Richard McFadden

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Richard McFadden
Personal information
Full name Richard McFadden
Date of birth 1889
Place of birth Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Date of death 23 October 1916 (aged 27)
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1910–1911 Blyth
1911 Wallsend Park Villa
1911–1915 Clapton Orient 137 (66)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Richard McFadden (1889 in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire – 23 October 1916 in Flanders, France) was a Scottish footballer who was Clapton Orient's top scorer for four consecutive seasons between 1911–1915.

Having moved from Scotland to Blyth as a boy, McFadden started his career in the Northern League with Blyth in November 1910, before moving to Wallsend Park Villa for a fee of £2. In May 1911, he joined Clapton Orient, scoring on his debut against Derby County on 2 September.[1]

McFadden broke Orient's goalscoring record in his first season with the club, scoring 19 goals, only to break the record again in what was to be his final season, 1914–1915, with 21 goals. In the intervening two seasons, he was still Orient's top scorer.[2] He also represented a Southern XI in a match against England in November 1914, scoring the only goal of the game, after which a Daily Express reporter declared that McFadden was the "outstanding player on the field".[3]

McFadden attracted press attention off the pitch in 1912 when he rescued an 11-year-old boy from the River Lea, for which he received a medal from the Mayor of Hackney. Prior to joining Clapton Orient McFadden had also risked his own life when rescuing a man from a burning building.[4]

At the outbreak of World War I professional football was suspended, and McFadden joined the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, the "Footballers' Battalion", along with 40 other Orient players and staff. He rose to the rank of Company Sergeant Major.[5] During the Battle of the Somme, he witnessed the death of his childhood friend and Orient teammate William Jonas in July 1916, and was injured himself a few weeks later. On his recovery he returned to the front and earned the Military Medal, but on 22 October 1916 received serious injuries from which he died the following day.[6] His death was acknowledged by other football clubs, including Arsenal in their official programme, and the Manchester Football Chronicle stated, "In civil life he was a hero, and he proved himself a hero on the battlefield."[4] McFadden is buried at Couin British Cemetery.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b Neilson Kaufman, "The Men Who Made Leyton Orient Football Club", Tempus, 2002, pp.326.
  2. ^ Neilson Kaufman & Alan Ravenhill, "Leyton Orient: The Complete Record", Breedon Books, 2006, pp.236.
  3. ^ Stephen Jenkins, "They Took the Lead", DDP, 2005, pp.63.
  4. ^ a b Stephen Jenkins, "They Took the Lead", DDP, 2005, pp.59.
  5. ^ a b [1] CWGC Casualty record.
  6. ^ Stephen Jenkins, "They Took the Lead", DDP, 2005, pp.52.