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A-Z of West Midlands Football

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: February 25, 2014

By Tony Matthews

  • Paul Rideout

  • Stan Rickaby

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BILLY CRICHTON RICHMOND was a wing-half, who made almost 100 appearances for Walsall, including 89 in the Football League in two seasons at Fellows Park from August 1937.

A Scot, born in Kirkcaldy in March 1900, he made over 200 games north of the border while serving, in turn, with Raith Rovers, Dundee United and Montrose before having a spell with Carlisle United. He returned 'home' and assisted Ayr United for a short while and after making 27 Third Division (South) appearances for Bournemouth he found his way to Walsall.

After leaving the Saddlers he assisted Clapton Orient, St Bernard's (Edinburgh) and Velntine Thistle, eventually retiring in 1940. It is believed that Bill died in Scotland in 1982.

TOM RIDDELL,

a native of Handsworth born in March 1858, made ten FA Cup appearances as a full-back for Aston Villa over a period of five years before his enforced retirement with a knee injury in May 1887.

Standing 6ft 4ins tall, he joined Villa from the Birmingham-based Excelsior club and it is reported that he could send a free-kick fizzing downfield up to 100 yards. Tom died in Birmingham in 1934.

PAUL RIDEOUT was a very efficient striker who netted 22 goals in 63 appearances for Aston Villa whom he served from June 1983 until June 1985 when he was transferred to the Italian club, Bari with Gordon Cowans.

Born in Bournemouth in August 1964, Paul was on Southampton's books as a youngster but wasn't retained, moving to Swindon Town in 1980. He cost Villa £250,000 when signed from The County Ground and when he left his fee was put at £450,000.

He was actually bought by Saints (signed by ex-Villa defender Chris Nicholl from Bari) for £430,000 in July 1988 and after returning to Swindon (for a second spell in 1991), he went on to play for Notts County (on loan), Glasgow Rangers (signed for £500,000), Everton (also bought for £500,000), Red Star FC in France and finally Tranmere Rovers, retiring in May 2002. Capped by England at school, youth and U21 levels, Paul bagged 152 goals in 553 first-class matches during his career. He won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995, scoring against Manchester United in the final. He was also Swindon's youngest-ever League debutant at the age of 16 years and 107 days in 1980 and also the club's record transfer 'out' when he moved to Ibrox Park in January 1992.

LIAM RIDGEWELL, who was born in Bexleyheath in July 1984, was on schoolboy forms at West Ham United before joining Aston Villa as a junior, turning professional in July 2001.

A defender, able to play at left-back or centre-half, he was loaned out to Bournemouth in October-November 2002, prior to making 93 appearances for Villa (seven goals scored), followed by 175 in the League and Cup for neighbours Birmingham City (11 goals) before joining Albion in March 2012.

One of the few players to appear at senior level for Villa, Blues and the Baggies, Liam has now appeared in around 70 competitive games for his current club, netting two goals.

STAN RICKABY was a superb right-back who scored twice in 205 appearances for Albion between 1950 and 1955.

Born in Stockton-on-Tees on March 1924, he attended (and played for) Stockton Grammar School, represented Stockton and District Schools and spent a season with South Bank FC before joining Middlesbrough as an amateur in July 1941, turning professional in July 1946. Tracked by Albion for quite a while, he eventually found his way to The Hawthorns in February 1950, signed for £7,500.

Strong and accomplished, good in the tackle with a powerful kick, he was never flustered. Initially signed as cover to Jimmy Pemberton, within six months he had replaced the injury-stricken right-back and held his place in the side thereafter.

He was fortunate not to suffer too many injuries at Albion … that is until the semi-final of the FA Cup against Port Vale in March 1954. That afternoon at Villa Park, he damaged his right leg, and as a result missed the final against Preston, along with goalkeeper Norman Heath. However, both players were awarded a winner's medal, having played in all the previous rounds. Capped once by England against Ireland at Goodison Park in 1953, raven-haired Stan left the club in 1955, alleging that he had been made a 'soccer slave' and later had a constant battle with the club regarding the way in which he was released.

He went on to serve Poole Town as player-manager, June 1955-May 1960, Weymouth as a player (season 1960–61) and Newton Abbot Spurs, from August 1963, until retiring in July 1964.

He then elected to go into accountancy, initially in England, emigrating to Australia in 1969. He is still resident in Australia today, living in retirement in North Beach, Perth … and is one of Albion's oldest former players.

* Stan's autobiography, Upover and Downunder was published by Britespot Solutions, Cradley Heath, in 2003.

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