season and Ron was just..The best way I could sum up Ron Saunders is to say that you had total trust in the man. I never once questioned anything he did. He was the gaffer and his program notes summed up this working class work ethic he had - team-work (and they all were together as one bunch of lads) and will to win would see you through but boy, they could play too. You knew he'd get us through anything. He had a bit of a "strict headmaster" type image but you also knew he had a very cheeky dry sense of humour too. He would wind up Morley non-stop but look at the result of that? Ron should come on the pitch, walk up the Holte End and take a bow because he deserves the massive cheer he's sure to get. And while he's there, could he rip down the Doug Ellis stand sign and change the name to the Ron Saunders stand?
18/12/2006 16:11:00
A disaplinarian in the Ferguson mould. You got the distinct impression that if we played bad in the first half, Ron would lay into them. Mortified when he went to the noses though. But didn't he take them down? A masterplan perhaps.
18/12/2006 16:50:00
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