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Walter [Wally] ARDRON (1918 - 1978)

Father: Leonard Ardron I (1873 - 1955)
Mother: Florence Hewson

 

         

 

            

 

           

Tree extract starting with common ancestor to me:

 

 

My 2nd cousin 3 times removed was born at 66 Bridge Street, Swinton on 13 September 1918. His father was a coal miner (flewer?). (GRO cert BXBY370855 + GRO ref Rotherham 9c 1425 Sep 1918)

He was baptised on 6 November 1918 in Swinton. His father was a miner of 66 Bridge Street. (APR) (Photo - Swinton Parish Church)

1918 All men over 21 and all women over 30 are given the vote
1922 The Irish Free State is established
1928 Equal Franchise Act - all women are given the same voting rights as men (all over the age of 21)
1939-45 World War II

On 23 March 1940 he married Doris Reynolds at St Margaret's Church, Swinton after banns. Walter was aged 21, a bachelor and a railway fireman of 49 Brookfield Avenue, Swinton. His father was Leonard Ardron, a miner. Doris was aged 19, a spinster of 86 Fitzwilliam Street, Swinton. Her father was Frank Cyril Reynolds, a farmer. The witnesses were Laura Chaplin and Leonard Ardron. (GRO cert MXA978558 + GRO ref Rother V. 9c 2048 Mar 1940 - Reynolds)

Wally was perhaps the most famous Ardron in history after becoming a very successful professional footballer. He signed for Rotherham United from Midland League side Denaby United. He scored 94 goals in 122 League games and was the Third Division North's leading scorer in 1948/49 with 32 goals. This prolific scoring saw Wally sign for Nottingham Forest Football Club in July 1949 and he scored 25 goals in his first season. Then in his second year he set a club record of 36 goals in a season! (Still believed to be the record today). His career ended in 1955 with an impressive record of 217 goals in 305 appearances for the two clubs. (Based on information received from Nottingham Forest Football Club Limited)

Wally died in 1978 aged 59. (GRO ref Rotherham 3 1143 Mar 1978 - [born] 19 Se 1918 (slightly different to GRO birth cert) + information received from Nottingham Forest Football Club Limited)

Doris REYNOLDS (1921 -)
She was born in 1921, the daughter of Frank Cyril Reynolds. (Based on marriage cert)

 

WALTER AND DORIS HAD THE FOLLOWING CHILDREN:


1) Barry Ardron (1943 -)

 

2) Keith W Ardron (1947 -)

Below is an article written by Gerry Somerton of the Rotherham Advertiser (Received from Rotherham United Football Club Ltd., Millmoor Ground, Rotherham, S60 1HR)

“Walter Ardron: Goals Galore

If there had been soccer superstars in the 1940s, Walter Ardron would have been one of them. No other Rotherham United player has ever generated such adulation from the supporters; he was a centre forward to strike fear into the heart of all opposition and one of the most prolific goal-scorers the game has known. His goals for the Millers and Nottingham Forest put him among only three men to hold dual-club records; during war-time football there were eight occasions when he scored four goals in one game; in eight Millmoor seasons he amassed a total of 232 and he was the first in the country to score 200 post-war league goals.

A native of Swinton, he left school at 14 and worked at Kilnhurst Colliery and in the manufacturing industry until 1936, when he joined the LNER as an engine fireman. Two years later he became a part-time pro at Millmoor, but work on the railway limited his availability to one Saturday in three and a refusal to accept full-time terms resulted in his release at the end of the season. He joined Denaby United, but in November 1974 the Millers paid £100 to get him back and had to agree to Denaby receiving half of any future transfer fee and their use of him in the remaining cup-ties of that season. Resulting from that, on Easter Sunday he left Mexborough at 2.15am in a train to Cleethorpes and returned at 11am, in the afternoon he played at Millmoor against Sheffield United and at 6.15pm he kicked off for Denaby in the final of the Mexborough Montagu Cup - which went into extra time! An understandable sequel was that the Millers paid £750 to terminate the agreement, but the shifts continued - some starting at 2am - and the physically demanding nature of the work made his footballing performances even more remarkable. He was helped by his extraordinary fitness - he trained with weights from boyhood and as a member of Doncaster Plant AC he had competed nationally in track and field events until 1939, when his becoming known as a professional footballer disqualified him from AAA meetings.

In 1943/44 he created a new club record by scoring 36 goals, which included a four and three hat-tricks. At that time he made guest appearances for other clubs - scoring the winning goal for Halifax Town against Manchester United, playing for Accrington Stanley against Blackburn Rovers in the final of the Lancashire Cup and leading the Sheffield Wednesday attack in the semi-final of the 1943 League North Cup. His second son was born on the morning of 13th February 1947; in the afternoon he celebrated the event by scoring four times against Carlisle United - getting the first in 15 seconds - and on the same date in the next year he marked the boy's first birthday with four against Hartlepool! In 1946/7 he beat his own previous record by scoring 38 league goals. Two seasons later he was team captain and, by playing for the FA XI against the Army, became the first Miller for 27 years to win representative honours and only working commitments prevented him touring abroad with the England squad. A remarkable aspect of his career is that his first game in the Football League was on 14th January 1939 and the second was on 31st August 1946. Of course, the Second World War intervened but, nevertheless, seven years and 228 days is an unprecedented interval between a player's first two senior games - particularly, when he went on to play a further 304 in the Football League.

In June 1949 the club received its record fee by transferring him to Nottingham Forest and although £10,000 was a lot of money for a 32 year old player, the Forest Manager was considered to have done the close-season’s best business. Walter looked on the move at the start of a new career and expressed the view that, if a man had looked after himself, he should be in his prime at the age he then was. Until then he had continued with his work on the railway, but his new club insisted he became a full-time professional and the record investment soon paid dividends. Forest had been regulated from Division Two earlier that year, but at the end of his second season were back again and his contribution of 36 goals is still the club record. Quickly he made an impact on the Second Division - in November 1951 he became the first in the country to score 200 post-war league goals; in December he scored twice in the 3-2 derby win over Notts County and got two in Forest’s beating of the Millers, and the season ended with his team in fourth place in the division. He remained with the club until he was nearly 38 and retained a first team place until half-way through the 1955/56 season and, on retiring in the following summer, had scored 123 goals in 183 games for Forest.

The Ardron family then returned to Rotherham where he took a job at a steel works and his first week’s wage was more than he had ever earned from football. Seasons 1959-63 were with Doncaster Rovers as trainer/physio and the following five years were with Carlisle United as Yorkshire scout. During that time he was appointed to the post of head messenger with the National Westminster Bank in Rotherham and had his own part-time business of physiotherapy and chiropody in which he qualified while with Forest. On severing the connection with Carlisle United he satisfied a zest for football by being Rawmarsh Welfare trainer for three years, then became a travelling supporter of the Centralians team in which his two sons played and maintained that interest throughout the remainder of his life. Contrary to impressions created on the pitch, he was a gentle, caring man; he had a great interest in youngsters and ran his own youth club, first from his home and then at Swinton Manor Youth Club.

Footballers with a gift for exciting the public and scoring a lot of goals are something very special, and Walter Ardron was just that. At 5’ 9" he was not particularly big for a centre forward, but packed power and personality into his performances which could always be relied upon to set fans roaring. He reigns supreme among South Yorkshire’s all-time goal scorers - no one can match his remarkable consistency of averaging 33 goals over six consecutive seasons - and his club record of 38 in the league in 1946/47 is unlikely to be beaten. He had an insatiable appetite for goals - no sooner had he got the first than he was looking for the second and third - an attitude which made him one of the most popular players Rotherham United have had and no other man ever received such hero worship from almost every age group within the town."