07 Dec 2019


The League Managers Association is deeply saddened to learn of the death of LMA member Ron Saunders, at the age of 87.

Ron’s career as a player and then a manager spanned 36 years, and he remains the only football manager to have led Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.

Widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest ever managers, Ron guided Aston Villa to promotion in his first season in charge and achieved two League Cups before leading Villa to their first First Division title for 71 years.

From Villa, Ron moved to Birmingham City where he gained promotion in 1985 before taking up the reins at West Bromwich Albion. He had previously managed Yeovil Town, Oxford United, Norwich City where he took the Second Division title, and Manchester City.

As a player, Ron scored more than 200 goals as a centre-forward, and was leading goalscorer for six consecutive seasons at Portsmouth.

Paying tribute, LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “I have always held Ron in very high regard and I have the utmost respect for his achievements throughout his career and, in particular, his committed service to the three Midlands rivals.

“His record of reaching the League Cup final three consecutive times with three different clubs is testament to his determination and dedication to his profession.

“The thoughts of everyone at the LMA are with Ron’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”