Player #332

Appearances:

225

Starts:

225

Goals:

167

Seasons:

9

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Pongo Waring

Position

Centre Forward

From

1927-28

To

1935-36

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Pongo Waring

Seasons Quick-View

Seasons

1927-28
1928-29
1929-30
1930-31
1931-32
1932-33
1933-34
1934-35
1935-36

Age*

20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

Division

D1
D1
D1
D1
D1
D1
D1
D1
D1

Appearances

225
13
42
23
40
38
6
28
25
10

Starts

225
13
42
23
40
38
6
28
25
10

Substitute

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Unused

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Goals

167
7
32
11
50
30
4
14
14
5

*Age on opening day of the season

FAC: FA Cup; FL: Football League; D1: Division 1; D2: Division 2; D3: Division 3; PL: Premier League; CH: Championship

Thomas Waring

Birth Date

Friday, 12 October 1906

Birth Place

High Tranmere, Birkenhead

Birth Country

England

Villa Youth

n/a

From

Transfer in

Tranmere Rovers

For

£4,700

On

February 1928

Previous Clubs

Mersey Park Council School |
Tranmere Colts |
Tranmere Celtic |
Tranmere Rovers |

Loans Out

None

Transfer Out

To

Barnsley

For

Free

On

1935

Subsequent Clubs

Barnsley |

Villa Career

Seasons Active, Fee, Starts (Sub) | Goals |

1928-35 Aston Villa, £4.7k, 225 | 167 |

Played Under

Billy Smith led Management Committee |
Jimmy McMullan |

First Squad Appearance

Saturday, 25 February 1928

Debut Appearance

Saturday, 25 February 1928

Sunderland (a), Division One

First Goal

Saturday, 25 February 1928

Final Appearance

Saturday, 12 October 1935

Bolton Wanderers (h), Division One

Final Squad Appearance

Saturday, 12 October 1935

Honours

Played for the Villa

Height

Foot

International Team

England

Died

20 December 1980, Aged 74

Pongo Waring

Player #332 for Aston Villa, Thomas Waring, known as Tom Waring and nicknamed Pongo by which he has subsequently become known, played as a centre forward for the club.

Pongo played for Villa between 1927-28 and 1935–36 making 225 appearances and scoring 167 goals.

Pongo was born in High Tranmere, Birkenhead on 12 October 1906 and made his debut appearance for Villa on the 25 February 1928 aged 21.

Villa had signed Pongo from Tranmere Rovers for a fee of £4,700 earlier in February 1928, and he went on to score 7 times in 13 games in his debut season.

Another 160 goals would follow over the next 7 seasons as Pongo wrote his name into Villa legend.

None of his seasons were unremarkable for scoring - indeed he only once had a worse league scoring ratio of less than a goal every pther game in 1929-30 when he hit 11 in 23 league games. His most remarkable season however came in 1930-31 when he chalked up 49 goals in just 37 league appearances.

His scoring record in 1930-31 was simply breathtaking:

Saturday, 30 August 1930 | Manchester United | Waring 4 |

Monday, 1 September 1930 | Sheffield Wednesday | Waring |

Saturday, 6 September 1930 | West Ham United | Waring 4 |

Tuesday, 9 September 1930 | Grimsby Town | Waring |

Saturday, 13 September 1930 | Bolton Wanderers | Waring |

Monday, 15 September 1930 | Grimsby Town | Waring |

Saturday, 20 September 1930 | Liverpool | Waring |

Saturday, 27 September 1930 | Middlesbrough | Didn't score |

Saturday, 4 October 1930 | Huddersfield Town | Waring |

Saturday, 11 October 1930 | Sunderland | Didn't score |

Saturday, 18 October 1930 | Birmingham City | Waring |

Saturday, 25 October 1930 | Leicester City | Waring |

Saturday, 1 November 1930 | Blackburn Rovers | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 8 November 1930 | Arsenal | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 15 November 1930 | Derby County | Waring |

Saturday, 22 November 1930 | Blackpool | Didn't score |

Wednesday, 3 December 1930 | Portsmouth | Didn't score |

Saturday, 6 December 1930 | Sheffield United | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 13 December 1930 | Leeds United | Waring |

Saturday, 20 December 1930 | Manchester City | Waring |

Thursday, 25 December 1930 | Chelsea | Waring |

Friday, 26 December 1930 | Chelsea | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 27 December 1930 | Manchester United | Didn't play |

Thursday, 1 January 1931 | Newcastle United | Didn't play |

Saturday, 3 January 1931 | West Ham United | Didn't play |

Saturday, 17 January 1931 | Bolton Wanderers | Waring |

Saturday, 24 January 1931 | Liverpool | Didn't score |

Saturday, 31 January 1931 | Middlesbrough | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 7 February 1931 | Huddersfield Town | Waring 2 |

Wednesday, 18 February 1931 | Sunderland | Waring 4 |

Saturday, 21 February 1931 | Birmingham City | Didn't score |

Saturday, 28 February 1931 | Leicester City | Waring |

Saturday, 7 March 1931 | Blackburn Rovers | Waring |

Saturday, 14 March 1931 | Arsenal | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 21 March 1931 | Derby County | Didn't score |

Saturday, 28 March 1931 | Blackpool | Waring 3 |

Saturday, 4 April 1931 | Portsmouth | Didn't score |

Tuesday, 7 April 1931 | Newcastle United | Waring |

Saturday, 11 April 1931 | Sheffield United | Waring 2 |

Saturday, 18 April 1931 | Leeds United | Waring |

Saturday, 25 April 1931 | Manchester City | Waring |

Saturday, 2 May 1931 | Sheffield Wednesday | Didn't score |

Unsurprisingly Pongo was, and still is, the subject of many eulogies from those who watched him in his prime and those who recognise his greatness through his statistics including this dissection of his astonishing career from the Birminghammail.co.uk in March 2018 - 90 years after he signed for Villa.

"From boyhood, “Pongo” Waring was a remarkable footballer. Born in Birkenhead on this day 1906, from the moment he was able to kick a ball, he showed an unerring instinct for propelling it into any adjacent net. A prolific scorer at school, Waring’s first input to the professional game was as a chocolate-seller at his local club Tranmere Rovers. Just over six-feet tall he had everything a top striker needs. Height, speed, amazing strength – he was almost impossible to knock off the ball – and intelligence. As quick of thought as he was of foot, Waring was deadly in the box. He would go on to score three goals every four matches."

Villa team-mate and no small figure in the club’s history himself, Billy Walker, wrote of Pongo in his 1959 autobiography:

“There were no rules for Pongo. Nobody knew what time he would turn up for training —ten o’clock, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, it made no odds.

“Nobody on the staff could do anything with him although I think I can claim, as the captain in his days, to be the only person able to handle him. He was a funny lad indeed.

“We started the week’s training on Tuesday mornings and every Tuesday he followed a habit which he could never break.

“He would go round all the refreshment bars on the ground and finish off the lemonade of customers, storing the remains in the bottles!

“Then he would start a little of his training—but that seldom lasted very long.

Pongo played his final game for Villa on 12 October 1935 before moving to Barnsley amidst much disappointment from the Villa faithful.

Pongo had played under the Billy Smith led Management Committee and Villa’s first manager proper, Jimmy McMullan.

Pongo passed away in Birkenhead on 20th December 1980 aged 74.

Pongo did return to the club eventually however as his ashes were scattered across his beloved and beloving Holte End.