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Ron Guthrie (1962/63 to 1972/73)

Ron Guthrie
Ron Guthrie
Bth 19/04/44 Burradon N’land
P/H/W Left Back 5ft 10½in 12st 6lb
Jnd 05/62 New Hartley Jnrs
Pro. 07/63
Debut 20/08/66 Aston Villa D1
Dep 09/01/73 Sunderland £15,000
App/Gls 60 (6) 2

Ron Guthrie joined as a junior and stayed at the club for almost 10 years but he only played an average of six senior games a season. This was partially due to a number of injuries, but was mainly a result of the consistency and longevity of Frank Clark.

He made his debut in the Central League during the 1962/63 season and in those early years he showed his versatility by playing in various positions including outside-left, left-half and centre-forward before settling at left-back in 1965/66.

A power packed left-back he never let the side down and covered on both flanks for David Craig and Frank Clark. On occasion he was also used as a defensive midfielder.

He was a perfect club man, never asking for a move for many years despite his limited opportunities.

Whenever he did get a run in the side he more often than not picked up an injury. Speaking in 1970/71 Joe Harvey said : "Every time he seems ready for a run in the side he gets injured or something, if he had a clear run he is good enough to become an England player".

Eventually he decided a transfer away was necessary. A move to Second Division Sunderland in early 1973 saw him win an FA Cup Winners medal within a couple of months.

Season by Season

1966/67 (5/1)

Guthrie made his debut (aged 22) in the first game of the season as deputy for the injured Clark.

1967/68 (4/1)

Came in for Frank Clark at left-back when he got injured and did so well that he kept him out of the side until he unluckily suffered a gashed shinbone. Cardiff and Norwich City both enquired about him, but United said he was not for sale.

1968/69 (6/1)

Got a few games early on when Clark was injured but then suffered a pulled muscle. Then when Craig suffered an injury it looked as though he may get an extended run in the side. Unfortunately, he had to be carried off after only 30 minutes of the home game against Arsenal with a knee injury.. He needed a cartilage operation and that was the end of his campaign.

1969/70 (17/2 - 1)

Had more opportunities than usual as Clark's deputy and he also played as a defensive midfielder in some games. Charlton made an offer for him in October, but Harvey deemed it nowhere near enough.

1970/71 (13/1)

Got a couple of good runs in the side when Clark was out and he was getting some rave reviews but a hamstring injury ruled him out of the latter stages. Guthrie had been looking for a move in November (when there were some clubs sniffing around) but nothing materialised and he decided to stay and fight for his place.

1971/72 (11)

Guthrie was attracting the interest of half a dozen clubs at the start of the season but he decided to stay and continue his duel with Frank Clark for the left-back slot. Part of his reasoning may have been that he would be due a Loyalty Bonus in two years’ time. Was troubled by a hamstring injury.

1972/73 (4 -1)

Was on the transfer-list and during July Cardiff agreed a £30,000 fee for him, but the player turned down the move. He was due a £3,000 ten-year service bonus the following July. Deputised for Clark for a few games in October. Sold to Sunderland in January after ten years on Tyneside.


Painting by Piotr