Bob McFarlane
Bob McFarlane
Bob McFarlane
● Bob McFarlane, 1922 (OH)

probably born in Scotland

Robert Angus McFarlane was born on Sunday, 17th January, 1897, in Maryhill, Glasgow.

The 5' 8 (10st 8lbs) forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Tuesday, 24th February, 1920, having most recently been with Queen's Park.

Aged 23, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 28th February, 1920, in a 2-0 defeat away to Airdrieonians in the Scottish Football League.

Bob scored his first goal for Thistle on Monday, 5th April, 1920, in a 2-1 defeat at home to Celtic in the Scottish Football League.

He scored the last of his 18 goals on Wednesday, 2nd May, 1923, in a 3-3 win (on a coin-toss aet & corners) away to Third Lanark in the Glasgow Charity Cup.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 3rd November, 1923, in a 6-0 defeat at home to Rangers in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 66 occasions.

His club-list included Parkhead, Queen's Park, Partick Thistle, Arbroath and Dundee United.

Bob died on Sunday, 12th June, 1955, in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, aged 58.

Bio Extra

Maryhill-born Bob was one of three Queen's Park players who turned professional with Thistle in 1920, after Matt Wilson and before Jimmy Kinloch. It's a fairly sure bet that the (then) 23-year-old would have done so sooner were it not for the severe distraction of World War I. As a qualified engineer, Bob's skills were in demand for the duration of the conflict, and he served with the Royal Navy, returning to the football when it was all over.

Bob could play anywhere along the front five, and did so for Thistle, even falling back to right half a couple of times to help the team out. Most of his 66 appearances were as centre forward. The great problem of 1920-21 was the quest to find an effective replacement for record-fee departure Neil Harris; no fewer than 8 of them were in and out of the team as the season progressed. Bob made only 14 appearances in the 55-game campaign, but could point to his Scottish Cup record and make a claim that he was underplayed.

3 crucial goals in 4 games was his invaluable Scottish Cup contribution; the second round winner against Hibernian, the quarter final equalizer in the mud at Fir Park and the decisive counter against the Steelmen again in the second replay at Ibrox. Indeed, Bob scored 30% of our Scottish Cup goals despite playing in only 4 of the matches. He had the best win rate of all players too @ 75%. This was a guy who liked to get the job done; his 21st century "virtual medal" is very well earned.


Just prior to World War 1 Bob had started out as a Parkhead player. He was capped for Scotland at Junior level on 3 occasions; against England Wales and Ireland. He also trained as a marine engineer at the Clyde shipyards, and had joined the RNVR. Bob joined the Royal Navy in 1916 and served for the conflict. At war end in 1919 he joined Queen’s Park, and played for the Spiders until 1920, appearing on 27 occasions for the club. He also studied engineering at the Royal Technical College of Glasgow in Montrose Street.

Bob signed as a professional with Thistle in February 1920. His 1921 Scottish Cup contribution is outlined above and in November 1923 and 66 appearances in Thistle colours he joined Arbroath. He played for the club until 1927. Bob started a coach touring company in Arbroath, and after a series of mergers the became part of the Alexanders & Sons bus group, which was started by Walter Alexander in Camelon in1913, and became a large Scotland wide bus group. Bob worked in management for the company’s Arbroath area, before returning with the company to Glasgow. In World War 2 Bob served with the Auxilliary Fire Service in Clydebank, and was there during the Blitz that caused so much damage and loss of life in the town.

On account of his service during WWI, Bob is included in our feature piece, The Partick Thistle returned →.


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