Lawrie Leslie

Last updated

Lawrie Leslie
Personal information
Full nameLawrence Grant Leslie [1]
Date of birth(1935-03-17)17 March 1935
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of death 4 June 2019(2019-06-04) (aged 84)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Newtongrange Star
Senior career*
1956–1959 Hibernian 75 (0)
1959–1961 Airdrieonians 42 (0)
1961–1963 West Ham United 57 (0)
1963–1966 Stoke City 78 (0)
1966–1968 Millwall 67 (0)
1968–1969 Southend United 13 (0)
National team
1960–1961 [2] Scottish League XI 3 (0)
1960–1961 Scotland 5 (0)
1961 [3] SFA trial v SFL 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Lawrence Grant Leslie (17 March 1935 – 4 June 2019) [4] was a Scottish professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Hibernian, Airdrie, West Ham United, Stoke City, Millwall and Southend United. Internationally, he represented Scotland on five occasions. [5]


Early life

Leslie was born in Edinburgh. As a boy, he was run over by a truck and advised by doctors that he may not regain the ability to walk. [6]

Playing career

In Scotland

Leslie began playing football with Hawkhill Amateurs. In the early 1950s, he turned semi-pro and joined Newtongrange Star. He played for his regimental side at Oswestry after joining the Royal Artillery in 1956. Lawrie signed pro forms with Hibernian following a trial that Army compatriot and Hibs player Jock Buchanan had suggested he apply for. After initially competing for his place with Tommy Younger, he became the club's first choice 'keeper and was in the Hibs side that reached the 1958 Scottish Cup Final, which they lost 1–0 to Clyde. [7] After playing 98 matches for the Easter Road side he moved to Airdrie in November 1959 for £4,475. Leslie spent two seasons at Broomfield Park and became club captain. [6] He was later inducted into the club's Hall of Fame. [8]

In England

Leslie moved to West Ham United in 1961 for £14,000. He won 'Hammer of the Year' at the end of his first season, becoming the first goalkeeper to earn the accolade. [7] The following season, Leslie suffered a broken leg in a game against Bolton Wanderers on 3 November 1962, but managed to regain fitness for the final four games of the campaign. After falling out of favour at West Ham at the start of the 1963–64 season - by this time Leslie's replacement, Jim Standen had established himself as the Hammers' first choice goalkeeper-, he requested a transfer. [6]

After 61 league and cup appearances for the east London club, [9] Leslie joined Stoke City for a fee of £14,000 in October 1963 and in his first season helped the club to reach the League Cup Final. [5] Leslie played in the first leg of the final at Stoke's Victoria Ground, a 1–1 draw, but he was injured for the decisive second leg. Reserve 'keeper Bobby Irvine stepped in and Stoke lost the game 3–2. [5] In the 1964–65 season, Leslie made the number one spot his own as the missed just two matches out of 50. [5] He lost his first choice status in 1965–66 due to the emergence of John Farmer and he left in the summer of 1966 for Millwall. [5] He spent two seasons at The Den before finishing his career with Southend United. [1]


Leslie won five caps for the Scottish national team while with Airdrie, all during the 1960–61 season. [10] His international debut came on 22 October 1960, against Wales; Scotland lost the game 2–0, but his performance earned many plaudits. He was due to play for Scotland in the infamous 9–3 defeat by England at Wembley, but he was injured one week beforehand and Frank Haffey was selected instead. [7]

Later life

After his retirement from playing, Leslie coached at Southend and went on to a role as trainer-coach at Millwall. He was later involved in coaching schools football. [6] [7]

Leslie died in June 2019, aged 84. [11]

Career statistics

Source: [12]

ClubSeasonDivisionLeagueFA CupLeague CupTotal
Hibernian 1956–57 Scottish First Division 1200000120
1957–58 Scottish First Division3307060460
1958–59 Scottish First Division3004060400
Airdrieonians 1959–60 Scottish First Division1100000110
1960–61 Scottish First Division3100000310
West Ham United 1961–62 First Division 3701010390
1962–63 First Division2000020220
Stoke City 1963–64 First Division2505050350
1964–65 First Division4103040480
1965–66 First Division1200020140
Millwall 1966–67 Second Division 4202020460
1967–68 Second Division2501020280
Southend United 1968–69 Fourth Division 1300020150
Career Total33202303003850


Source: [13]

National teamYearAppsGoals
Scotland 196020

Related Research Articles

Hibernian F.C. Association football club in Leith, Scotland

Hibernian Football Club, commonly known as Hibs, is a professional football club based in the Leith area of Edinburgh, Scotland. The club plays in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). The club was founded in 1875 by members of Edinburgh's Irish community, and named after the Roman word for Ireland. Nowadays, whilst the Irish heritage of Hibernian is still reflected in the name, colours and badge, support for the club is now based more on geography than ethnicity or religion. Their local rivals are Heart of Midlothian, with whom they contest the Edinburgh derby.

Airdrieonians F.C. (1878) Former association football club in Scotland

Airdrieonians Football Club, more commonly known as Airdrie, were a Scottish professional football team from the town of Airdrie, in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire.

Ian William Murray is a Scottish football player and coach, who is the manager of Scottish League One club Airdrieonians.

Steven Whittaker Scottish footballer

Steven Gordon Whittaker is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Dunfermline Athletic.

Steven Archibald is a Scottish former professional footballer and manager. He played prominently as a forward for Aberdeen, winning the Scottish league in 1980, Tottenham Hotspur, winning two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup, and Barcelona, winning the Spanish league in 1985. He also played for several other clubs in Scotland, England, Spain and Ireland.

Lawrance Reilly was a Scottish footballer. He was one of the "Famous Five", the Hibernian forward line during the late 1940s and early 1950s, along with Bobby Johnstone, Gordon Smith, Eddie Turnbull, and Willie Ormond. Reilly is rated amongst the top forwards in Scottish football history and was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Barry Lavety is a Scottish former footballer.

1996–97 in Scottish football

The 1996–97 season was the 100th season of competitive football in Scotland. This season saw a playoff system introduced between the second bottom club in the Premier Division and the second top club in Division One.

Andrew McNeil is a retired Scottish football goalkeeper who is currently the goalkeeping coach at Hong Kong Premier League club R&F.

Brian Rice is a Scottish football player and coach, who is currently the head coach of Hamilton Academical. Rice played for Hibernian, Nottingham Forest, Grimsby Town, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Falkirk, Dunfermline Athletic, Clyde and Greenock Morton. After his retirement from playing, Rice worked as a coach for Greenock Morton, Airdrieonians, Falkirk, Hibernian, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and St Mirren. He then became a head coach in January 2019, taking charge of Hamilton Academical.

Darren McCormack is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a defender.

Gareth John Evans is an English football player and coach. He played for Coventry City, Rotherham United, Hibernian, Stoke City, Northampton Town, Partick Thistle, Airdrie and Alloa Athletic. Evans has been the caretaker manager of Hibernian and Livingston, and was head coach of the Scotland women's under-19 national team for four years.

Mark Oxley English association football player

Mark Thomas Oxley is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Southend United.

William Fraser Russell was a Scottish professional footballer who played as an inside right. He scored both goals for Airdrieonians in the 1924 Scottish Cup Final.

Ross Laidlaw is a Scottish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Ross County. He has previously played for Raith Rovers, Elgin City, Hibernian and Dundee United.

Season 1996–97 was difficult for Hibs, as the club finished ninth in the Premier Division and only avoided relegation to the First Division by winning a playoff against Airdrie. There was also disappointment in the cup competitions, as the club were beaten by Celtic in the Scottish Cup, and Rangers in the League Cup. Manager Alex Miller was sacked in late September and replaced temporarily by Jocky Scott, before Jim Duffy took charge.

The 2013–14 season was Hibernian's fifteenth consecutive season in the top flight of the Scottish football league system, having been promoted from the Scottish First Division at the end of the 1998–99 season. Having lost the 2013 Scottish Cup Final to league champions Celtic, Hibs entered the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, but suffered a Scottish record aggregate defeat against Swedish club Malmö in the second qualifying round. Hibs also competed in the 2013–14 Scottish League Cup but lost to Heart of Midlothian in the quarter final at Easter Road. Days after that defeat, manager Pat Fenlon resigned and was replaced with Terry Butcher. Hibs were knocked out of the 2013–14 Scottish Cup in the fifth round by Raith Rovers. A long winless run to finish the 2013–14 Scottish Premiership season meant that Hibs finished in 11th place, and they were relegated after a playoff against Hamilton Academical.

Jason Cummings Scottish footballer

Jason Steven Cummings is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Dundee.

The 2019–20 season was Hibernian's third consecutive season in the top tier of Scottish football, the Scottish Premiership, having been promoted from the Scottish Championship at the end of the 2016–17 season. Hibs finished seventh in the league, which was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They lost to Celtic in the semi-finals of the League Cup and Hearts in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

Scott Stewart is a Scottish footballer who plays for Arbroath as a full-back or midfielder. He began his career at Airdrieonians.


  1. 1 2 "Lawrie Leslie". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  2. [ SFL player Lawrence Grant Leslie, London Hearts Supporters Club
  3. Ronnie McDevitt (2016). Scotland in the 60s: The Definitive Account of the Scottish National Football Side During the 1960s. Pitch Publishing. ISBN   9781785312458.
  4. "Lawrie Leslie: Former Millwall goalkeeper passes away aged 84". Millwall FC. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN   0-9524151-0-0.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 126. ISBN   1-903135-50-8.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Vallance, Matt (15 April 2011). "Luckiest 'unlucky' goalkeeper who missed Scotland's 9–3 humiliation". The Scotsman . Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  8. "Hall of Fame". Airdrieonians F.C. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  9. "Lawrie Leslie". Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  10. Lamming, Douglas (1987). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who's Who, 1872–1986 (Hardback). Hutton Press. ISBN   0-907033-47-4.
  11. "Lawrie Leslie". Airdrieonians FC. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  12. Lawrie Leslie at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  13. Leslie, Lawrie at