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A-Z of West Midlands Football

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 03, 2014

By Tony Matthews

A young Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Molineux, inspecting the men of the North and South Staffordshire Regiments

A young Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Molineux, inspecting the men of the North and South Staffordshire Regiments

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KEN ROWLEY was born in Pelsall in August 1926 and after a short spell with Elkington FC he joined Wolves as a professional in October 1947.

Ken made only three first team appearances in the old gold and black strip before transferring across the Black Country to Birmingham City in January 1951.

A utility forward, he scored 20 goals in 42 League and FA Cup games for Blues who then sold him to Coventry City in November 1954. Later with Bromsgrove Rovers (1957-59), Ken went on to become an office worker in Warwickshire. He died in 1995, aged 69.

JOHN ROXBURH scored three goals in 12 senior appearances for Aston Villa, whom he served from October 1922 until February 1924.

An outside-left with good pace, he was born in Edinburgh in November 1901 and played for Edinburgh Emmett, Rugby Town and Leicester City before moving to Villa Park.

Later with Stoke and Sheffield United, John's last club was Sheffield FC in 1927-28. His brother Andrew also played for Sheffield United. John himself died in 1965.

ROYALTY in the form of HRH Queen Elizabeth II has officially visited Molineux twice.

She first came to Wolves' ground in the summer of 1962 … to inspect soldiers (on the pitch) from the North and South Staffordshire regiments and present them with their respective colours. A crowd of 30,000 turned out.

Her second visit was made in the summer of 1998 when just 2,000 keen onlookers attended to see Her Majesty officially open the new stadium.

After West Bromwich Albion had beaten Birmingham in the FA Cup final – and were all set to clinch promotion in 1931 – HRH the Prince of Wales attended The Hawthorns to congratulate the Albion players on their achievement ahead of their last League game of the season against Charlton, which they won 3-2 to complete the unique double.

And several members of the Royal family have over the years presented the captains of Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Albion and Wolves with a coveted trophy after tasting victory in major competitions, especially at Wembley.

DALE RUDGE made 29 first-class appearances for Wolves in his five years at Molineux: 1979-84.

Born in Wolverhampton in September 1963, he was a useful reserve midfielder but with so many other talented players around at the same time he chose to leave the Midlands for Preston North End, later spending three years in Norway with FC Divre (1987-90) and rounding things off with a spell at Hednesford Town.

After retiring, Dale became a market trader in Kingswinford and also worked for the Dudley Town Council Adult Education Centre (catering mainly for children with special needs). He also trained a junior team on the edge of the Black Country, Ashwood Boys in Wordsley.

DAVE RUDGE – no relation to Dale – was also born in Wolverhampton in January 1948. A winger, he represented his town at schoolboy level before joining Aston Villa in June 1964, turning professional a year later. Dave went on to score 10 goals in 60 appearances for Villa, winning the supporters' 'Terrace Trophy' award in 1970.

He left Villa Park in August 1972 for Hereford United and later played for Torquay United and Kingsbury United, 1979-81, the latter along with yours truly. After retiring, Dave moved to Devon where he assisted several non-League clubs as a coach, including Newton Abbot Spurs.

DAVE RUSHBURY was reserve defender to Ally Robertson and John Wile at The Hawthorns.

Born in Wolverhampton in February 1956, he attended St Chad's College before joining the Baggies as an apprentice in December 1972, turning professional in July 1974.

Over the next two-and-a-half years, up to January 1977, he made 31 first team appearances before leaving for Sheffield Wednesday, for whom he had been on loan a month earlier.

Thereafter Dave played in turn for Swansea City, Carlisle united, Gillingham, Doncaster Rovers, Cambridge United and Bristol Rovers, amassing a career total of 420 club appearances.

He helped Swansea gain promotion from Division Two in 1981 and Carlisle rise from Division Three in 1982.

Dave became a physiotherapist after retiring, initially with Chesterfield, whom he also served as caretaker-manager.

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