Inverness born left half Roddy McEachrane started his football career with Inverness Thistle in 1897 but moved to Canning Town, London at the age of 20 in 1898 to work at the Thames Iron Works, and joined the works football team, Thames Ironworks Football Club, soon to become West Ham United. He soon settled in the side as a left half back with a reputation for tough tackling. He was an ever present for The Irons in the 1898-99 season, helping them to win the The Southern League Division Two title. He was again an ever present the following season, and again during Thames Ironworks’ first season under their new name, West Ham United. McEachrane was also one of the Irons’ first players to turn professional and during his time as a player for the club in both its incarnations he amassed 9 goals in 123 appearances.
In May 1902, McEachrane moved south of the River Thames to join Second Division side Woolwich Arsenal, and was later joined by ex-West Ham team mates James Bigden and Charlie Satterthwaite. He made his Football League debut at Preston North End on 6th September 1902, and his arrival coincided with the south London club’s first period of success, as they finished third in the 1902-03 season, and then second in 1903-04, which won them their first promotion to the First Division. McEachrane, at left half, was near ever-present, and although the Gunners usually only occupied mid-table in their first stint in the top flight, they reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1906 and 1907, McEachrane playing in both defeats.
McEachrane continued to be a stalwart in midfield for the next four seasons, as Woolwich Arsenal finished sixth in 1908-09 (McEachrane missing only two games that season), but he could not go on forever; by 1911 he was 33 and was displaced by fellow Scot Angus McKinnon. He remained at the club for another three seasons as McKinnon’s understudy, although by now the club had fallen on hard times, and were relegated in 1912-13. He played his last first-team match for Woolwich Arsenal in a 1-0 home win over Birmingham on 22nd November 1913. The arrival of World War One suspended all first-class football in England, and with it finished McEachrane’s career. In all he played 346 games for Arsenal in eleven years, every single one at left half and he never scored a goal, however. He also holds the slightly unenviable Arsenal club record for the most appearances by a player without winning a cap or a medal.