Focus On; Ralph Coates

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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 Orient, making 480 appearances in the Football League. Coates also earned four caps for England during 1970 and 1971.

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. Coates joined Burnley on trial in 1961 and after a period as an apprentice turned professional in 1963. He made his first-team debut in December 1964 scoring his first goal in a 2–0 win against Leicester City in March 1965. He would go on to make 261 appearances for Burnley in all competitions scoring 32 goals. After Burnley had been relegated from the First Division in 1971 Coates was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £190,000. 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. 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 Orient where he was also on the coaching staff. He played 84 games in all competitions for Orient scoring 12 goals.

He retired from professional football in 1982 but continued to play non-league football for Hertford Heath, Ware and Nazeing. Coates played eight times for England U-23 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.


  • Full Name: Ralph Coates
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 26.04.1946
  • Birthplace: Hetton Le Hole
  • Nation: England
  • Club Career: Burnley
  • Period: 1964-1971
    • League Games, 216
    • League Goals, 26
    • Previous Club: –
      • Transfer Fee: –
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