|Full name||Ronald Flowers|
|Date of birth||28 July 1934|
|Place of birth||Edlington, Doncaster, England|
|1968-1969||Northampton Town (player/manager)|
|1971||Wellington Town (player/manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Ronald Flowers (born 28 July 1934) is an English former professional footballer, who played as a midfielder, and is most known for his time at Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was a member of England's victorious 1966 World Cup squad. He is the elder brother of John Flowers.
Flowers began in the Doncaster Rovers academy, where his father played semi-professionally. Whilst he flourished on the pitch at Belle Vue, he also trained as an apprentice at the Doncaster rail sheds, at his father's insistence that he learn a trade outside of football. He was later released by Doncaster and joined the Wolves' nursery side Wath Wanderers, where he soon came to the attention of the highly successful Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Stan Cullis. Within a year, he was moved down to Molineux and soon broke into the first team, making a scoring debut against Blackpool on 20 September 1952. Prior to this time, he had served in the RAF and became an Aircraftman Second Class at Padgate before being transferred to Hednesford.
Initially playing as an attacking midfield player (in modern terminology) at Wolves, he won three league championships and an FA Cup. In total, he made 515 appearances for the club, scoring 37 times. In the latter stages of his career he played a more defensive role (see note below re 1966 World Cup Final).
Flowers won 49 caps for England and scored 10 goals. His international debut came on 15 May 1955 in a 0-1 friendly defeat to France. He went on to appear in the 1962 World Cup and scored two goals from the penalty spot in the first two games of the group stage. From November 1958 (his second international appearance) until April 1963, he appeared in 40 consecutive England international matches; only Billy Wright has appeared in more.
Although his last England cap came before the finals (a friendly win over Norway), he was a member of the squad that won the 1966 World Cup, being the oldest and earliest-capped member of the squad. Flowers narrowly missed out on playing in the final itself. Jack Charlton who was due to play, caught a cold on the eve of the West Germany match. Flowers was approached by his manager, Alf Ramsey, the night before the final and told that if Charlton had not recovered by the morning he was on. After a sleepless night, it turned out that Charlton was fine in the morning and, ultimately, Flowers never kicked a ball at the tournament.
He finally left Wolves in September 1967 to join Northampton Town, where he later became player/manager. He ended his playing career at non-league Wellington Town (latterly known as Telford United) as player-manager before retiring to run a sports shop in Wolverhampton. His sports shop "Ron Flowers Sports" is still successfully trading on Queen Street in the city centre.
In an article in the England international Official Match-Day Programme for the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine on 1 April 2009 Flowers was cited as England's best ever penalty taker (shared with Alan Shearer). He converted all six of the penalties he took for England.
In the 1966 World Cup final only the 11 players on the pitch at the end of the 4-2 win over West Germany received medals. Following a Football Association led campaign to persuade FIFA to award medals to all the winners' squad members, Flowers was presented with his medal by Gordon Brown at a ceremony at 10 Downing Street on 10 June 2009.
His younger brother, John Flowers, and his uncle, George Flowers both played over 100 games professionally for Doncaster Rovers. In March 2017, Flowers' grandson, Harry, was signed by Premier League side Burnley on a contract until June 2018.