Willie Orr

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Willie Orr
Personal information
Full name William Orr
Date of birth (1873-06-20)20 June 1873
Place of birth Shotts, Scotland
Date of death 26 February 1946(1946-02-26) (aged 72)
Place of death Airdrie, Scotland
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
? Airdrieonians
1894–1897 Preston North End 69 (2)
1897–1908 Celtic 165 (19)
National team
1903 Scotland[1] 1 (0)
Teams managed
1921–26 Airdrieonians
1926–32 Leicester City
1932–35 Falkirk
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William "Willie" Orr (20 June 1873 – 26 February 1946) was a Scottish football player and manager.


Playing career[edit]

Willie Orr began his career at Airdrieonians before moving to Preston North End in 1894. It was at Celtic though where he made his name. He made his debut in a 4–1 victory over Hibernian in 1897 and helped lead Celtic to the Scottish title in his first season there. A strong, assured left-back,[2] Orr's influence as a leader shone after he became Celtic captain in 1902 and captained the club to 3 league titles and 2 Scottish cups, including a double in 1906–07.[3]

Managerial career[edit]

Orr began his career as manager where he also began his playing career, at Airdrieonians in 1921. His leadership qualities showing again, Airdrie surprised many by finishing runners-up in Scotland in his second season, the club's highest ever league finish and a placement he would achieve for each of the following four seasons, narrowly missing out on the title each time. He also led Aidrie to the club's only ever major honour, the: 1924 Scottish Cup.[2]

His success at Airdrie, prompted the interest of English side Leicester City to replace the outgoing Peter Hodge. Orr continued Hodge's passing style and in only the club's third ever season in the top flight finished in a respectable 7th position, to that point the club's highest ever finish.[4] The side only continued to improve under Orr and the following season in 1927–28 the club finished 3rd in the league and the following season again, they finished runners-up, losing the title to Sheffield Wednesday by a single point. Leicester began to decline after the loss of inspirational captain Johnny Duncan, who was deemed to have terminated his own contract after breaking the club rules in taking over the licence of a local public house.[5] and in January 1932 he resigned on the back of six straight league defeats.

Orr soon took the hot seat at Falkirk, but was banned for life in 1935 by the Scottish FA for a bribery scandal. Although the ban was lifted in 1937, Orr never returned to football.[2]


As a player[edit]


As a manager[edit]

Leicester City


  1. ^ Willie Orr at the Scottish Football Association
  2. ^ a b c Dave Smith & Paul Taylor (2010). Of Fossils and Foxes. ISBN 1-905411-94-4. 
  3. ^ Celtic Captain's – Season by Season theceleticwiki.com, retrieved 21 February 2011
  4. ^ Leicester City : History 1918 to 1945 statto.com, retrieved 21 February 2011
  5. ^ 'The 125 Year Official History of Leicester City DVD (2009)