Ralph Coates

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Ralph Coates
Personal information
Full name Ralph Coates
Date of birth (1946-04-26)26 April 1946
Place of birth Hetton-le-Hole, England
Date of death 17 December 2010(2010-12-17) (aged 64)
Place of death Luton, England
Playing position Winger
Youth career
1962–1964 Burnley
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1971 Burnley 216 (26)
1971–1978 Tottenham Hotspur 188 (14)
1978 St George 11 (3)
1978–1981 Leyton Orient 76 (12)
Total 480 (52)
National team
England U-23 8 (2)
1970–1971 England 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ralph Coates (26 April 1946 – 17 December 2010) was an English footballer who played at both professional and international levels as a winger. Coates played for Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, making 480 appearances in the Football League.[1] Coates also earned four caps for England during 1970 and 1971.[2][3]

Club career

Coates was born in Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham. He was an apprentice colliery fitter and his footballing ability was spotted by Burnley's North-East scout Jack Hixon.[4] Coates joined Burnley on trial in 1961 and after a period as an apprentice turned professional in 1963.[5] He made his first-team debut in December 1964 scoring his first goal in a 2–0 win against Leicester City in March 1965.[5] He would go on to make 261 appearances for Burnley in all competitions scoring 32 goals.[5] After Burnley had been relegated from the First Division in 1971 Coates was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £190,000.[5] He played over 300 games for Tottenham and earned winner's medals for the 1972 UEFA Cup and the 1973 Football League Cup Final where he scored the winning goal in the final.[5] Coates left Tottenham in 1978 and had a short period playing with St George in the Australian National Soccer League before returning to play for Leyton Orient where he was also on the coaching staff.[5][6] He played 84 games in all competitions for Orient scoring 12 goals.[7]

He retired from professional football in 1982 but continued to play non-league football for Hertford Heath, Ware and Nazeing.[7]

International career

Coates played eight times for England U-23[8] and four times for England. He was a member of the initial squad for the 1970 World Cup but was not selected for the final squad which travelled to Mexico.[5]

Personal life

Coates was married twice, first to Veronica Banks in 1968 (whom he subsequently divorced)ad then to Lesley Clarkson in 1981 (whom he had separated from by the time of his death).[9] He had a son and a daughter.[10] Coates was a Labour Party supporter.[11]

After his football career ended Coates became a travel agent.[12] He later moved into the leisure industry, managing leisure centres in Chelmsford and Boreham Wood[7] and was involved with Tottenham Hotspur for over 20 years where he worked as a match-day host.[5] He also was a football coach for disabled children.[13]


In early December 2010, he suffered a series of strokes and was hospitalised.[14] He died on 17 December 2010 at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust aged 64.[15][16][17]


  1. ^ "Player profile". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Player profile". EnglandStats.com. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ralph Coates". Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Tony Kearney (17 December 2010). "Tributes paid after death of England star Ralph Coates at 64". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ralph Coates:1946–2010". www.burnleyfootballclub.com. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "1978 National Soccer League". OzFootball. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ralph Coates". www.leytonorient.com. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Coates, Ralph". www.thelongside.info. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.englandfootballonline.com/TeamPlyrsBios/PlayersC/BioCoatesR.html
  10. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/sport-obituaries/8210653/Ralph-Coates.html
  11. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/sport-and-politics-how-twitter-has-changed-the-rules-10187193.html
  12. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/sport-obituaries/8210653/Ralph-Coates.html
  13. ^ https://alastaircampbell.org/2011/01/nice-send-off-for-ralph-coates/
  14. ^ Peter Magill (10 December 2010). "Burnley legend Coates seriously ill in hospital after strokes". This Is Lancashire. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "Former Tottenham midfielder Ralph Coates dies". BBC Sport. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "Ralph Coates dies". The Football Association. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  17. ^ Peter Magill (17 December 2010). "Former Burnley star Ralph Coates dies". This Is Lancashire. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 

External links

  • Ralph Coates R.I.P
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