Finan Bobby Image 1 Blackpool 1936

Finan Bobby Image 1 Blackpool 1936


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Centre forward Bobby Finan was born in Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire. He started his football career at Scottish junior club Yoker Athletic in 1932 before signing for Second Division Blackpool, managed by fellow Scot Sandy MacFarlane, in August 1933. He made his Football League debut for the club in the penultimate League game of the 1933-34 season, a 7-0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 28th April 1934. Finan scored his first professional goal in the opening game of the following 1934-35 campaign, a 5-1 victory at Bury on 25th August 1934. In 1935-36, with Jimmy Hampson injured, Finan deputised at centre forward and ended the season as the Second Division’s joint-top scorer with 36 goals. He scored two hat tricks: the first in a 6-2 win against Charlton Athletic at Bloomfield Road on 22nd February 1936, and the second in a 6-0 whitewash of Newcastle United at home on 22nd April.

The following campaign, 1936-37, Finan (28) and Hampson (16) scored 44 League goals between them, as Blackpool finished the season as runners-up in the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division for the first time in the club’s history. As he grew older, his speed began to wane, and he was moved to outside left, where he laid on goals for Willie Buchan and, later, Jock Dodds but his Blackpool career was cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. Finan won one cap for Scotland in a 1939 wartime international, during the early stages of the War. As the conflict progressed, he went on to serve in the Middle East and was a regular in the RAF (Egypt) side, once severely injuring his knee in a Cairo Canal-area match at El Alamein.

Finan scored 89 goals in 182 appearances for Blackpool before finally leaving the club in 1947, although he never played another first team match after the War, when he signed for Crewe Alexandra that September, scoring 17 goals in 67 games over two seasons at Gresty Road. In 1949 he moved to non-League football with Wigan Athletic, with whom he finished his career in 1950 having scored 12 goals in 31 games in the Lancashire Combination.

After his playing career ended, Finan returned to Blackpool as chief scout.

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