Orr Ronald Image 2 Newcastle United 1905

Orr Ronald Image 2 Newcastle United 1905

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Description

Bartonholm, near Kilwinning, Ayrshire born inside forward Ronald Orr began his football career with Kilwinning Eglinton in 1896 before joining Scottish League St Mirren in July 1898, scoring 27 goals in 55 appearances for The Buddies before he joined Newcastle United in May 1901. He made his Football League debut at Blackburn Rovers the same September as Newcastle went on to finish third in the League Championship, scoring 4 goals in an 8-0 thrashing of Notts County the next month, and he went on to be a huge success over the next seven seasons for The Geordies winning the League Championship twice in 1905 and 1907 and playing in Newcastle’s losing 1906 FA Cup Final team when Everton beat them 1-0 at The Crystal Palace, although he wasn’t selected for their 1905 FA Cup Final defeat to Aston Villa, despite having scored 4 goals in 6 of their cup ties on the way. During his Newcastle career he scored 69 goals in 180 games all told.

He was first selected for Scotland scoring the second goal in a 2-2 draw with England at Villa Park in May 1902 in the match that was the replay of the abandoned Ibrox Disaster match a month earlier, and he won his second and final cap in the same fixture at Parkhead in April 1904, in a match Scotland lost 1-0.

Signing for Liverpool for £350 in April 1908, he scored on his debut at Aston Villa the same month and over the next 3 years he scored 39 goals in 112 games for The Reds. In 1908-09 he was the club’s top-scorer with 23 from 35 games, with ten more goals than second highest scorer, Joe Hewitt, bagging a hat-trick in an FA Cup win over Lincoln City. However, Liverpool were close to relegation come the season end and Orr almost single-handedly dragged Liverpool out of trouble. Liverpool and Bury were equal on 33 points in fifteenth place when they faced each other in the penultimate game of the season. Orr let fly with “one of his old-time shots” in sixth minute, but Bury went 2-1 up and the Second Division was looming. Orr, however, scored the last goal of the game a minute before the interval. Liverpool needed a point in their last game of the season to avoid relegation. Opponents Newcastle had already secured the League Championship. In a scrappy game at St. James’ Park Orr was again Liverpool’s hero, scoring the only goal of the game in the seventy-eighth minute.

He then played 31 games in 1909-10 as Liverpool finished runners up in the League Championship, but he only played a handful of games in the first half of the 1911-12 season after injuring ligaments in his right leg in the the Mersey derby at Goodison Park in September, before he returned to Scotland with Raith Rovers in February 1912, but he only stayed a year before returning to The North East to play for South Shields with whom he was registered until 1919 and his retirement from the game. He also played for Fulham as a wartime guest during the First World War.

This superb image was published on a postcard published before the FA Cup Final at The Crystal Palace on 15th April 1905, which Newcastle United lost 2-0 to Aston Villa, with both goals scored in either half by Harry Hampton. This was to be the first of four FA Cup Final appearances in 6 years, although they only managed to win it in 1910.

The team line up, from left to right, is:

Back Row – Andy Aitken, Billy McCracken, Bert Gosnell, Jimmy Howie, Jock Rutherford

Middle Row – Andy McCombie, Peter McWilliam, Ronald Orr

Front Row – Jimmy Lawrence, Jack Carr, Colin Veitch

In reality Billy McCracken, who played some of the games in April 1905 and was still a young player, and Ronald Orr didn’t play in the Final, Alec Gardner and Bill Appleyard, both not pictured, played. Regardless, it’s a beautiful image.

A similar postcard of the Aston Villa team was also published.

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