Avonbridge, Stirlingshire born centre half Bob Mercer was known as the “Mastermind of Modern Football”, and was a stalwart for Heart of Midlothian between 1909 and 1921. He initially played for Gala Hailes Villa and Selkirk, and joined Hearts from Leith Athletic in June 1909, making his debut against Raith Rovers in August the same year. He won two Scotland international caps, playing against Wales in March 1912 and against Ireland in March 1913. He also represented The Scottish League five times across the same 2 years. When World War One broke out, Mercer served in the British armed forces, but he wasn’t the same player after the War and despite being advised to retire he joined Dunfermline Athletic in 1921 after 24 goals in 256 Jambos appearances. Ultimately he was a belated victim of a German gas attack from which he did not fully recover, dying from the effects when he collapsed and died on the pitch while playing in a friendly at Selkirk in 1926.