Ralph Guthrie: he played twice in goal for Arsenal in 1954

Ralph Guthrie was born in Hartlepool in 13 September 1932 and died September 1996, aged 54.  He was a goalkeeper who played twice for Arsenal..

He started out with Tow Law Town and was transferred to Arsenal in December 1952, at a time when the club already had Swindin and Kelsey on its books as keepers.   By the time Guthrie made his appearances in 1954/5 Kelsey was the number one, and Guthrie was lined up as his possible deputy, but it didn’t work out and by 1955/6, Guthrie had slipped down to third in the order and Sullivan was the reserve keeper.

However during the 1954/5 season he was part of the team that won the Eastern Counties League title.

As a result Ralph Guthrie got two games in his one season as backup keeper and that was that.

After leaving Arsenal in July 1956 he went back to his hometown and played for Hartlepools United (as they were then called) and was an ever-present in their 1956/57 promotion near miss near the end of Fred Westgarth’s long reign as manager.

before returning to non-league football with Horden Colliery Welfare where he also worked as a shipyard joiner.

As for his two games, sadly these were not a success.  His first was on 8 September 1954, a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at Maine Road in front of 38,146.

The team for that day was

Ralph Guthrie

Len Wills   Walley Barnes

Alex Forbes  Dave Bowen  Peter Goring

Don Roper Doug Lishman Derek Tapscott  Jimmy Logie Tommy Lawton


A similar disappoint result came in his second game on 16 October 1954 at Highbury, where 44,866 turned up to see Arsenal 0 Portsmouth 1.


The complete Arsenal on this day index is now here with around 5000 major events in Arsenal’s history recorded.  May and June recently fully updated.

Arsenal History Society


One Reply to “Ralph Guthrie: he played twice in goal for Arsenal in 1954”

  1. You need new batteries in your calculator. 1996 – 1932 = 64.

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