Tributes as former Doncaster Rovers captain who played in Liverpool cup classic dies

Tributes have been paid to a former Doncaster Rovers captain following his death at the age of 74.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 1:00 pm

Fans’ favourite Archie Irvine played for the club in one of the most fondly remembered games in Doncaster’s history when Rovers earned a 2-2 draw with the mighty Liverpool in the FA Cup during the 1970s.

Rovers led 2-1 at Anfield – against a Liverpool side that included Doncaster-born Kevin Keegan – and eventually ended the third round game in 1973-74 at 2-2, before losing a replay 2-0.

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Archie Irvine has died at the age of 74. (Photo: Doncaster Rovers).

Rovers have led tributes, posting a statement on Doncaster Rovers’ website.

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It said: “Everyone at Doncaster Rovers and the wider Club Doncaster family was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player and captain Archie Irvine at the age of 74, following a short illness.

"Everyone at Doncaster Rovers would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to Archie’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Born in Coatbridge, Scotland in 1946, he played for the junior side Armadale Thistle before signing for Airdrieonians in 1965.

In September 1968 he was signed by Sheffield Wednesday, then in the First Division, for whom he made 34 appearances, scoring once.

In December 1969, he moved across South Yorkshire to join Rovers, along with defender Ian Branfoot, in a deal that saw Harold Wilcockson join the Hillsborough club.

Archie made his Rovers debut at Belle Vue against Rotherham United on Boxing Day 1969 in front of a crowd of 19,742.

A fiery and combative midfielder, Archie did not always see eye to eye with referees but became a fans’ favourite. In successive seasons, 1971-72 and 1972-73, he was chosen as Supporters’ Club Player of the Year. He was also appointed team captain by manager Maurice Setters, who valued Archie’s leadership qualities.

In July 1975, after six seasons at Belle Vue, Archie left to join Scunthorpe United where a played for a further season.

His Rovers record was 247 games, putting him 21st on the all-time appearance chart. He also scored 19 goals, including a run of four goals in successive games between February and March 1972.

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