Stan Rickaby's autobiography

STAN RICKABY leads the way as the oldest living Boro player at the age of 83 and the former left-back is still going strong.

Following the death of the legendary Johnny Spuhler in January, mfc.co.uk understands that the former England football league representative tops the newly put together list.

Now living in Australia, the Stockton-born defender captained Boro's Reserves but struggled to make a first team impact in the immediate post-war period.

Although he played only ten games, from 1946 to 1950, Rickaby made his name when the transfered to West Brom in 1950 for £8,000 after being promised regular football by then manager Jack Smith. Once in the Midlands, he graduated to Football League representative honours and was capped by England against Northern Ireland in Belfast in 1954.

He went on to become manager of non-league Poole Town and pulled off one of the biggest transfer coups in the club's history when he signed Wilf Mannion after the Golden Boy's ban from league football.

He visited the Riverside a few years ago to promote his autobiography.

Exactly two months younger than Rickaby, fellow 83-year-old Martin Reagan is second in our list.

Speedy outside-right Reagan scored four goals in 25 league and cup appearances for Boro from 1948 to 1951 after being signed from Hull City for £4,000.

He also played for York City, Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Norwich. He now lives back in his native York.  

Boro legend Rolando Ugolini, also 83, closely follows Rickaby, being just a month behind.

One of the newest names to be added to the Boro Brick Road, Ugolini made 335 appearances spanning over eight years.

Few players will be remembered with as much fondness as the colourful keeper, who became a huge favourite after arriving from Celtic in the summer of 1948.

Former Boro goalkeeper Rolando Ugolini - Photo-Brian Spencer, Highland Studios www.highland-studios.com Mob: 077775 934 611

A dressing room prankster, the Italian was a fit, agile and very talented goalkeeper who made the number one shirt his own before moving onto Wrexham and ending his career with Dundee. He is now living in Scotland.

Harry Bell is fourth on our list at 82 years young.

The former Sunderland and Darlington player made 315 appearances for Boro, scoring nine goals in ten consecutive seasons at Ayresome Park.

He joined Boro as an attacking midfielder but switched to right-back in a defensive crisis and never left the position.

Although never a flair player, he was a tenacious but fair tackler who rarely missed a game through injury.

Bell was also a talented cricketer playing for representing Durham and Middlesbrough.

In January 1952, he rejected a three-year contract with Somerset to concentrate on his Boro career.

After leaving the club he scouted for Liverpool, before becoming a top executive with Tetley's breweries.

Although fourth in our list, Bell actually played for Boro before any other surviving player.

He made his debut for us in a war time League North game at Huddersfield Town on November 18 1944, wearing the number 10 shirt in a 1-0 defeat in front of 6,700 fans.

His team-mates later included Wilf Mannion, George Hardwick, Harold Shepherdson, Johnny Spuhler and Micky Fenton

Boro's Oldest Surviving Players

1. Stan Rickaby (born March 12 1924)
2. Martin Reagan (born May 12 1924)
3. Rolando Ugolini (born June 4 1924)
4. Harry Bell (born October 14 1924)

If you know anyone who we may have missed out, please contact editor@riverside.mfc.co.uk.

*Thanks to Boro statto Shaun Wilson for his help researching our top four.