Gray Robert Image 1 Partick Thistle 1905

Gray Robert Image 1 Partick Thistle 1905


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Kirkintilloch born winger Robert Gray began his football career with junior clubs Lenzie in 1894 and Meadowside in 1895 before joining Partick Thistle in 1896, making his debut against Kilmarnock in a Second Division match at Inchview Park in a season that saw them promoted. He was a speedy player who also had excellent ball control and was noted for his shooting from distance.  He joined First Division Everton in 1899, making his Football League debut that December against Derby County, scoring once in 16 games during his debut season. But his opportunities were limited to 5 matches the following campaign, and he left to join Southern League Southampton in 1901, before returning to Partick Thistle in 1902. At the end of the 1907-08 season Robert retired from playing football, joining Kirkintilloch Rob Roy as a committee member in 1909, after 215 appearances for Partick over his two spells at the club, having scored 45 goals.

In 1905 the Glasgow News published a profile of Bobby Gray:

Like most of our popular footballers, Robert Gray, of the Thistle, is known on the football field, not by his surname, but familiar christian name, and often as he speeds along the wing the shout of “Go on yourself Bob!” may be heard all round the enclosure.

As is the case with most good players, he can suit himself to any position in the front rank, but is most at home at inside or outside left. As a junior he secured his international cap against England in 1898. In season 1898-99 he joined his present club, but in the following year he was transferred to Everton, and there he remained for a couple of seasons. This short space of time seemed to have satisfied him for he returned to Partick, and there he was only too readily made welcome by the Meadowside officials.

For the Thistle he has played for ever since, and at the present time is one of the most reliable playing members at the command of the directorate. One thing in Gray’s favour is his consistency. Week in and week out he displays the same good form. He is a grand dribbler, and being well built not easily dispossessed of the ball. When once past the half-backs he never hesitates to drive for goal, and when straight it takes a brilliant goalkeeper to keep the ball from finding its way to the back of the net.

NB the photograph was taken before a game with Celtic on 4th November 1905.

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