Stevenston, Ayrshire born inside forward Bobbie Beattie began his football career playing with junior clubs Ardeer Mission and Kilwinning Rangers in 1931 before joining Scottish League Kilmarnock in 1932. At Rugby Park he was described as “the mainspring of the Killie attack” having “all the tricks of the complete inside man…. and carries a strong shot in either foot” scored 43 goals in 120 Scottish League appearances for the club before he was sold to First Division Preston North End for £2,500 in September 1937. He made his Football League debut against Stoke City early the following month and in his debut season scored twice in six FA Cup ties as Preston reached the 1938 FA Cup Final at Wembley, where they beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 to lift the Cup. His reward was a cap for Scotland, Beattie playing as they beat Wales 3-2 at Tynecastle in November 1938.
His career was severely interrupted as competitive football was abandoned due to the Second World War, but Beattie continued to play for Preston when the Football League resumed in 1946-47, playing in a further eight post war seasons. Never a prolific goalscorer, Beattie scored his only career hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Middlesbrough in September 1948, the only season when Beattie scored 10 League goals. After Preston’s relegation from the First Division in 1949, he helped them to win the Second Division Championship in 1951 and did not leave the club until 1954, playing his final game for The Lilywhites that November having scored 63 goals in 290 appearances for Preston. He joined Lancashire Combination club Wigan Athletic in late 1954 where he played until his subsequent retirement.