David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.13 – Willie Orr

Willie Orr was one of the great early Celts, although he is sadly little known about now. He was born in 1873 and joined Celtic in 1897, one of Maley’s first signings. He was a left back, but he could play in other positions as well, particularly left half.

Willie Orr did not immediately command a place, but appeared in the 1900 Scottish Cup final against Queen’s Park. Very soon he earned three Scotland caps, and became captain of Celtic, such were his leadership abilities.

He was himself a hard tackler and a good ball distributor, if not a classy full back of the Dan Doyle type. He captained Celtic to two Scottish Cup successes in 1904 and 1907 (scoring a penalty in 1907) and the League Championship in 1905, 1906 and 1907.

He retired from the playing side of the game soon after, and returned to his native Airdrie. He became their Manager in 1921 and he produced a great team which won the Scottish Cup in 1924 and contained men like Bob McPhail and Hughie Gallacher.

He then moved on to Leicester City where he was less successful before returning to Falkirk where his career finished on a sour note when he was given a sine die suspension for allegedly trying to bribe an opponent to feign injury and not turn out against Falkirk. He died in 1946.

David Potter

Willie Orr
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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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