Robert Bruce
Robert Bruce
Robert Bruce
● Robert Bruce, 1923 (SP)

born in Scotland

Robert Fotheringham Bruce was born on Monday, 11th March, 1895, in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire.

The 5' 10 goalkeeper signed for George Easton's Thistle on Saturday, 3rd March, 1917, having most recently been with Raith Rovers.

Aged 22, he made his debut appearance on Monday, 9th April, 1917, in a 1-0 win at home to Clyde in the Scottish Football League.

In doing so, Robert joined the goalies' clean-sheet debutant's club.

He registered the last of his 7 clean-sheets on Saturday, 23rd March, 1918, in a 2-0 win at home to St Mirren in the Scottish Football League.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 25th May, 1918, in a 2-0 neutral-venue defeat against Celtic in the Glasgow Charity Cup, having appeared as a Jag on 18 occasions.

His club-list included Cowie Wanderers, Raith Rovers, Partick Thistle, Rangers, Alloa Athletic, East Stirlingshire, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, Nelson, Plean United, Stenhousemuir, St Bernard's, Clackmannan and Broxburn United.

Robert died on Thursday, 8th February, 1968, in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, aged 72.

Bio Extra

Robert Bruce was born on 11 March 1895 in Bridge of Allan. He was the second son of James (a blast furnace foreman) and Janet Bruce. Robert started his goalkeeping career at local side Cowie Wanderers, and in April 1916 he moved to Raith Rovers. He joined Thistle in March 1917, and having not long turned 22, he made his debut against Clyde in an SFL match on 9 April 1917. Thistle won 1-0 in front of a 10,000 crowd, Robert thereby starting his Thistle career with a maiden clean sheet. The Daily Record’s reporter “Brigadier” wrote that “Joe Harris played a spoiling and forcing game at left half for the Thistle, and had a good deal to do with spiking the Clyde attack at it’s best. Bulloch was always safe, and Bruce, the Kirkintilloch boy who made his debut in goal, played with supreme confidence and showed resource.

His Wikpedia entry has Robert receiving £1 per week, and expenses of 4/6 (4 Shillings and sixpence). Robert didn’t play all that often in the 1916/17 season, with Jim Ferguson as the embedded goal custodian. On 27 October 1917, Thistle beat Hamilton Academical 5-0 at a snowbound Firhill. Robert Mason, the Accies’ goalkeeper was said to be at fault for 2 of the Thistle goals, but the Jag’s keeper produced another clean sheet. He did get further appearances under his belt that season, during which Thistle competed unsuccessfully in 2 Cup finals. Jim Ferguson was in goal for the Glasgow Cup Final defeat against Rangers, where the Jags lost 4-1. Robert was in goal for the Glasgow Charity Cup Final against Celtic, but Celtic won the fixture 2-0 in front of 25,000 fans at Hampden Park.

Robert was perhaps unlucky in being sandwiched between goalkeepers Jim Ferguson and the experienced Alex Stewart, signed from Falkirk in August 1918. The Glasgow Charity Cup defeat was Robert’s final match for Thistle. Robert kept 7 clean sheets in his 18 starts, a creditable ratio of 38.9%. The player moved on, initially to Rangers, and then to Alloa Athletic. After a season with Alloa he moved to East Stirlingshire, and from there he joined the junior ranks with Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, where he played in goal for the club in their Scottish Junior Cup victory of 1921, beating Ashfield 1-0 at Hampden Park in front of 26,000 fans.

In October 1921, Robert moved to Nelson FC, an ambitious Lancashire club. He played for them on around 10 occasions, with a high percentage of matches where he didn’t concede any goals. They were on the up, and did win the Football League Third Division North title in the 1922-23 season. Robert went on to play for Plean United, Stenhousemuir, St Bernard’s, Clackmannan and Broxburn United. Robert died where he was born; in Bridge of Allan in February 1968, aged 72.


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