Mills-Roberts Dr Robert Image 1 Preston North End 1888

Mills-Roberts Dr Robert Image 1 Preston North End 1888


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Ffestiniog, Merionethshire born goalkeeper Dr Robert Mills-Roberts played both association football and rugby football in his early days and is recorded as having played for Aberystwyth Town in 1879 aged 17. But while studying medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, he eventually emerged as a first rate goalkeeper playing for Barnes in 1884-85, St Thomas’s Hospital and the United Hospitals team in 1885, and The Casuals in 1886-87.

He made the first of his eight appearances for Wales in March 1885 when he played in a 1-1 draw against England at Leamington Road, Blackburn. Between 1884 and 1888, he made seven appearances for The Corinthians amateur club, including playing for Corinthians three times against Preston North End. In 1887 he was invited to play as an amateur for Preston North End in their FA Cup ties. He was a member of the Preston sides which were FA Cup Finalists in 1888, when they lost 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion, and FA Cup Winners in 1889, when Preston beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 in the Final at The Kennington Oval. Their victory in the Cup in the 1888-89 season was achieved without conceding a single goal throughout the 5 FA Cup ties played, which was attributed in no large part to his goalkeeping skills, and the team, which won the (inaugural) League Championship and FA Cup double that season without losing a match, is still known as “The Invincibles”. He also made 2 Football League appearances for Preston during 1888-89 making his League debut in a 2-2 draw at Burnley in December 1888 and playing in a 2-0 win at Aston Villa in February 1889.

Mills-Roberts qualified as a doctor in July 1887, and the following year was appointed the house surgeon at Birmingham General Hospital. He played for Birmingham St George’s and subsequently Gloucester in 1890-91, and later for Llanberis. He won the last of his 8 caps for Wales in March 1892 when he played in a 2-0 defeat to England at Wrexham.

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