Coylton, Ayrshire born wing half John Robertson (he also played at full back and occasionally in the forwards) began his football career with Drongan in 1901 joining Glasgow Rangers in 1902. However he hadn’t played of the Rangers first eleven before he went south to join First Division Bolton Wanderers in April 1902, making his Football League debut in the Second Division (after their relegation in 1903) against Stockport County in April 1904. He didn’t play again until September 1905 with Bolton back in the First Division, and he made 14 top flight appearances for The Trotters before joining Southern League Southampton in May 1906, making his debut against Norwich City in September the same year.
Described by the local Sports Echo as “a really classy half back and an exceedingly capable player”, he received a serious knee injury after only two appearances for The Saints and his six seasons at The Dell were somewhat marred by injuries. During that time he scored twice in 164 appearances and also made two representative appearances for The Southern League, first playing against The Irish League in a 2-0 victory at Windsor Park, Belfast in September 1911 and then against The Football League in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke the following month.
He re-joined Glasgow Rangers in March 1912 and made 16 appearances for them through to January 1913 before his retirement.