Glasgow born outside left Bobby Lister began his football career with Kirkintilloch Rob Roy after the First World War, and joined Scottish League club Heart of Midlothian in January 1921, making his Scottish League debut against Hamilton Academical that September. He scored twice in 15 appearances for Hearts over the next two seasons, but couldn’t break into the team on a regular basis and joined Queen of the South in the summer of 1923. After a season at Palmerston Park he joined Hamilton Academical, but returned to Queen’s after a single season, before joining Dunfermline Athletic in 1926.
He was signed by Second Division Stoke City in the summer of 1927, making his Football League debut in a 5-1 win at Fulham that November, but despite the scale of the victory this proved his only match for The Potters. After a move to West Ham United in 1928, where he only played reserve team football, he joined Exeter City in the summer of 1930. Although he played in City’s opening four League matches, he was to only feature in four more games all season, scoring once in a 3-2 win against Fulham at St James’ Park in January 1931. After leaving Exeter, Lister signed for Rhyl Athletic in 1931 and later played for Shrewsbury Town in 1932 before his retirement from the game.