England keeper nearly cost me my job

REMEMBER WHEN SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015'RON  NEARLY LOST ME MY JOB''caption: Ron Springett when  keepers could catch a ball without great mitts on and never palmed the ball to an opponent.

REMEMBER WHEN SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015'RON NEARLY LOST ME MY JOB''caption: Ron Springett when keepers could catch a ball without great mitts on and never palmed the ball to an opponent.

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It is with sadness I learned of the death of Ron Springett, the former QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and England goalkeeper.

Ron was my hero when I was learning how to keep goal.

As he played in the First Division he rarely came to Fratton Park, but in 1968 he did with QPR and I was not going to miss him.

I bunked off work and stood as close to the goal at the Fratton End as I could and then did the same at the Milton End in the second half. In those days you could do that.

At work on Monday there was hell to play and I was threatened with the sack, but at that age your heroes come first don’t they?

Compared to today’s goalkeepers he, along with Gordon Banks and Peter Bonetti, were great keepers who managed to take a ball out of the air without having to wear a giant pair of gloves.

They’d dive at a forward’s feet and take the ball without a foul being called.

I was a little distraught once when talking to former England manager Walter Winterbottom some years ago, he said he was not a fan of Springett. It upset me for days.

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