Ritchie George Image 1 Leicester City 1930

Ritchie George Image 1 Leicester City 1930


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Glasgow born left half George Ritchie began his football career with Maryhill from where he was signed by First Division club Blackburn Rovers in 1922, making his Football League debut at Oldham Athletic in April 1923. He played once more for Rovers in a home win over Middlesbrough a week later but returned to Scotland to join Royal Albert later the same year, where he played for four seasons before transferring to Falkirk in 1927.

Described in the press at the time as ‘one of the greatest left-halves in Scotland’, he was then bought by First Division club Leicester City, coming into the team at the end of September 1928, and he remained a regular for the rest of the season as Leicester finished runners up in the League Championship, their highest finish prior to winning the League in 2016, 87 years later.

Appointed captain after Johnny Duncan left Leicester City in 1930, Ritchie’s classy half-back performances stood out in an ageing side. Ritchie continued as a regular performer in Leicester’s teams for much of the 1930’s, missing only two matches in their 1932-33 campaign, but after their relegation from the First Division he fell out of favour, playing only 16 matches in their 1935-36 campaign and a dozen matches as they won the Second Division Championship in 1937.

After scoring 13 goals in 261 appearances for The Foxes, Ritchie joined Southern League club Colchester United in 1937 and won the Southern Football League Cup with The U’s in 1938 and the Southern League Championship in 1939, whereafter he retired from playing.

He became Ipswich Town’s assistant coach in 1939, but this position was short-lived as his new club was the only Football League team not to kick a ball for the duration of the Second World War.

When Duncan became Leicester City’s manager in March 1946, Ritchie returned to Filbert Street as trainer and was a key member of the backroom staff under the management of former teammate Johnny Duncan, serving as a trainer between 1946 and 1949 when the Foxes reached their first-ever FA Cup Final in 1949, before leaving professional football.

NB in the image he is shown with Leicester City team mates Harry Lovatt, Arthur Lochhead and Adam Black.

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