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At the age of 28 Milne donned the claret and blue shirt for a single first team appearance. This was a Littlewood's Cup Fifth Round replay tie away at Derby County on January 24, 1990 when he came on in extra-time as a substitute for Liam Brady.
Milne played the last 22 minutes of extra time as the tie ended goalless. For the following week’s Upton Park replay he was an unused substitute. He did not figure in any of the Hammers’ league games during his loan spell.
Three-days after his Baseball Ground debut for the Hammers, his only other game was for the Reserves in the Ovenden Papers Football Combination fixture against Fulham at the Boleyn Ground on January 27 which ended in a 2-1 victory.
On Sunday September 6, 2015 the former Dundee United and Manchester United midfielder and one of Scotland’s most talented footballers to never win a Scottish full international cap passed away.
Milne's playing career included a very brief loan spell with West Ham United in January 1990.
After a highly successfully career with Dundee United he struggled to always find his best form and problems he admitted with alcoholism and gambling addiction did not help his short but gifted playing career.
Born: Dundee, Scotland May 13, 1961 Ralph died September 6, 2015 aged 54.
A statement on the Dundee United website read:
Ralph can now take his seat in the main stand on high alongside other departed club legends
Midfielder Ralph Milne will be best remembered for being part of Dundee United’s highly successful side of the 1980s when they won the Scottish League Championship, reached the Scottish League Cup Final twice and the Scottish FA Cup final once.
After winning the Scottish League in 1982-83, Dundee United controversially lost to Italian side AS Roma at the semi-final stage of the European Cup the following season.
After a comfortable 2-0 first-leg win at Tannadice Park, United were narrowly eliminated by the Italian side two-weeks later at their Stadio Olimpico ground in Rome by 3-0.
The Roma club were later fined and suspended by UEFA for one year and their president Dino Viola received a four-year ban, for attempting to bribe the referee. An additional incentive for AS Roma to reach the final was that their Olimpico Stadium was selected to host the final. Though the fine and suspension was no compensation for Milne losing out on a finalist's medal. However, justice prevailed when the Italians were subsequently beaten by Liverpool, 4-2 on penalties, after drawing 1-1 in normal time.
After making his Dundee United debut in September 1979, a 2-2 draw at Celtic Park, he made close to 300 League and Cup appearances (74 goals) for the Tannadice Park club before moving across the border into English football.
Dundee United Reign in Scotland
Claret & Blue Appearances
Manager Lou Macari discloses:
Ralph used to be very, very, quick and has a good footballing brain. I think he has lost a bit of pace but this often happens to players who spend long spells in reserve football
At the end of his month loan spell he returned to Manchester United. In season 1989-90 he also made a single substitute appearance for the Red Devils before his time at Old Trafford and English football ran out in June 1991. He later played for Sing Tao FC (Hong Kong).
Littlewoods Cup Fifth Round Replay
January 24, 1990
Liam Brady (Ralph Milne)
Stewart Robson (Alan Devonshire)
Return to Old Trafford
Date of Birth:
May 132, 1961
January 1990 (One month loan)
1 League Cup
theyflysohigh would like to pass on our condolences to Ralph's friends and family at this sad time.
He initially spent a year with Charlton Athletic (1987-88) and made 22 League appearances for the Addicts before moving on loan to Bristol City in the Third Division. The loan soon turned into a permanent move.
A return of good form at Ashton Gate prompted Alex Ferguson to sign him for Manchester United for £175,000 in November 1988. In a promising start for the Red Devil's he made twenty two league appearances netting three times.
Competition for a first team place at Old Trafford saw the gifted midfielder slip into the reserves and the prospect of playing Huddersfield Town reserves on a wet, windy, Saturday afternoon was hardly appealing. An opportunity to resurrect his careeer was offered when West Ham’s manager Lou Macari took him on a month's loan in January 1990.