Ronnie Rooke

Ronnie Rooke
Personal information
Full name Ronald Leslie Rooke
Date of birth (1911-12-07)7 December 1911
Place of birth Guildford, Surrey, England
Date of death July 1985
Playing position Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
? Guildford City ? (?)
?–1933 Woking ? (?)
1933–1936 Crystal Palace 18 (6)
1936–1946 Fulham 105 (69)
1946–1949 Arsenal 88 (68)
1949–1950 Crystal Palace 45 (26)
1950–1953 Bedford Town ? (?)
Haywards Heath Town
1959–1961 Bedford Town
National team
? England (wartime) 1 (0)
Teams managed
1949–1950 Crystal Palace
1951–1953 Bedford Town
Haywards Heath Town
1959–1961 Bedford Town

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ronald Leslie "Ronnie" Rooke (7 December 1911 – July 1985) was an English footballer who played as a centre forward either side of World War II, and who later became a football manager.[1]

Born in Guildford, Surrey, Rooke began his playing career with local club Guildford City,[2] followed by a spell with Woking.[2] In 1933 he joined Crystal Palace, who were at the time in the Third Division South. A centre forward, he mainly played for the Palace reserve side, only playing eighteen league matches and scoring four goals between 1932 and 1936. His main success came when he moved to Second Division Fulham in November 1936; he was the club's leading scorer for three consecutive seasons; in all he scored 57 goals in 87 league matches, including all six goals in a 6-0 FA Cup demolition of Bury, a club record.

Rooke served in the RAF during World War II and gained one Wartime International cap for England.[2] In 1946, at the age of 35, he was signed by Arsenal.[3]

He scored 33 league goals for Arsenal in 1947-48, becoming the First Division's top scorer that season.[4]

Rooke left the "Gunners" in the summer of 1949 to rejoin former club Crystal Palace as player-manager.[2] His first season as manager was moderately successful as Palace finished seventh in the Third Division South.[2] The next season began poorly[2] and in November 1950 he moved on to Bedford Town,[5] initially as a player, before being appointed player-manager in February 1951, a job he held until December 1953;[6] during his spell at the club had made 136 appearances, scoring 97 goals.[7] He then moved on to become player-manager at Haywards Heath Town and Addlestone, before returning to Bedford in 1959. Although his second spell saw him appointed only as a manager, he made two first team appearances when the club were lacking players.[7] He was sacked by the board after the club lost an FA Cup match against Hitchin Town in September 1961.[6]

He later worked at Heathrow Airport and Whitbread brewery,[6][8] and died in July 1985.[2]



  1. "Ronnie Rooke". Football League Career Stats. Neil Brown. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 King, Ian (2011). Crystal Palace: The Complete Record 1905–2011. The Derby Books Publishing Company. pp. 204–205. ISBN 9781780910468.
  3. "Ronnie Rooke". Arsenal. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  4. James M Ross (9 August 2013). "Football League Div 1 & 2 Leading Goalscorers 1947-92". English League Leading Goalscorers. RSSSF. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  5. "Ronnie Rooke". Crystal Palace FC Supporters Website. The Holmesdale Online. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 Managers and Coaches, 1945-82 Bedford Old Eagles
  7. 1 2 Best Years Players J-R Bedford Old Eagles
  8. Purkiss, Mike; Sands, Nigel. Crystal Palace: A Complete Record 1905–1989. The Breedon Books Publishing Company. p. 50. ISBN 0907969542.

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