John O'Rourke (footballer)

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John O'Rourke
Personal information
Full name John O'Rourke
Date of birth (1945-02-11)11 February 1945
Place of birth Northampton, England
Date of death 7 July 2016(2016-07-07) (aged 71)
Place of death Dorset, England
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1963 Chelsea 0 (0)
1963–1966 Luton Town 84 (64)
1966–1968 Middlesbrough 64 (38)
1968–1969 Ipswich Town 69 (30)
1969–1971 Coventry City 54 (17)
1971–1974 Q.P.R. 34 (12)
1974–1976 AFC Bournemouth 22 (4)
1975 Poole Town (loan)
1976 Rangers Johannesburg
1976–1977 Weymouth
1977 Poole Town
1977–1980 Dorchester Town
1980–1981 Poole Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John O'Rourke (11 February 1945 – 7 July 2016) was a professional footballer. His position was Centre Forward.

During his career he played for Ipswich Town F.C.,[1] Middlesbrough F.C.,[2] Coventry City F.C., Luton Town F.C., Queens Park Rangers and A.F.C. Bournemouth.

Such was his scoring success and popularity on Teesside that fans would sing "Give us a goal, John O'Rourke" to the tune of The Troggs song "Give it to Me". An £18,500 signing from Luton Town, he scored two on his debut at Colchester and went on to score 27 in 39 games as Boro clinched promotion from Division Three at the first attempt. This included a hat-trick in the crucial last match of the season, a 4-1 victory over Oxford United. The following season, 1967-68, he scored two further hat-tricks before moving to Ipswich Town in February 1968 for £30,000.[3]

On 31 December 1966, while playing for Middlesbrough, O'Rourke was involved in a collision with Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Bernard Hall, which left Hall in a coma for sixteen days and ended his footballing career.[4]

When his playing days were over, O'Rourke became a newsagent on the south coast. He died on 7 July 2016, aged 71 of cancer.[5]


  1. ^ "John O'Rourke". Pride of Anglia. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  2. ^ "Boro Legends - John O'Rourke". 2007-07-27. Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  3. ^ "John O' Rourke". Middlesbrough Football Club. 
  4. ^ Gerry Prewett (14 June 2009). "Rovers Legends: Bernard Hall". Bristol Rovers Football Club. Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Tributes paid to former Boro striker John O’Rourke". ITV News. 8 July 2016. 

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