Andy Cunningham (footballer)

Andrew Cunningham (31 January 1891 – 8 May 1973) was a Scottish footballer. His position was striker.

Andy Cunningham
Personal information
Full name Andrew Cunningham
Date of birth 31 January 1891[1]
Place of birth Galston, Scotland
Date of death 8 May 1973(1973-05-08) (aged 82)
Place of death Glasgow, Scotland
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
1906–1907 Galston Riverside Rangers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1907–1909 Newmilns
1909–1915 Kilmarnock 184 (74)
1915–1928 Rangers 350 (162)
1928–1931 Newcastle United 15 (1)
Total 549 (237)
National team
1912–1928 Scottish League XI 10 (1)
1915[2] SFL XI (wartime) 1 (0)
1920–1927 Scotland 12 (5)
Teams managed
1930–1935 Newcastle United
1937–1940 Dundee
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

Born in Galston, Ayrshire, Cunningham began his career with local Junior side Newmilns FC[3] before moving to Kilmarnock in 1909. After six seasons at Rugby Park[4] he joined Rangers in 1915.[5] He made his Rangers debut on 5 April 1915 in a 1–0 defeat to Partick Thistle, and made five appearances in his first season at Ibrox. Cunningham served as a lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War.[6]

Cunningham continued to be used infrequently by manager William Wilton before establishing himself in the Rangers team in 1918–19. He won seven League titles and played in Rangers' famous 1928 Scottish Cup Final triumph where they defeated Celtic 4–0 to win the trophy for the first time in 25 years. In total, he made 389 League and Scottish Cup appearances and scored 183 goals for the Govan club.[7]

Cunningham was also capped at international level, playing 12 times for Scotland and scoring five goals; he lost just one of his matches for Scotland. Cunningham also represented the Scottish League XI 10 times.[8]

Managerial career

Cunningham moved to Newcastle United in 1928, becoming the then oldest player to make his debut in the English football League at the age of thirty-eight. He began his Newcastle career as player/manager and then went on to become full-time manager of the club after retiring from playing. Technically, he was the first true manager of the club, as his predecessor Frank Watt had no control over team selection.

He guided the club to FA Cup success in 1932 after beating Arsenal 2–1 in the final. However, the club was also relegated to the Second Division whilst he was at the helm. Cunningham eventually left the club in 1935. He is remembered as a moderately successful manager of the club, having won 105 games out of 251.

After his time with Newcastle, he returned to Scotland where he managed Dundee between 1937 and 1940 before becoming a sports writer after World War II.

Personal life

His younger brother William was also a footballer who played as a defender; the siblings were teammates at Kilmarnock for four seasons up to 1915,[9] though William's career ended then after he qualified as a physician.[5][10]


Newcastle United

See also


  1. (Scotland player) Andy Cunningham, London Hearts Supporters Club
  2. Association Football. Belgian Refugees' Fund, The Glasgow Herald, 17 May 1915
  3. The Hawthorns Series, Scottish Sport History, October 2014
  4. Kilmarnock player Cunningham, Andy, FitbaStats
  5. John Litster (October 2012). "A Record of pre-war Scottish League Players". Scottish Football Historian magazine. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. "North East War Memorials Project – Regional Content". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. Rangers player Cunningham, Andy, FitbaStats
  8. "(SFL player) Andrew Cunningham". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  9. (Kilmarnock player) Cunningham, William, FitbaStats
  10. William Cunningham, Find A Grave