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.
Archie Irvine was born in Coatbridge, Scotland on 25th June 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 1973-74 he played in Rovers’ 2-2 FA Cup Third Round draw against Liverpool at Anfield as well as the replay, which Rovers lost. In July 1975, after six seasons at Belle Vue, Archie left to join Scunthorpe United where a played for a further season.
His record for Rovers was 247 senior 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.
Everyone at Doncaster Rovers would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to Archie’s family and friends at this sad time.