Mention the name Ralph Coates to O’s (and Spurs) supporters of a certain age and the phrase ‘He had Bobby Charlton’s combover’ would in all probability be thrown back at you. Even so, there was a lot more to Ralph than just his hair  blowing in the breeze as he ghosted down the wing at Brisbane Road during the back end of the 1970’s.

It’s quite easy to forget that Ralph Coates had a pretty decent career even before the walked through the door at E.10 around forty years ago. He played top flight football at Burnley in the 1960’s and earned two England caps along the way before Ralph made the transition to Tottenham for a cool £190,000 following the clarets relegation to the old second division in 1971. Coates played a big role in spurs’s successful team of the early part of that decade (when they used to win silverware) and could boast UEFA and league cup winner medals, scoring the winner in the 1973 final V Norwich City. There were also two other international caps for England, against Wales and Malta, to go alongside those honours.

Five years later Ralph found himself signing for the O’s and fitting into a side with the likes of fellow ex- Spurs team mate Ian Moores. Those days were part of  my early O’s supporting ‘career’, but one thing my hazy memory can recall are that the goals he scored tended to be a bit on the spectacular side. Two televised crackers, one in the classic 3-3 home encounter v Brighton in March 1979 and away at Sunderland in 1980 stand out, along with a belter v Cambridge United in front of the south terrace on the 1st of March 1980 that crashed in off of the cross bar in a 2-0 win.

Following the close of the 1979/80 season Ralph lost his place in the side and eventually joined the coaching staff at the O’s before retiring and drifting away from the professional game. He continued to play non-league football for Hertford Heath, Ware and Nazing and also ran a local sports centre after a stint as a travel agent.

In 2010 Ralph Coates was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur ‘Hall of Fame’ but tragically suffered a stroke in December that year and passed away shortly afterwards. His O’s legacy will always be one of a talented, popular player who could conjure up a goal out of nothing. I’ve reproduced an article produced for the club magazine from a fixture V Oldham Athletic from 10 January 1981 which featured Ralph and added a you tube clip  featuring his goal for the O’s v Brighton from 1979.

ralph coats




With the O’s boasting an unbeaten start to the new season There are a few long suffering supporters thinking that the club is finally on it’s way back to better times. After a chance find in a Suffolk junk shop we can take a look back 48 years to 1970, just as Orient were beginning to turn some pretty desperate recent history around back then…

Back from the brink_1

The Scott McGliesh interview

Posted: August 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

scott mcgleish

With three separate spells at East London’s finest spanning fifteen years you could say that Scott McGliesh had seen it all at the O’s. ‘Kid Sampson’ grabbed a fantastic interview with Scotty for the ‘Ear  back in 2010.

click on link to access the interview

Scott McGleish

One night in Millwall…

Posted: August 2, 2018 in Uncategorized



On a chilly February evening in 2007 the O’s took part in a bit of a classic encounter south of the river Thames at the ‘Den’, home of the infamous Millwall F.C. 

That game was notable for the hat-trick produced by on loan forward, Ryan Jarvis, one that etched his name into Orient folklore and sealed a memorable 5-2 victory. It was also a night that one O’s fan received death threats from his fellow supporters for declaring that the points were in the bag when Orient were 3-0 up after twenty minutes. Joe Durston takes up the story…

Millwall 2 Leyton Orient 5





The Big Lee Steele interview

Posted: August 1, 2018 in Uncategorized


When it comes to cult heroes the name Lee Steele is pretty high up on the list of many long suffering O’s supporters. Joe Durston (who became quite adept at tracking down and grabbing a few words with former O’s players) comes up with another cracking interview that graced issue 190 of the ‘Ear back in August 2008.

Click on link below to access the interview

The Big Lee Steele interview



Lee Harvey has the dubious honour of being interviewed by the Leyton Orientear not once, but twice. Joe Durston took him for a walk down memory lane for a second time in Issue 192 back in October 2008.

Click on link to access the interview

Lee Harvey interview 2


Matt Lockwood was, arguably, one of the best attacking full backs ever to play for the club. The mag ran an in depth article covering his time at the O’s from 1998-2007 and published it in the May 2017 edition of the Leyton Orientear. Sam Trendall takes us through a career with plenty of highs and low’s…

Click on link to access interview.

Matt Lockwood interview