Bob Smellie
Bob Smellie
Bob Smellie
● Bob Smellie (QPC)

born in Scotland

Robert Smellie was born on Sunday, 22nd December, 1867, in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.

Although normally a defender, he appeared on the left wing as a guest for Thistle in August, 1901, whilst a Scottish Amateurs / Queen's Park player.

Aged 33, he made his only appearance on Tuesday, 20th August, 1901, in a 2-0 defeat at home to Queen's Park in a benefit match for Willie Paul.

There were no goals for Bob in his one-off appearance for Thistle.

His club-list included Clydesdale Colts, Hamilton Academical, Queen's Park, Corinthians, Motherwell, St Bernard's, Scottish Amateurs and Partick Thistle.

Bob died on Sunday, 14th October, 1951, in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, aged 83.

Bio Extra

Bob was one of the finest left backs of his day. He started out with Clydesdale Colts before his first stint with his local team, Hamilton Accies, in the days before the Scottish Football League. Whilst at Hamilton, he was appointed as the first president of the Lanarkshire Junior Association in 1885. Bob joined Queen’s Park in 1887 and it was there he achieved his greatest successes in the game. His play was rewarded with a Scottish cap against Ireland, and he would gain five more over the coming years. Bob captained Scotland twice in victories over Wales (1888) and England (1889). He was also in the Queen’s Park sides which won the Scottish Cup in both 1890 and 1893, and it would have been a treble had illness not ruled him out in 1892.

Bob guested for other clubs occasionally, including Corinthians in the early 1890s and Motherwell and St Bernard's in the mid 1890s. In his "semi-retirement" years, Bob kept himself fit by turning out for the Scottish Amateurs. Whilst with the Amateurs in August 1901, the call came from Partick Thistle that they were short of players for Willie Paul's testimonial match against Queen's Park. Bob - together with teammate Sinclair - were the two who stepped up to save the day. Bob had played alongside Willie for both Queen's Park and Scotland in the late 80s and early 90s. The pair seem to have developed a friendly and long-lasting bond, for Bob also turned out for Willie's first testimonial (31-May-1895) as part of a Glasgow Select side.

On the Tuesday night at Meadowside, Queen's Park were far the better team and scored in either half. Although the full-backs were sound, the half-backs “didn't shine”. The forwards were “an uneven lot” (ET). A 2,000 crowd was poor for such a Thistle legend.

After his playing career was finally over, Bob remained active on the board of Queen's Park for some 50 years, overseeing the development and expansion of Hampden Park. He was club president in 1910-11. He also worked in the family business - L. S. Smellie & Sons - which is still family owned and locally managed to this day, providing the farming industry with agricultural products and services.


Historian's note: Not to be confused with left-back Robert Smellie (b. Wishaw, 1869) who played with Annbank, Sunderland and Walsall Town Swifts.

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