Ian Ure

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John Francombe "Ian" Ure (born 7 December 1939) is a Scottish former footballer. Ure began his career in his native Scotland with Dundee, before moving to England to play for Arsenal and Manchester United. After eight years in England, Ure returned to Scotland with St. Mirren; however, after two years with St. Mirren, Ure had only made three appearances and went into management with East Stirling. During his time with Dundee and Arsenal, Ure also made 11 appearances for the Scottish national team.


Born in Ayr, Ure started his career as a centre half with Ayr Albion. In 1958, he joined Dundee, for whom he played for five seasons. During that time, the club won its one and only First Division title in 1962-62, and reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1962-63, losing 5-2 on aggregate to eventual champions Milan. During this time Ure also won eight caps for Scotland, his debut coming against Wales on 8 November 1961, a game Scotland won 2-0.

He moved south of the border in 1963 for a transfer fee of £62,500 to play for Arsenal. He only missed one match for Arsenal in his first season (and won a further two caps for Scotland), but injury and a loss of form restricted his appearances in 1964-65 and 1965-66, although he still managed more than 20 matches each season. Ure was restored to the Arsenal lineup by Bertie Mee, however, and played 44 matches in 1966-67; he won his eleventh and final cap for Scotland against Northern Ireland on 21 October 1967.

Ure continued to feature regularly for Arsenal as the 1960s went on, but during this time built a reputation for errors, exemplified by his mistake in the 1969 League Cup final against Swindon Town, which allowed Roger Smart to score Swindon's opening goal; Swindon went on to win 3-1 after extra time. Ure's reputation was sufficient enough to be noted by Nick Hornby in his book, Fever Pitch:[1]

Despite his reputation, Ure played 202 matches for Arsenal in defence over the course of six years, scoring two goals, and picking up two League Cup runners-up medals (having also played in the 1968 Final as well). However, with Frank McLintock and Terry Neill competing for the centre half position, Ure found himself being squeezed out towards the end of that decade, and he left Arsenal in August 1969 to join Manchester United. The only major signing made by manager Wilf McGuinness, Ure spent two seasons at Manchester United before returning to Scotland to play for St. Mirren.

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