Another was Archie Ferguson, a member of the “Invincibles” of 1946-47; record-breaking champions of Division Three (North).
Ferguson joined Rovers in December 1941 during the course of World War Two. He had played for Raith Rovers before hostilities, but war service brought him to England where he also guested for Bolton Wanderers. He shared duties with the local lad Ken Hardwick in 1945-46 but with Hardwick unavailable, Ferguson was first choice for the first proper post-war season. He made his Football League debut, aged 27, on the opening day and missed only three games all season. Rovers had a powerful side, with a solid defence built around centre-half Syd Bycroft and a lively set of forwards. Centre-forward Clarrie Jordan established a club record with 42 goals and Paul Todd’s 23 league strikes would have made him top scorer in many a season. Archie played his part too, keeping clean sheets in five successive league games during March 1947. Rovers scored 19 at the other end and the run only came to an end when Archie missed the Easter games due to injury, Bill Lambton stepping in.
Rovers began 1947-48 in Division Two, and although Hardwick was now available, Ferguson kept his place. Despite some early promise, Rovers struggled and in December they lost their ‘keeper. Ferguson sustained a shoulder injury in the 1-6 defeat at Southampton and did not play again all season - Hardwick taking his place. That was to be Archie’s last game for Rovers: at the end of the season he was released, and he joined Wrexham. He had five good years at The Racecourse, playing over 120 league games and then returned to Scotland where he played for Dunfermline Athletic, his last professional club.
After his football career was over, Ferguson went to work at the Naval Construction Research Establishment at Rosyth in Fife. In 1981, he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his work on the development of metals for nuclear submarines. Whether that gave him more pleasure than his Third North Championship medal we do not know, but Ferguson certainly lived a full and interesting life and was successful in fields other than the football field.
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Name: Archibald FERGUSON, ISM
Born: Lochore, 9th December 1918
Died: Scotland, 19th March 1998
Signed for Rovers: December 1941, from Bolton Wanderers, ex. Raith Rovers
Left Rovers: June 1948, transferred to Wrexham
Appearances: League 61, Cup 4