Belatedly starting his professional career at Port Vale, and arriving at Exeter from Preston North End, Ronnie Jepson scored 25 league and cup goals in a fondly-remembered eighteen-month stay at St James Park. Moving to Huddersfield Town where he was both hugely popular and successful, Ronnie later coached at a number of professional clubs and - nearly thirty years after being signed by Neil Warnock from Exeter - teamed up with his old manager again to help save Huddersfield from relegation.
Hailing from North Staffordshire, Ronnie was twenty-five when he joined John Rudge’s Port Vale from nearby Nantwich Town in March 1989. A big, bustling “old-fashioned centre-forward” Ronnie made little impact at Vale Park and, after showing promise when on loan at Peterborough, moved to Preston North End for £80,000 in February 1991 where he scored eight times in 38 league outings.
Remaining in the third-tier of English football, the 29-year-old Ronnie agreed to sign for Exeter City in a £60,000 transfer in July 1992. Quickly becoming something of a cult hero in the eyes of Grecians’ supporters, Ronnie helped his new club avoid relegation at the expense of his immediate former club as City finished just above Preston. Continuing at St James Park into the 1993/94 campaign Ronnie quickly increased his Exeter tally to 25 league and cup goals from 67 outings before departing for Huddersfield Town for £80,000 in December 1993.
Signing for Neil Warnock, Ronnie scored on 42 occasions for the Terriers ahead of a move to Bury in August 1996 and a later switch to Oldham Athletic before concluding his professional career at Burnley with a final game on 1 January 2001.
Starting a coaching career, Ronnie was offered work by Stan Ternant - who had signed him for Bury and Burnley - firstly back at Turf Moor and later Gillingham. With Ternant soon leaving the Kent club, Ronnie took over as manager between November 2005 and September 2007 ahead of returning to Huddersfield to work alongside Ternant again for a brief period in 2008.
Taken on by Neil Warnock, Ronnie followed his old boss by accepting various roles at Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United between 2008 and 2013 prior to working alongside Kevin Blackwell - another former Warnock assistant - at Bury. As Blackwell left Gigg Lane in October 2013, Ronnie was briefly caretaker-manager before taking jobs at Cardiff City, Northampton Town and Middlesbrough.
Then, in February 2023, Neil Warnock (now aged seventy-four) and Ronnie Jepson (just short of sixty) returned to Huddersfield Town where they successfully helped the Terriers avoid relegation to League One ahead of each leaving the club in September 2023.
League 54; Cups 13 (67)