North Berwick welcomes Neil Orr

North Berwick Sporting Memories were delighted to welcome former West Ham United, Hibernian & Morton footballer Neil Orr to a recent session. 

Neil and his family are now living in North Berwick and he is a keen golfer and had become acquainted with Sporting Memories through playing with members. 

The group were entertained with tales about Neil’s football career that included over 500 games at senior level with and against some of the country's greatest players of the 1980s and 90s including Kenny Dalglish, John Collins, Tony Cottie, Andy Ritchie and Frankie McAvennie. 

He was capped for Scotland Under-21s and the Scottish Football League XI, His career started at Morton (his father, Tommy Orr’s old team) and he stayed there for seven years, racking up 196 appearances. He joined West Ham United in January 1982 for £400,000, making his debut on 9 January 1982 against Manchester United. 

He made a total of 175 league and cup appearances for West Ham, scoring five goals. He went on to play for Hibernian and St Mirren, before ending his career at Queen of the South. 

A memory of Neil’s playing time 

One of our members recalled seeing Neil play at St James Park, Newcastle. Graham began: “I do remember seeing him at Newcastle and there was much hilarity at the club, at my expense, over the fact that he was in the West Ham team that beat Newcastle 8-1 on a Monday night (a record for WHU that still stands today) when Newcastle's two keepers were injured and so the smallest player on the pitch - Peter Beardsley - finished the game in goal for Newcastle,”  

“Neil remembered it well as it was one of the rare occasions he actually scored a goal! He doesn't remember the return game so well - a game I was also at - when we beat West Ham 4-0.” 

Memorable Shorts 

Always keen to see memorabilia, the club members were delighted that Neil had brought along some of his old kits, each with a story. He even attempted to try on his West Ham shorts - a little tighter now perhaps than back in the day. But it was the era of skimpy shorts and curly perms and Neil and the members had a good laugh over that as he sported both at the time! 

Neil even brought along goals and a ball to get everyone involved and there was a wee game at the end which was much enjoyed by all the club. 

New members are always welcome to join the group which meets at North Berwick Rugby Club every Tuesday from 1.30 to 3.00pm. Contact Graham on 07983 152566 for more info or visit our website  

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