Ex-Sun­der­land AFC club sec­re­tary dies at 83

‘HE SAID WORK­ING AT THE CLUB WERE AMONG HIS BEST DAYS IN FOOT­BALL’

Sunderland Echo - - News - By David Al­li­son david.al­li­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @davi­dal­li­son88

The man who was Sun­der­land AFC club sec­re­tary at the time of the team’s 1973 FA Cup tri­umph has died.

Ron Lin­ney passed away peace­fully on Novem­ber 10 at the age of 83.

Ron, who was orig­i­nally from Birm­ing­ham, started his ca­reer as an ac­coun­tant be­fore be­com­ing as­sis­tant sec­re­tary at As­ton Villa.

He was ap­pointed to the post of club sec­re­tary at SAFC in Oc­to­ber 1970 and went on to work closely with var­i­ous managers in­clud­ing Alan Brown, Bob Stokoe, Jimmy Adam­son, Dave Mer­ring­ton, Ken Knighton and Alan Dur­ban.

Dur­ing the glory days of the 1973 FA Cup run, Ron would be in­un­dated with ticket re­quests and the night be­fore tick­ets for the fi­nal went on sale he and his as­sis­tant left at mid­night to a huge crowd queu­ing to be the first to get theirs.

He made sure be­fore he left that all fans had their vouch­ers stamped to avoid queue jumpers.

They were back in the of­fice at 7am the next morn­ing.

His son Peter said that he al­ways ar­gued that if he had had the staff and the po­lice pres­ence, he would have opened up the ticket of­fice there and then.

Ron en­joyed some mem­o­rable times at Sun­der­land and struck up many great friend­ships with both play­ers and of­fi­cials of the cup­win­ning team, with the late Ian Porter­field, who scored the win­ner in the fi­nal against Leeds United, his next door neigh­bour for many years.

Af­ter Sun­der­land won the cup he had the tro­phy locked in the po­lice cells overnight for safe­keep­ing, which at the time was a se­cret.

His wife Sylvia along with oth­ers dec­o­rated the team bus for the home­com­ing.

Af­ter the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion pro­mo­tion-win­ning sea­son of 1975/1976, Ron was in­volved with mak­ing ar­range­ments for and ac­com­pa­ny­ing of­fi­cials and play­ing staff on a world tour.

Ron’s son Peter, who lives in Far­ring­don, said: “My dad was a happy-go-lucky sort of per­son who had a big hearty laugh, which ev­ery­one knew him for.

“He al­ways said that work­ing at Sun­der­land were among his best days in foot­ball. We’ve had so many lovely mes­sages to say what a great man he was, which we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate.”

Pop­u­lar Ron left Sun­der­land in 1981 and later took up the role of gen­eral man­ager at Hull City FC, be­fore leav­ing in 1986.

Ron leaves be­hind Sylvia, daugh­ter Su­san, Peter, sonin-law Gary and grand­sons Jonathon and Matthew.

A ser­vice will be held on Fri­day, Novem­ber 24, at St Chad’s Church, Durham Road, East Her­ring­ton, Sun­der­land, at 10.15am fol­lowed by a cre­ma­tion at Sun­der­land Cre­ma­to­rium.

For­mer SAFC club sec­re­tary Ron Lin­ney with the FA Cup and, in­set, Ron with wife Sylvia, daugh­ter Su­san and son Peter.

Ron,far­right­back­row,with­the1973FACup-win­ningteam.

Sun­der­land­cap­tainBob­byKer­ryafter­win­ningth­eFACup,May5,1973.

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