Horatio Stratton Carter

“Raich” Carter

21 December 1913 - 9 October 1994

One of the greatest English footballers of the pre-war era, Horatio “Raich” Carter was the son of Port Vale, Fulham and Southampton player, Robert Carter.

Before joining Derby County, he had captained the English schoolboys' football team and played for Sunderland between 1931 and 1939. Whilst he was with Sunderland he captained the club to the League title in 1936 and its first FA Cup victory the following year.

Carter's involvement with Derby began in 1937 when, on Monday 26 April, he married Rose Marsh at Spondon Methodist Church. Miss Marsh, the only daughter of Mr and Mrs F Marsh of 18 Rupert Road, Chaddesden was described by the Derby Evening Telegraph as a “pretty brunette bride-to-be”. She had known Horatio for many years when the two families lived near each other in Sunderland and both of them attended the same Sunday school. The Marsh family moved to Derby late in 1935 so that Mr Marsh could take a job at British Celanese.

In the 1937 FA Cup Semi-Final Sunderland beat Millwall at Huddersfield, and went on to win the Cup 3-1 against Preston North End on 30 April. When Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) presented him with the Cup, she commented that it would make a fine wedding present.

During his wartime service in the Royal Air Force he continued to play football for the RAF. Being moved to a station within easy reach of Derby, he put in a guest appearance playing for Derby County on Saturday 9 October 1943 with a "hat-trick" against Birmingham in which the Rams won 5 – 3.

The following Saturday he was chosen to play for England against Scotland but there were regular appearances with Derby County during the rest of the 1943-44 season. With many players in the armed forces, the Derby County team continued to include “guest” players from other teams although no report has been found of a guest playing against the team to which he was contracted. On 2 December 1944, Carter was one of four guest players in the Derby team against Mansfield Town at Mansfield in which the Rams won 4-0.

As Sergeant Carter of the RAF, he delivered a lecture on football to a party of American servicemen including a description of the intricacies of the offside rule to men who may never have seen the British game.

The war ended, football players were discharged from the services and began to resume peacetime careers left six years earlier. For summer 1945, Derby County set up a cricket team to play mid-week evening and Sunday matches. Horatio Carter was a good cricketer, having been awarded his County Cap by Durham County Cricket Club in 1932. Playing against Sandiacre on 9 July 1945, Carter scored 92 not out in 50 minutes. The Rams declared at 164 for nine, and after Sandiacre had lost six wickets for 96.

Carter's continuing involvement with Derby County led to rumours that Derby had made an offer to Sunderland for his services but that was denied by Ted Magner, the team manager, who stated that "no offer has been made in any way whatever." The club seemed more interested in the transfer of Peter Doherty, Manchester City's Irish international, another wartime guest player who signed for Derby County in September/October 1945.

However, that changed in November 1945 when Carter asked to be placed on the transfer list, giving as the reason his wife's health and the desire that she should live near her mother at Chaddesden.

Raich Carter was in Chaddesden on 6 December 1945, as a guest at Chaddesden Cricket Club's annual dinner, held in the Memorial Hall. Carter congratulated Chaddesden on the success of their club when replying to the toast to the guests.

Derby County was remarkably slow in making a bid for Carter and it was not until 21 December 1945 that telephone negotiations led to agreement with Sunderland. Mr J S.Catterall, the Derby County secretary, accompanied Carter when they left Derby by train at 2.25 that afternoon. Petrol was still rationed and train services little improved from wartime. With one change of train at York, they were due to arrive at Sunderland at 9.30 in the evening, leaving sufficient time to sign contracts before the midnight deadline for transfers to qualify players to appear in the Cup ties. York station was thronged with crowds of pre-Christmas travellers and the two men from Derby missed the last train to Sunderland. The Rams' secretary decided to complete the journey by taxi and Sunderland was reached at 11.30. With only a few minutes to spare, the contracts were signed.

Rather than stay overnight in Sunderland, the entire return journey to Derby was made by taxi, arriving at 6.40 in the morning. That left Carter just a few hours to sleep before leaving for Birmingham as his first match as a Derby County player in which the Rams lost 1-0.

While playing for the Rams, Carter lived at Rupert Road, Chaddesden. He took Derby to their first and, to date, only FA Cup win, 4-1 against Charlton Athletic on 27 April 1946 and became the only player at that time to hold a cup winner's medal on either side of the war years. He was eventually capped 13 times for England.

Incidentally, another member of the 1946 Cup-winning team lived in Chaddesden many years later when Reg Harrison set up the Chesapeake Youth Club and Football Club in the 1980s.

Raich Carter made appearances for Derbyshire County Cricket Club on three occasions in summer 1946, but was considered not to be up to first-class status, scoring a total of eight runs and taking two wickets.

He did better at a local level, as on 7 August 1946 when a record crowd, for a semi-final, of 3,000 at the County Ground saw Chaddesden win over Duffield by 10 wickets. Brilliant bowling by G Antill and an attractive innings by Carter were largely responsible for Chaddesden's easy win in the semi-final of the Mayor's Hospital Cup. E. M. Butterworth scored 10 for Duffield, and was run out when attempting a run off the last ball of an over from J. Murfin. In the following over, Antill had an inspired spell, taking four wickets with consecutive balls. Thus, five wickets fell in five deliveries and Duffield were all out for 38. Carter took the honours in Chaddesden's innings, and Duffield's total was passed without loss. The winners continued batting, and Carter scored 49, including two sixes and six fours, out of a total of 61 for three.

That was in the days when the football season was shorter than it is now and Chaddesden CC often contained members of Derby County including Raich, Jack Nicholas and Johnny Richmond. These three were supported by some well known local cricketers such as Reg and Michael Harris (father and son), Ted Hough, Dave Kerry, Graham Clark, Norman West, Dick Pickering, Colin Brown and Doug Ferneyhough.

Raich Carter, now a member of Chaddesden CC, attended the club's annual dinner in December 1946 along with Jack Nicholas. The two brought with them the FA Cup which made a spectacular and unusual centrepiece on the table.

Carter's time with Derby County was short as there were approaches by Leeds United, Hull City and Nottingham Forest early in 1948. Nottingham County were also reported to be interested. Carter was “rested” and did not play for the Rams against Liverpool at the Baseball Ground on 31 March 1948.

A contract being signed as player and assistant manager for Hull City, Carter left Derby for Hull on 2 April 1948. His career in management covered 18 years and, after Hull City 1948-1951, included Leeds United 1953-1958, Mansfield Town (as player/manager) 1960-1963 and Middlesbrough 1963-1966.

Raich died aged 80 at Hull in 1994. He is commemorated at Sunderland’s multi-purpose sports centre, ‘The Raich Carter Sports Centre’, which was opened by Sir Trevor Brooking and members of Raich’s family in 2001. Part of the A1033 road in Hull is named ‘Raich Carter Way’.



Chaddesden Cricket Club players - Raich Carter second from left - at the County Ground in 1946.

Further Reading

Raich Carter at Sunderland


Raich Carter at Leeds United



Click Chad to go home