Honoured at last……the man who has been rewarded nearly 70 years on for helping to make Wolves champions.
Ron Stockin is a picture of delight and pride after being presented with a title winner’s medal, the like of which his Molineux counterparts received way back in April, 1954.
And what a story we have to tell about this oldest surviving former Wanderers player. For starters, no-one knew where he was until we at Wolves Heroes intervened.
As far back as last autumn, we launched our search for him, armed with nothing more than what proved to be an old address in West Bromwich.
Various socially-distant door-to-door enquiries and published pleas for help did the trick when we received a phone call out of the blue some months later from his Northamptonshire-based daughter, Janice.
It was the missing piece we required amid a far-reaching effort to light up the 1950s inside-forward’s twilight time.
A letter submitted to the Backpass football magazine last year by Tyneside-based statistician Ian Ross alerted us to the fact that Ron was due a medal as part of a recent rethink by the game’s authorities on which players were eligible for them.
The six League games he played as Wolves thrillingly overhauled Albion to take the big prize in 1953-54 were well short of what was then the qualification but the change of policy opened the door for him and various other players up and down the country.
Determined to help ensure this happy last chapter could be written, we set about not only tracing him but also bringing the necessary parties together – and are thrilled everything has come to fruition.
Ron is resident at the Richmond Court Nursing Home in West Bromwich, where the activities manager Vicci Greenaway said: “We handed the medal to him when it arrived here and then had a presentation ceremony a few days ago.
“It was absolutely lovely to be part of it and to see his face. His football career is clearly still very important to him.”
This belated tribute would still have been impossible had Wolves not agreed to both push for the medal and pay for it to be produced. The manufacturing process lasted many weeks but the treasured keepsake was delivered to Ron by the club just before his 90th birthday during Euro 2020.
“We are hugely proud of our history, so when the opportunity arose to reward a man who played a significant role in one of the most important seasons in our past, it was a simple decision,” said Wolves’ general manager for football operations Matt Wild.
“Our success of 1953-54 has been repeated only twice since, which highlights the huge achievement of those involved, and we’ve heard stories of the influence Ron had on that squad, off the pitch as well as on it. We were delighted to play our part in finally rewarding him.”
Stockin’s daughter Janice said.”We are very grateful to Wolves Heroes, Wolves and the other parties who have done this for Dad. I don’t know exactly how aware he is of what it represents but this medal has been a wonderful surprise for us all.
“The articles have made a lovely read and bring Dad’s football career back to life. I have enjoyed sharing them with my two brothers, who are very grateful also.
“When I spoke to him to tell him the medal was coming, I can’t tell you how happy it made me. It cheered him up and he apparently tells them all in the home about his football career.”