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Ronald E Crabtree

Ronald E Crabtree

Sun Lakes, AZ since 1998

Born - Derby, England 1937


Education  - Bemrose Grammar School, Derby, England

- Derby College of Technology (now University of Derby)


Military – Served in the British Army, REME.


Career – Rolls-Royce Ltd., UK, engineering apprentice, draftsman.

              Bristol Aircraft/ British Aircraft Corp., UK, engineer

              Teddington Aircraft Controls Ltd., UK, sales & liaison engineer

Garrett Corp/Allied Signal/ Honeywell Corp., USA, various engineering and sales positions over 30 years.

Retired from Honeywell Corp. 1997.


Family – Wife Ann, two sons Steven and Gary both played in AYSO 1970- 80 and daughter Jane. Four grandchildren Christopher, Ashley, Westley and Jason but only Ashley played soccer for 2 years in Phoenix.


Soccer  – I played competitive soccer until I was 51. Tried out for Derby County Boys in 1950 and played for semi-pro teams in the LA Soccer league from 1973-5.

In my school days real soccer balls were a rarity and were made of heavy leather, which absorbed water and impossible for a youngster to kick with no junior sizes available. I am sure that the quality of soccer players would have been much better in that era with today’s boots and balls. The soccer boots had leather layered cleats (studs) that were nailed into the sole and after playing with them for a while would frequently puncture the leather and your foot causing in some casing infection. The weather and poorly maintained fields challenged the players so that very few kids played at school and you had to be good enough to play for the school team. The only venues for kids to play soccer was school the streets with old tennis balls. Consequently soccer was only for the well-developed and very talented kids in their teenage years. The AYSO philosophy that boys start at age 6 and everyone play was paramount so that the players and parents would in turn enjoy and adopt the most popular sport on the planet. After 50 years the USA is making great strides in competing with football and baseball at both amateur and professional levels.

I only started playing regularly soccer at 30 after arrival into the USA in 1967 for the Garrett Corp / Airesearch Company team in local leagues around the LA South Bay area. I first met Joe Bonchonsky at Airesearch in 1968 were he talked me into helping coach one of the teams at the Beer Gardens on Torrance Blvd. The teams were hand picked by the coaches and tended to be one-sided affairs.

 I coached my sons’ and other AYSO teams in that period from 1969 to 1980. This was a great experience working with the different kids with various skills and abilities. Winning was great but was only part of the satisfaction seeing the players grow and work together as a team. The parents learnt about soccer from the sons and were enthusiastic and supportive. The quality of refereeing grew with the experience the volunteers gained from each game just like the players. I was able to recruit many Airesearch friends and local people into AYSO to coach, referee or help. Most of them had sons who were introduced to the game and their wives became team mothers. The whole family got involved in practice nights and Saturday fixtures. The daughters were also introduced into AYSO teams later. The team selection process was very important in balancing each team so that they competed well against each other. The first selection process started at Jefferson School, Torrance about 1970 were each coach rated the players skills such as dribbling, shooting, passing, running, etc. Each player was then selected in rotation by the coaches to form their teams. This was also the time when the rules stated that every player must play at least one quarter of the game. Most of the players and coaches accepted this rule from the beginning.