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Dave Storrier

Dave Storrier by Fraser Clyne

The development of football as a professional sport in England in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s resulted in many Scots being enticed to move South, lured by the prospect of  potential fame and fortune. A number of Red Lichties joined this exodus, including full-back David Storrier who signed for Everton in 1893 after just one successful season at  Gayfield.

Storrier, who was born in Arbroath, joined the Maroons as a 20 year-old in 1892 after playing for another local club known as the Dauntless. He helped the Lichties win the Northern League  which was a highly prized title in those days with senior teams from Perth, Dundee, Angus and Aberdeen all taking part. Storrier’s fine performances attracted numerous scouts from the big city clubs who were anxious to snap up promising young players and it was no surprise when the 21 year-old defender joined the gold rush and signed for the Goodison Park side.

Storrier played for Everton for five seasons in the English top flight and was in the team that lost 3-2 to Aston Villa in the 1897 FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace. He was reasonably successful during his spell on Merseyside but eventually things turned a little sour when the club failed to win the First Division title. Davie believed the Liverpool outfit had grown tired of their Scottish imports and he decided it might be in his interests to move back to Scotland. He tipped off  a journalist and within a few days Celtic had come along with a deal. Storrier didn’t hesitate, jumping on a train for Glasgow as soon as the offer had been made, and signed on for the Hoops.

Despite taking a while to settle at Parkhead, the Arbroath man went on to make numerous important league and cup appearances for Celtic over a three year period. His best spell was in 1899 when he was capped for Scotland against England, Wales and Ireland.  Davie helped the Scots thrash Wales 6-0 at Wrexham, then captained the side that crushed Ireland 9-1 in Glasgow. Scotland’s only defeat that season came in the third game when England triumphed 2-1 at Villa Park when another legendary  Lichtie, Ned Doig, was the Scotland keeper.

Storrier was also captain of the Celtic team that defeated Old Firm rivals Rangers 2-0 in the 1899 Scottish Cup Final. He won a second winner’s medal the following year when Queen’s Park were defeated 4-3 in the final at Ibrox. Throughout his time at Parkhead, however, Celtic never won the League title.

In 1901 Storriers’s career took a nose dive when he was suspended by Celtic “on suspicion of malingering.” Its not clear exactly what basis there was for this allegation, but Davie moved on to Dundee. He played just 10 games for a struggling Dens Park outfit that finished the season second bottom of Division One. Storrier took to the road again, this time signing for Millwall who at the time were managed by Scotsman Bob Hunter.

Davie played for the London club until 1904 when he retired from the game and returned to Arbroath where he had business interests. A keen all-round sportsman, Storrier also played cricket for Arbroath United. He died in 1910.

Article contributed by Fraser Clyne author of The History of Arbroath Football Club

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