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John Ryan

Norwich Career: 1976-1980 (132 appearances, 29 goals)
Current Club: Thailand Football Association (Director of Youth Development)
Date of Birth: 20/07/1947 
Nationality: English


John Ryan was a left winger who graced the Norwich flanks from 1976 to 1980. He made a total of 132 appearances (4 as substitute) scoring 29 goals. He cost Norwich £40,000 and was value for money in the entertaining City side of the late 70s.

John began his career at non-league Maidstone United before joining Arsenal in October 1964. He failed to break into the Arsenal first team and in July 1965 joined Fulham. He made his league debut at Craven Cottage but his 47 game spell was unsuccessful and Fulham were relegated to Division Three. A free transfer was granted and John joined Luton. Many players would have abandoned dreams of playing at the top flight and drifted into non-league obscurity. John refused to do so and worked hard to develop his game at Kenilworth Road. Playing as a full back, it paid off as Luton won promotion and John chalked up 266 league appearances, scoring 10 goals. He moved to Norwich where John Bond redeployed him in midfield leading to his most successful goals per game ratio.

He left Norwich in March 1979 to play in the USA with the Seattle Sounders. Three months later, he returned to England to play again alongside Martin Peters, this time for Sheffield United. 2 goals in 56 league matches followed before John Bond asked Ryan to join him at Manchester City as a player and youth team coach. 17 games followed before he was pushed out by new manager Billy McNeil in July 1983. Player coach positions at Stockport and Chester followed but neither were successful. In January 1984, he took on the player managers position at Cambridge United. His frustration with the lack of funds and ambition at the Abbey Stadium flowed over into his game. In five matches for Cambridge, he was sent off three times.

A move to his first club Maidstone was more peaceful as he could combine the player coach and later Assistant Manager role with a position in the family haulage business. In September 1991, he became manager of non-league Sittingbourne. He has since managed Dover and Dulwich Hamlet. He left Dulwich in December 1997 and set up a soccer school sponsored by the Kent Football Association. He then moved to the Professional Football Association to become an Assistant Coach in the South East. He left the PFA in 2001 to become Director of Youth Development for the Thailand Football Association in Bangkok.

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