How exciting does this sound? The chance to present a Wolves player of the 1950s with a League Championship winners’ medal he doesn’t know he is entitled to.
It is a task we are frustratingly close to accomplishing but just can’t nail down. Which is where we hope our readers might come in……
Ron Stockin played six matches during Wolves’ title triumph of 1953-54 and has been off the Molineux radar for decades.
The appearance figure was well below the number required to qualify for a medal – until now. A change in policy at the Football League and PFA means the 89-year-old, who we believe is the club’s oldest surviving former player, is due a valuable keepsake from when Stan Cullis’s side overhauled Albion in the race for the big prize 67 seasons ago.
We at Wolves Heroes have already tried hard to reach Ron. We had had an address for him for many years – ironically in West Bromwich – and have knocked the door this autumn, only to be told he left around 18 months ago and moved across town near to Sandwell General Hospital.
So now we hope someone reading this knows him well enough to ask him or a close family member to contact us by emailing email@example.com or ringing 07734-440095.
We understand he is no longer with Eileen, the lady he married in 1955, but has a partner called Barbara. We are mindful of privacy laws, so please try to connect us by mutual consent rather than passing direct contact details to us.
Stockin was born in Birmingham on June 27, 1931 and was on Albion’s books as an amateur. He then played six games for Walsall before moving to Molineux for £10,000 in 1952.
The inside-forward made his initial mark at senior level when scoring a hat-trick in January, 1953 in the friendly Wolves played at Bristol City (photo left) to celebrate the switching-on of their first floodlights. He was then given his competitive debut when the out-of-form Peter Broadbent was dropped for a home win over Sheffield Wednesday the following Saturday.
Stockin held down a first-team place for the rest of the season, the run of 15 games bringing him the excellent return of seven goals, including braces against Stoke and Burnley, as Wolves finished third in the First Division.
When he also played in the first three matches of the title-winning season, it might have looked as though he had secured the position, then Broadbent returned at home to Cardiff in late August and stayed in the side.
That meant Stockin was restricted for the rest of that historic breakthrough campaign to three stand-in outings in place of Dennis Wilshaw – against Newcastle, Preston and Albion – the last of which would prove highly important as it was won by a invaluable Jimmy Mullen goal.
And, unfortunately, that was the end of the line at senior level at Molineux for a player we have some insight into thanks to Steve Gordos’s Old Gold Glory book of 2003. Ron Flowers likened him to another of the long-time reserves, wing-half Bill Baxter, while Bill Shorthouse was quoted as saying: “He was like so many of the reserve players. You knew you could rely on him.”
Bert Williams described him as being not as clever as the genial Broadbent, nor particularly forceful, and he departed to Cardiff for £12,000 without adding to an appearance tally of 21, with those seven goals.
Up to joining non-League Nuneaton in 1960, he then amassed goal tallies in the mid teens for both Cardiff and Grimsby across a total of just over 100 games. His output in South Wales included the sole reply when Wolves famously won 9-1 at Ninian Park in 1955.
As if we need any confirmation that he was a very useful player, we can point to the fact he also scored three times in his six Walsall appearances.
So now we sit and hope that one of the many Stockins in the West Midlands – or a family friend – can put us in contact with Ron and set up this precious handover.
Our attention was drawn to the possibility by a letter to Backpass magazine from Ian Ross, a football statistician in the north east who has drawn up a list of all the players who are due medals many decades on from the end of their playing careers.
Tottenham duo Tony Marchi and Frank Saul and Derby’s Jim Walker are among those to have received their belated prizes, with 80-year-old former Manchester United keeper David Gaskell due TWO medals, from the title successes at Old Trafford in both 1964-65 and 1966-67.