2 August 2006

Ronnie Briggs

For twenty years Pat Jennings made the Northern Ireland 'keeper's jersey virtually his own, one of the many who might have won more caps if not for Big Pat was Ronnie Briggs...

Name: William Ronald Briggs
Born: 29 March 1943, Belfast

Died: 28 August 2008, Bristol (England)
Height: 6.02 ft
Weight: 13.03 st
Position: Goalkeeper

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1962-1965), 2 Under-23 Caps (1962-1965), 3 Schoolboy Caps (1958); Manchester Counties.


Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Boyland
-
-
Youth
-
-
-
Manchester United
60/61-63/64
Mar-60
Youth
9/0
2/0
-
Swansea Town
64/65
May-64
-
27/0
4/0
4/0
Bristol Rovers
65/66-67/68
Jun-65
-
35/0
2/0
-
Southend United
68/69
-
Trial
0/0
-
-
Frome Town
-
-
-
(Western League)
TOTALS
£-
71/0
8/0
4/0

Biography:
Ronnie Briggs was an Irish schoolboy international who joined Manchester United straight from school in Aug 1958, signing as a professional on his 17th birthday. He was still a novice when his first senior opportunity came on January 21st 1961, and he had a nightmare start at Filbert Street where Leicester City ran up six goals without reply.

Despite his shattering debut Briggs showed courage and application to recapture his confidence to such an extent that, when Northern Ireland fielded their first Under-23 team, Ronnie Briggs was their choice of goalkeeper. Two months later Briggs won his first full cap against Wales, a game in which he conceded four goals. This was a spell in which Northern Ireland used five different 'keepers in six internationals.

In all he made 11 first team appearances at Old Trafford before moving to Swansea Town in May 1964 where he added a further full cap, this time with Northern Ireland winning 2-1 against Holland - this time he was one of three 'keepers tried in a three match spell. He moved on to Bristol Rovers in June 1965 before drifting into non-league football in 1968. Briggs' professional career was ended by a hand injury sustained following a collision with a teammate.

After retiring from the professional game, Briggs worked in insurance, construction and as a security guard until his retirement in March 2008. He passed away in August 2008 following a battle with lung cancer. He was described by a former colleague as: "one of life's true gents who never forgot where he came from."

Obituary from MUFC

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
11-04-1962 Wales...... A L 0-4 BC
17-03-1965 Netherlands H W 2-1 WCQ

Summary: 2/0. Cleansheets 0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 1.


Northern Ireland Under-23 Cap Details:
07-02-1962 Wales...... H D 0-0 FR
10-02-1965 Wales...... A D 2-2 FR

Summary: 2/0. Cleansheets 1. Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 0.

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