Alva, Clackmannanshire born inside left Archie “Curly” McPherson began his football career with Alva Albion Rangers in 1926 before joining Glasgow Rangers in 1927, for whom he had a spell on loan at Bathgate before he made his Scottish League debut against St Johnstone in August 1929. Opportunities at Ibrox were limited and he scored twice in 8 appearances that autumn before he arrived on Merseyside in November 1929 to sign for Liverpool, making his Football League debut against Leeds United at Anfield on 23rd November.
McPherson then took over the inside left position and only missed two matches between his debut and the end of that season, scoring five goals in the process. McPherson was one of two ‘ever-presents’, the other being Tommy Lucas, in 1930-31 and he contributed ten goals to the season’s League total of 86 but only two goals followed a year later when he was restricted to 28 League appearances. Although he stayed at Anfield for another three seasons, the number of games he played reduced each season. In his final two campaigns he played more or less all his matches at right half until he made the last of his 133 League and FA Cup appearances, during which he scored 19 goals, in a home match with Leicester City on 17th November 1934.
He joined Second Division Sheffield United in December 1934 and his spell at Bramall Lane is most notable for his being part of The Blades’ team that reached the 1936 FA Cup Final, only to lose 1-0 to George Allison’s Arsenal in what was certainly no disgrace for a Second Division team up against the strongest club side (by far) of the 1930’s. He returned to Scotland with Falkirk in 1937 having scored once in 67 appearances for The Blades, finishing his playing career with a spell at East Fife, joining them in 1938, and finally at Dundee United in 1939.
He later managed Alloa Athletic from August 1959 to his death in December 1969.
NB the photograph was taken immediately before Liverpool’s match against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on 17th October 1931, a late Gordon Gunson goal sealing a 2-1 Liverpool victory.