From the Archives

Former Hammer Archie Macaulay passed away on this day 25 years ago, on 10th June 1993.

Archibald Renwick Macaulay was born in Falkirk on 30th July 1915. He joined Glasgow Rangers in 1933 and soon found himself playing at inside-right in the first team, winning a Scottish Cup medal in 1935/36 and a Scottish League Championship medal in the following season.

In 1937 Charlie Paynter managed to persuade the 22-year-old Macaulay to join Second Division West Ham United for a fee of £6,000. A volatile, red-haired Scot, he made his debut in a 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa on 28th August 1937 but soon made his presence felt, scoring his first goal in claret and blue in front of 22,467 supporters in a 3-1 win over Bradford Park Avenue at the Boleyn Ground on 4th September 1937. Macaulay bagged his first brace for the Irons in a 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forest on 19th March 1938. The Hammers went on to finish in ninth place in the second tier in 1937/38 with Macaulay joint top-scorer with Stan Foxall having scored ten goals in 39 games. On 24th September 1938 he scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory against Tranmere and ended the 1938/39 season as top-scorer with 16 goals in 36 games.

With the outbreak of war in September 1939 the government imposed a ban on the assembly of crowds and as a result the Football League competition was brought to an end. Macaulay joined the Essex Regiment and eventually became a Sergeant-Major Physical Training Instructor at Aldershot. The Football League War Cup was set up though and, despite the fears that London would be bombed by the Luftwaffe, over 42,300 fans decided to take the risk of visiting Wembley on 8th June 1940 to see West Ham beat Blackburn 1-0, with Macaulay winning the third medal of his football career. As he was based in England for the duration of the war, Macaulay was able to make 59 appearances for the Hammers during this period, scoring 17 goals.

In the 1945/46 season he played for West Ham United in the First Division South league. However, he found it difficult to settle after hostilities had ceased and only played in eight games the following season before being transferred to the then more glamorous First Division Brentford in October 1946 for a fee of £7,500. His new manager, Tom Whittaker, later recalled: “Macaulay, a brilliant ball player and magnificently balanced, had the reputation of a temper in keeping with his red hair”. Macaulay made his official Scotland debut against England at Wembley on 12th April 1947, having been converted to a wing-half. He was also selected to play for Great Britain in a one-off match against a Rest of the World team in May 1947. Macaulay then moved on to play for Arsenal, with whom he would win the First Division title in 1948 and the majority of his seven Scotland caps, and Fulham before joining Guildford City as player-manager.

In 1957 he was appointed manager of Norwich. He led the Third Division side to the FA Cup semi-final in his first season and won promotion to the Second Division in his second campaign. He was one of the first managers to implement the 4-3-3 system and generally regarded as being tactically ahead of his time. In 1961 he moved on to West Bromwich Albion; however, this was not a success and after winning only 26 of 67 games he was sacked in 1963. Macaulay’s next appointment was as manager of Brighton, leading the club to promotion from the Fourth Division in 1965. He also worked with Dundee in an administrative capacity and was connected with Liverpool in 1970. Macaulay left football management and retired from the game; he later worked as a traffic warden in Chelsea. Archie Macaulay died aged 77 on 10th June 1993, 25 years ago today.