Fred Robertson
Fred Robertson
Fred Robertson
● Fred Robertson, 1913 (BAH)

born in Scotland

Frederick Robertson was born on Saturday, 20th October, 1888, in Johnstone, Renfrewshire.

The forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Saturday, 24th August, 1907, having most recently been with Kilbarchan Grove.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 24th August, 1907, in a 1-0 defeat away to Dundee in the SFL First Division.

Fred scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 26th October, 1907, in a 4-1 defeat away to Hamilton Academical in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 28 goals on Tuesday, 27th December, 1910, in a 6-3 friendly win away to Distillery.

He played his last game for the club on Monday, 24th April, 1911, in a 1-0 win away to Hamilton Academical in the SFL First Division., having clocked up 105 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Kilbarchan Grove, Partick Thistle, Johnstone, Morton, Barrow and St Mirren.

Fred died on Tuesday, 13th September, 1955, in Millport, North Ayrshire, aged 66.

Bio Extra

This Renfrewshire youngster came through with his local team, Kilbarchan Grove, and was invited to try for Thistle in August 1907. Brilliantly, he bagged a hat-trick on his debut for the reserves, the Jags defeating Ashfield by 4 goals to nil on the Thursday evening of 22nd August 1907 at Meadowside. Two days later, he committed himself to the Thistle cause, putting pen to paper on the same day that he made his first team debut in a 1-0 League defeat away To Dundee. At the time, he was already being described as a capable centre-forward and a stalwart for the Grove. It was predicted that he could be a real dangerman at the higher level once he gained a little experience.

Fred went on to play 4 seasons with Thistle, each one markedly different from the last. His 6 competitive goals in his first term included a brace in a 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Bo'ness in January, and in a 4-3 League win at Motherwell in February. Season 1907-08 was the final season at Meadowside and, on a wet Thursday night in April, the club played its last-ever game at Meadowside, their fifth home. A miserable attendance of just 500 witnessed the occasion, and a small group of supporters lamented the occasion by song; "will ye no come back again" was sung as the Union Jack was lowered. Partick was considered a hotbed of orangeism. We had to get out of that place! Fred wrote himself into the history books on the night, by scoring the last-ever goal at the ground. This equalised the game for a share of the League spoils; Partick Thistle 1 Hibernian 1.

8 League wins in 34 wasn't great in 1907-08, but the nomadic Partick Thistle of 1908-09 vintage rapidly went downhill from there. With just 2 wins in 34 League games, they finished rock-bottom. Fred scored 8 of the 28 League goals and this was enough to give him the personal consolation of being top of the competitive goals chart for the season. One of his goals came in a 5-1 win over Morton at Ibrox, a rare highlight of a dismal season, but only 500 were there to see it. These were very grim times for the club.

Thistle's gradual recovery began in season 1909-10 when the new ground at Firhill was opened. Again, Fred wrote himself into the history books by appearing in the first-ever game at the new ground on 18th September 1909; Partick Thistle 3 Dumbarton Harp 1 in the Scottish Qualifying Cup. 3 months later, Thistle went into their game on 25th December 1909 on the back of their all-time worst home League run. It had been more than a year since they'd won at home in the League. Can you believe it? The last β€œhome” win had been in December 1908, namely the aforementioned game against Morton at Ibrox. Since then, we had played 14 League games without a home win, although this glum stat can always partly be excused by the fact that several of these fixtures were played on the grounds of our opponents. We were, of course, temporarily, of no fixed abode, having been caught out in between our domiciles at Meadowside and Firhill. The latter had yet to be termed a Fortress, and we had now played 5 League games without a win in our brand new home.

Going into the game, Thistle were 16th (3rd bottom) and our opponents, Hibs, were 5th. Jags were without the services of three key men – Alec Raisbeck, Maurice Parry and Tom Callaghan – all of whom had picked up knocks in a bruising encounter against Rangers at Ibrox the week before. In the circumstances, this was not a game we were expected to win. However, in keeping with the truly unorthodox tradition of the Partick Thistle, we overcame the odds, halted the record run and bagged our first ever League win at Firhill into the bargain. Hibs scored early on but Thistle, weakened by injury, were the better team and Willie Gardiner scored twice. Hibs' right-back James Main was accidentally kicked by Frank Branscombe as the latter slipped on the ice. He later died in hospital. Fred scored the 3rd (87) against the 10 men. Once again, he was in the right place at the right time as history was being written. And all of this on a Christmas day. Fred did very well during the season, scoring 11 times in competitive action, finishing as second top scorer behind Willie Gardiner (12).

The rejuvinated Partick Thistle were simply brilliant in season 1910-11. For the one and only time in history, the club went through the entire campaign unbeaten at home in the top-flight and finished 4th, 10 points behind the champion club, Rangers. The goals had dried up for Fred though - a single counter in a 2-1 League win at Clyde was all he had to show for his 18 competitive appearances during the season. Fred had a loan spell with his hometown team, Johnstone, during 1910-11, and this signalled that his time at Firhill was coming to an end. He signed with Morton in August 1911, and spent several seasons at Cappielow, broken with an 18 month spell at Barrow from the summer of 1913. After a brief spell with St Mirren towards the end of the decade, he re-signed with Johnstone in November 1919 who were, by then, playing in the Western League due to the SFL Second Division having been mothballed during the war years.


Β© The Thistle Archive 2015-2024. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.