Ormston Alec Image 1 Stoke City 1948

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Ormston Alec Image 1 Stoke City 1948


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Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire born outside left Alec Ormston began his football career with local junior club Summerbank, from where he signed for hometown First Division club Stoke City aged 17 in July 1936, making his Football League debut in a goalless draw with Sunderland in November 1937. Although he remained mainly a reserve team player, Ormston featured in 16 matches for The Potters before his career was badly interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. uring the war he joined the home guard where he was stationed in Belfast. Whilst in Northern Ireland he played with Linfield from 1941, where he won a number of honours.

When the Football League resumed in 1946 he returned to The Victoria Ground as a first team regular, playing in their January 1946 FA Cup ties, and he had a prolific 1946-47 season scoring 21 goals in 45 matches from left wing as Stoke came within one win of winning the First Division title, Ormston missing only a pair of League games. In the final match of the season Stoke knew that a win at Sheffield United would hand them their first League Championship, Ormston scored as Stoke lost 2-1, handing the title to Liverpool. Ormston finished as the club’s second top goalscorer behind Freddie Steele in the campaign.

He had a peculiar crouching style, huddled over the ball with his body arched forward at a seemingly impossible angle as he was a hunchback. However, despite this at 5 ft 6 he was a pacey winger whose major strength was his crossing and his ability to track back and help out the defence which was unheard of in the 1940’s. Described as “Small of stature but big of heart, he is very fast and tricky. The way he lays over the ball makes it hard for opponents to get in an effective tackle. He crosses a lovely ball and many goals are scored from them”, Ormston remained a regular for two more seasons and was an ever present in their 1948-49 campaign.

However he started to suffer from chest complaints in 1949 and he missed most of the 1949-50 season before returning for the 1950-51 season, when he missed only 7 matches, but he only played twice more for Stoke City in September 1951. As the post war team started to split up and with new players being brought in Ormston left Stoke at the age of 32 for Southern League club Hereford United having scored 30 goals in 192 appearances for The Potters and later played for Stafford Rangers in 1953 and Runcorn in 1954 before his eventual retirement. He later worked part-time at Stoke City’s promotions office.

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