Erskine, Renfrewshire born full back Bob McGrory began his football career with Bishopton Boys Brigade in 1910, playing for junior clubs Houston St Fillan’s in 1911, Cumbernauld United in 1912 and Kilbarchan Athletic in 1913 before signing for Dumbarton in 1914. He made his Scottish League debut in August 1914 in a 2-2 draw at Queen’s Park prior to the outbreak of World War One and went on to make 215 appearances for the club. In 1917 he had a loan spell at Partick Thistle and his career in English football started with First Division Burnley in 1920, for whom he made his Football League debut and the first of only 3 appearances at Chelsea in October 1920 during their League Championship winning season, which proved his only season at Turf Moor.
He is of course synonymous with Stoke City who he joined at the end of the same season and for whom he made his debut in a Second Division match at home to Barnsley in May 1921. He would play 511 games over the next 14 seasons without ever scoring, becoming Club Captain by the mid 1920’s. He won the Third Division (North) Championship in 1926-27 being ever present that season and the Second Division Championship in 1932-33, playing his last match for Stoke in May 1935. He became their manager in June 1935, a post he held for 17 years either side of the War, twice leading them to fourth place in the League Championship, enjoying a total of 31 years at The Victoria Ground before leaving them in May 1952. After leaving he briefly became manager of Merthyr Tydfil.
NB the photograph was taken before the FA Cup 4th round tie with Swansea Town at The Vetch Field, which Stoke lost 6-3. McGrory is shown with Swansea captain Joe Sykes.