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September 12, 2012
Ron Tindall, who has died in Western Australia at the age of 76, won household fame as a footballer with Chelsea, scoring 69 goals in 174 appearances and forming a potent striking partnership with Jimmy Greaves. But he was a very good cricketer as well, playing for Surrey as an offspinning allrounder, scoring 5446 runs at 24.86 and taking 150 wickets at 32.38.
As a professional footballer, Tindall had time to play cricket in the summer and he was on Surrey's books from 1956 to 1966. He made his debut in 1956 but only played a handful of matches until 1960 when he broke into a side which was starting to rebuild after its domination in the 1950s. In 1961 he scored the first of his two first-class hundreds but his career really blossomed after he left Chelsea.
Between 1962 and 1965 he was a regular in the side and in 1962, with Jim Laker and Alex Bedser both retired, he enjoyed his best summer with the ball, taking 66 wickets at 23.92 including his career-best figures of 5 for 41. The following summer he passed 1000 runs for the only time, finishing with 1063 at 27.25.
He stopped playing at the end of 1966 by which time he was ensconced at Portsmouth FC where he finished his career as a player and moved into management. He emigrated to Australia in 1975 to become Western Australia's director of football and stayed there for the rest of his life. In 2008 was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to sport.
Tindall's footballing career had start in Chelsea's youth team and he made his first-team debut in 1955. Although usually a centre forward, he was versatile enough to be used at full back and on occasions in goal. In 1960-61 he scored 16 goals and Greaves 43, their combined total still a club record for a striking partnership. But later that year he was sold to West Ham and then to Reading before he joined Portsmouth.
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