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Remembering Ron Foster and Ralph Norton

It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent death of two of our great players of the 1960's.

Ron Foster passed away on 28th July at the age of 78. Born in Islington, Ron would go on to represent Leyton Orient and Grimsby Town before joining the Royals on 25th July 1966. For Reading he made a total of 54 first team appearances, scoring 6 goals as a skilful midfield player.

He left Reading and moved to the USA in the summer of 1968 to play for the Dallas Tornadoes in the North American Soccer League, then returned to England a year later to sign for Brentford and later non-League side Dover. Ron Foster made exactly 250 first-team appearances during his Football League career, scoring 46 goals. 

Ron's passing follows the death of another great Reading player from the Sixties, Ralph Norton. The two men never played together. Ron joined Reading in the Summer of 1966 as Ralph left the club to join Bournemouth, both part of Manager Roy Bentley's shake up of the team. Ralph passed away peacefully at his home in Keynsham, Bristol on the 14 January 2017, aged 75.

Ralph was born in Aylesham, Kent on the 11 October 1942 and joined Reading Football Club's Ground staff aged 15. He graduated through the club's Minor and Youth teams until he signed as a Professional a day after his 17th birthday. He made his League debut at Notts. County on the 8 September, 1960.

Most of his appearances for Reading were as Inside Forward. Yet towards the end of his career at Elm Park, Ralph moved back into a Wing half position.

On the 21 August, 1965 he wrote himself into Reading FC's history book when he became the club's first substitute, stepping off the bench to replace Peter Shreeves against Watford at Elm Park.  In all, he made 114 appearances for Reading, scoring 11 goals. He joined Bournemouth in July 1966.

Reading FC Former Players' Association; it's Board, members and followers extend its deepest condolences to the families and friends of Ron and Ralph.

01 September 2017



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