Robert McFarlane
Robert McFarlane
Robert McFarlane
● Robert McFarlane, 1944 (ET)

born in Scotland

Robert Doig McFarlane was born on Wednesday, 2nd August, 1922, in Glasgow.

The goalkeeper signed for Donald Turner's Thistle on Thursday, 8th June, 1944, having most recently been with Glasgow Perthshire.

Aged 22, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 3rd February, 1945, in a 2-1 defeat away to Motherwell in the Southern League.

There were no clean-sheets for Robert during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last game for the club on Wednesday, 2nd January, 1946, in a 3-0 defeat away to Aberdeen in the Southern League, having appeared as a Jag on 5 occasions.

Robert's club-list included Glasgow Perthshire, Partick Thistle, Rutherglen Glencairn, Kilmarnock and Leith Athletic.

We don't know where or when Robert died. *

* If you can help us to improve any of these marked points on The Thistle Archive, then please do get in touch →

Bio Extra

Being a Junior Cup winner was a surefire way to get attention from the seniors, and that's just what happened for Robert McFarlane. In what was the first Junior Cup final where players wore shirt numbers, Robert had #1 on his back as he kept a clean-sheet for Glasgow Perthshire who defeated Blantyre Victoria by one goal to nil in front of 32,100 at Hampden Park on 13th May, 1944. Thistle manager Donald Turner had the 21-year-old signed just a few weeks later!

McFarlane was back-up to the brilliant Bobby Henderson, and finally got his chance in the first team in February 1945 when Bobby was called up for national service and joined the RAF. After back to back 2-1 Southern League defeats to Motherwell and Airdrie, Robert lost his place to Robert Houston, who was given the six game Southern League Cup section to show what he could do. McFarlane's opportunities were very limited from thereon. He played in a stunning 5-1 Southern League win over Hibs in April 1945 and kept his place the following week for a pulsating Glasgow Charity Cup tie with Celtic. The match was drawn 1-1 and Robert faced a penalty late on, George Paterson hitting the bar. We're going to say Robert gave him the eyes! Alas, it was to no avail as Celtic prevailed on the quaint counting of corners ruie.

It would be remiss of us not to pass comment on a most notable achievement by Robert, surely some sort of record in fact. The “Dumfries and Galloway Standard” reported that, in a match against Kilmarnock reserves at Rugby Park on 27-Oct-1945, the referee ordered a penalty to be re-taken SIX TIMES, deeming McFarlane to have moved too soon. He saved the 7th attempt with a “legitimate” save. This relatively obscure report does not mention if the first 6 kicks were saved, but it must be assumed that the referee would not have continued to penalise Kilmarnock if they had already found the net. The event is confirmed by a reply in a readers’ letters column in the “Daily Mail” (22-Jan-1992). It suggested Kilmarnock therefore hold the record for the number of re-taken penalty kicks. Difficult to disagree with that! The Kilmarnock “taker” was left-half Jock Whyte.

Robert played his fifth and final game for Thistle in January 1946, before stepping back to the juniors with Rutherglen Glencairn. Surprisingly, he re-emerged at kilmarnock in time for season 1948-49. They were down on their luck in the second tier at that time and Robert played in 20 competitive games for them that term. Killie finished 11th and Robert was freed in April 1949, after which he had spell with Leith Athletic the following season.


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