Cleland, Lanarkshire born centre half Bob Ferguson began his football career with Cleland Rangers from where he signed for Scottish League club Third Lanark in 1906, playing for The Warriors for six years, scoring 7 times in 185 appearances before he was signed by manager Tom Watson for Liverpool in May 1912. The Athletic News claimed he was as “strong as a lion, and active as a mouse. Although taking the game as serious as a judge he is a very human sort of fellow in the pavilion.” The Liverpool Echo commented on Liverpool’s capture of Ferguson at the time: “Liverpool made a good stroke when they signed Bob Ferguson. The Third Lanark supporters are deeply sorry to lose their favoured centre half, who is described in Scotland in the following eulogy: “There has never been a more likable player. Honest Bob would be the correct title for him for he was always playing the game to the delight of his friends. He was the sort of man a club manager likes to have under him – dependable, keen for his club’s interests and never likely to get himself or the team into disrepute. Mr. Watson has made a catch and he knows it.”
Said to be “a typical Scottish half-back, neat and clever”, who fed his forwards “beautifully” as well as being “the tallest man in the team, and not so slow as he appears.” Ferguson made his Football League debut in a First Division match at Anfield against Oldham Athletic on 4th September 1912, a game that saw the Reds win 2-0, and was an ever present for the rest of the season, the only player in the Liverpool ranks to do so., He scored his first goal the following month in a 4-1 home win over Blackburn Rovers on 19th October, also scoring the following month in a win over Aston Villa.
The following season Ferguson, playing alongside his former Third Lanark team mate Thomas Fairfoul in the half back line, missed only tow matches as Liverpool reached the FA Cup Final for the first time in their history, Ferguson playing as they were beaten 1-0 by Burnley at The Crystal Palace. During the 1914-15 campaign he lost his place to Donald McKinlay in November 1914 and played only 4 more matches as the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915. Ferguson’s Anfield contract expired in the summer of 1915 after he had made 103 appearances, scoring 3 goals, and he subsequently joined Wishaw Thistle, his final known club before his eventual retirement.