Roderick McEachrane

Roderick McEachrane

Roderick (Roddy) McEachrane was born in Iverness, Scotland in 1878. He played fottball for Inverness Thistle before moving to Canning Town in order to work for the Thames Iron Works Shipbuilders in 1898.

A talented wing half, McEachrane, made his debut for Thames Iron Works against Shepherd's Bush on 10th September, 1898. That season the club easily won the Southern League Division 2. They obtained 9 points more than their nearest rivals Wolverton and Watford, who tied for second place. McEachrane played in every league game that season. He repeated the feat the following season.

In 1900 Thames Iron Works FC became West Ham United. Once again, the hard-tackling McEachrane had another 100% appearance record. He played in 26 games in the 1901-1902 season before joining Woolwich Arsenal in May 1902.

McEachrane made his debut against Preston North End on 6th September 1902. He then became a regular member of the first-team and in the 1903-04 season played alongside Jimmy Ashcroft, William Linward, Tommy Briercliffe, Tommy Shanks, Tim Coleman and Percy Sands in helping Woolwich Arsenal win promotion to the First Division.

Arsenal did reasonably well in the First Division finishing in 10th place (1904-05) and 12th (1905-06). The club also had a good FA Cup run that season beating Watford (3-0), Sunderland (5-0), Manchester United (3-2) before losing to Newcastle United 2-0 in the semi-final with Jimmy Howie and Colin Veitch getting the goals.

Arsenal finished in 7th place in the 1906-07 season. Once again they had a good cup run beating Bristol City (2-1), Bristol Rovers (1-0) and Barnsley (2-1) before losing to Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 in the semi-final.

During this period Arsenal had a very impressive forward line that included Bert Freeman, Charlie Satterthwaite, Tim Coleman, Bobby Templeton and Billy Garbutt. The defence was also very good with players such as Jimmy Ashcroft, Andy Ducat, Jimmy Sharp and Percy Sands in the team. However, Arsenal encountered serious financial problems at this time and within 12 months the club sold Freeman, Coleman, Sharp, Ashcroft and Garbutt. Ducat and Templeton followed soon afterwards.

However, McEachrane remained, playing 313 league games and appearing in 33 FA Cup ties before retiring after the outbreak of the First World War.

Roderick McEachrane died in November 1952.