On this day in 1917 one of Wales’ most talented footballers was born in Cwm near Ebbw Vale.
Ron Burgess was spotted by Tottenham Hotspur whilst playing for his local side, Cwm Villa, and was whisked of to London at the age of 19.
In 1939 he made his debut and became an instant hit at White Hart Lane.
Like most footballers of his generation, the best years of his footballing career were lost to the Second World War, but when peace broke out again, Burgess found himself a key part of Spurs’ plans.
Installed as the captain, Burgess led the Spurs team to the Second Division title and promotion to the First Division in 1950 before the famous ‘push and run’ style won Spurs the League title the following season.
Between 1946 and 1954, Burgess won 32 caps for Wales, most of them as captain, missing just two international matches in eight seasons.
In addition, he became the first Welshman to represent the Football League XI and in the 1947 game between Great Britain and The Rest of Europe played at Hampden Park, Glasgow to celebrate the Home Nations’ return to Fifa, Burgess was one of only two Welsh players included in the GB side.
In 1954 Burgess moved to Swansea Town and later became player-manager at The Vetch but he wasn’t as succesful a manager as he was a player.
His best managerial moment was at Watford where he led the side to the Fourth Division title in 1959 and the following season took the Hornets to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Burgess also acted as caretaker manager of the Wales national team for one match in 1965 due to the unavailability of team manager Dave Bowen.
Wales thumped Northern Ireland 5-0 at Windsor Park with Burgess in the hot seat meaning his record as Welsh team manager is probably the best of any manager before or since!