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Tom 'Pongo' Waring

Thomas (Tom) 'Pongo' Waring (October 12, 1906 - December 20, 1980) was an English footballer.

Nicknamed 'Pongo' after a famous cartoon of the time, Waring is one of Aston Villa's all-time great centre-forwards.

He signed for Tranmere Rovers in 1926, scored 6 of the 11 goals they put past Durham City F.C., and then moved on to Aston Villa for ú4,700 two years later. A crowd of 23,000 saw him play on his Villa debut in a reserve game against local rivals Birmingham, in which he scored a hat-trick.

His 226 appearances for Villa yielded 167 goals, including 10 hat-tricks and a club record 49 goals in the 1930-31 season.

His status as an Aston Villa legend is increased due to his reputation as one of the most likeable, big-hearted clowns ever to play for the club . Villa's captain of the day, Billy Walker, remembered him fondly years later in his 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 weeks 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 left in the bottles! Then he would start a little of his training - but that seldom lasted very long.

In November 1935, Waring went to Barnsley, angering the Villa fans and prompting 5,000 of them to call for his return to the club. After a spell at Barnsley, Waring also played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tranmere (again), Accrington Stanley, Bath City, Ellesmere Port Town, Graysons F.C., Birkenhead Dockers and Harrowby. Finally, he guested for New Brighton in 1939-40.

Waring was also capped five times by England.

Pongo Waring also worked for The Hercules Motor and Cycle Company in Aston.

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