Tynemouth, Northumberland born outside right Bob Bolam began his football career with Lewin’s Temperance of Birtley in 1913 and played for Birtley in 1914 before the First World War interrupted his career. After the conflict he joined First Division Sheffield United in 1919, making his Football League debut in a 2-0 win against then League leaders, West Bromwich Albion, in February 1920, and in March, he scored as well as creating several chances, in a 3-2 defeat at Sunderland in Charles Buchan’s benefit match. According to the Telegraph and Star, “he is speedy and invariably puts across a good ball, whilst his ability to use both feet enables him to meet his man with confidence and success”. But he was unable to keep his place, and at the end of the 1921-22 season, was not included on the club’s retained list, and signed for Darlington of the Third Division after 2 goals in 34 appearances for The Blades.
He scored twice in 12 appearances during his single season with The Quakers, before moving this time to Second Division South Shields. A match preview in the Derby Daily Telegraph suggested his problem was temperamental: he “can play on either wing, and in the mood can be really dangerous, but he allows himself to become irritated, and goes off his game very easily.” He began well for South Shields, with the only goal of the Second Division fixture against Blackpool, and played regularly, making 32 appearances, but still left for yet another club at the end of the season. He played twice in the Third Division (South) for Queens Park Rangers, and retired from football in the summer of 1925.