| Squad Number:
|Date of Birth:
|Wednesday, January 4, 1893
Full Name: James Marshall Ritchie
A talented footballer in Montrose junior circles, James spent time with both Brechin City and Arbroath before his work as shoemaker took him to the Falkirk area. He signed for Bo?ness but is spell at the club was short lived as a business opportunity in his native Montrose saw him return home after only a few months. Signing initially for Montrose where he spent a season and then Dundee Hibs where his spell at the club would last only a few months. Having signed up for the Black Watch he departed south with the regiment in October 1915. In football terms his period in the Army was a great success, appearing twice for Scotland against England at Ripon and on his demobilisation there were a number of clubs chasing his signature. He decided on Cowdenbeath and known as the ?Montrose Flyer? it was here he came to the attention of the Aberdeen in a Scottish Cup tie the 1919-20 season. When Aberdeen were looking for a replacement for outside left Bobby Archibald they returned and signed him from the Fife club in what was seen by the press at the time as a ?notable capture?. The Dons had beaten several senior clubs from north and south of the Border to secure James?s signature and noted for not wasting any time in getting to the byeline coupled with excellent acceleration and an accurate crosser of the ball much was expected of him. The Aberdeen football public got their first chance to view James in action in the last trial match of the season. Playing for the ?A? side, James would score the winner in a 2-1 victory over the ?B? side. Twenty minutes into the second half he accepted a pass from inside left McLaughlin cut in from the left and scored with an unstoppable shot. He made his full debut against Dundee at Dens Park on 21st August 1920 in the first game of the new league season. Despite showing some good touches there was little support from his inside left partner and the result was the he failed to create anything of note. Three days later the Dons travelled to Ibrox and were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Rangers but on this occasion James forced a good save out of the Rangers ?keeper Robb and he almost snatched an equaliser at the death, shooting just past. Things didn?t get any easier for Aberdeen as on the following Saturday they faced Celtic at Pittodrie. Despite being narrowly beaten Ritchie and his fellow winger Middleton were noted as the best players of the forward line but both lacked support and the ball. Two days later Aberdeen travelled once again to Glasgow this time to face Third Lanark, it turned out to be a disappointing 3-1 defeat for both Aberdeen and James who was dropped for the next game. He returned against Clyde for the following game where Aberdeen won 3-0 and James was seen as one of the best of a clever forward line. He played in the following 0-0 draw against Ayr United but was dropped for the following two games. However, an outstanding game for
the reserves against Brechin City in which he showed some excellent touches and scored once in a 4-2 win saw him returned to the first team in place of the injured Middleton for the September Monday holiday game against Queens Park. Unfortunately James failed to do himself justice and was palpably off his game. It was to be his last senior game for the club and James would spend the rest of his Aberdeen career in the reserves. By the turn of the year he had started to show the type of form that had seen Aberdeen sign him in the first place. Scoring against Dundee reserves on New Year?s Day and setting up all three goals against Partick Thistle reserves later that month. However there seemed little chance of a revival of his career at Aberdeen and at the end of April he went on loan to his former club Dundee Hibs and signed permanently for them in the summer. A failure to provide the expected quality on the left wing and a period with a niggling injury had seen James unfortunately not reach the heights expected of him at Aberdeen. He spent a season at Dundee Hibs before finishing his footballing career at Montrose. James continued to concentrate on his shoemakers business at 69 Castle Street, Montrose and found time to become champion of Montrose Caledonia Golf Club. James emigrated to the USA in May 1929.
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