Ronald “Ron” Young was born in Dunston on the south bank of the River Tyne, a mile or two west of Gateshead, but headed south to join Hull City’s apprentice scheme as a youngster and signed his first professional contract for the club in August 1963. The Tigers were blessed with a number of talented wide players thanks to the ambitious transfer policy led by manager Cliff Britton and Ron had to wait over a year for his first team debut. When it came he made a strong impression – replacing the injured Doug Clarke in October 1964, City won five and drew two of Ron’s first seven starts and centre forward Chris Chilton, who had been off form, roared back into action with twelve goals in those seven games, including four on Young’s debut, a 7-0 demolition of Barnsley – Ron also joined in with the opening goal against Luton in mid-October 1964. Whether Young’s presence alone was the catalyst for Chilton’s revival is hard to say, but a total coincidence seems unlikely.
Despite this fine start, the signing of Ken Wagstaff in November 1964 saw Billy Wilkinson nudged to the right wing and Ron Young nudged to the reserves. There he stayed for nearly two years as City swept aisde all-comers to win the 1965/66 Division Three title and reach the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup. It wasn’t until September 1966, with City now competing in the Second Division, that Ron reappeared in the first team, this time on the left wing replacing an injured Ian Butler. He made occasional starts on the wing throughout the 1966/67 season and scored his second City goal at Northampton Town in February 1967. At the start of the 1967/68 season he was a more prominent choice in the first team, starting seven of the first 15 senior fixtures and scoring in an October 1967 5-2 defeat of Plymouth. But he dropped out of the first team a week after that goal and started only two more games for the Tigers, scoring in both – a February 1968 1-2 League defeat at Middlesbrough squeezed between three FA Cup ties against the same opponent, and a May 1968 1-5 defeat at Charlton.
After spending the 1968/69 pre-season at Hull City, Young joined Hartlepool United in September 1968. Dropping down to the Fourth Division and moving to the inside forward positions, Ron was able to command a regular start for the first time in his career and opened his goal account for Pools on his debut against Watford. By the time Christmas came Ron had scored six times in League and Cup, but he added only one further goal in the second half of the season. He remained a first team regular for the next four seasons, scoring at least a handful of goals every season – indeed in the 1971/72 season he enjoyed his finest hour, netting 20 times in all senior competitions including an impressive run of 15 goals in 21 starts between Christmas 1971 and April 1972. In the following season Ron’s form dipped and he dropped out of the side for the last three months – he left Hartlepool in the 1973 close season having scored 46 times in 199 senior appearances.
Young spent the 1973/74 season at Northern Premier League side South Shields, assisting the Tyneside club to the FA Trophy semi-final where they lost to Lancastrian side Morecambe. In the summer of 1974 South Shields made a controversial move to the Redheugh Park Stadium in Gateshead, rebranding as Gateshead United and jettisoning several players including Young. He therefore signed for Northern Premier League rivals Bishop Auckland where he became captain and played on until 1976.
Date/Place of Birth: 31 August 1945, Dunston
Hull City First Game: 7 October 1964, Barnsley H (Division Three), 19 years, 37 days old
Hull City Final Game: 4 May 1968, Charlton Athletic A (Division Two), 22 years, 247 days old
Hull City (1963-1968), Hartlepool United (1968-1973), South Shields (1973-1974), Bishop Auckland (1974-1976)
Hull City Record
Career: 28 apps, 5 goalsRon Young
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