Skinner Bobby Image 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1926

Skinner Bobby Image 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1926


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Centre forward Bobby Skinner played for 3 different clubs in 1923-24. He scored once for First Division St Mirren in 4 league outings then 9 times for Morton in 16 appearances (for whom he was the season’s top scorer) before dropping down a division to join Dunfermline in February 1924, scoring 8 in 18 during the remainder of the season. A dispute over his share of the transfer fee and an argument about close season wages led to Skinner leaving East End Park for Ayr United before the start of 1924-25. He scored 7 times in 14 league games before re-joining Dunfermline for £100 in November 1924 and scored a creditable 25 goals during the remainder of the season.

In 1925/26 he wrote himself into the record books with an incredible (and at the time British record) 53 goals in 38 matches as the Pars lifted the Second Division title. Not only did he score four hat tricks but he also netted five goals in two other games. The record was broken the following season by George Camsell at Middlesbrough. This total has only been bettered once in Scotland and in recognition of his goalscoring exploits Skinner was capped by the Scottish League in October 1927 while still with Dunfermline. He scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Irish League at Windsor Park, Belfast, although this proved to be his only appearance. In November 1927, with the Pars in a precarious position both on and off the park, Skinner was sold to Airdrie for a fee of £2,500. In over three years at Dunfermline he scored 131 goals and averaged more than a goal every game.

Skinner’s move was seen as an upward one as Dunfermline were bottom of the table and on course for relegation while Airdrie were the top provincial challengers to the Old Firm in the 1920s with four runners-up finishes in the league and victory in the Scottish Cup in 1924. His first game for his new club proved to be memorable – but for all the wrong reasons. In the first half of the match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Dec 3rd 1927 an elderly spectator collapsed and died. In the second period Skinner suffered a fracture in his right leg. He didn’t return until 1928-29 was well under way and even though he played just 22 league matches his ten goals helped him to become joint leading scorer at Broomfield. In 1929-30 Skinner was back to his best and scored 24 league goals for Airdrie to end up leading scorer for the season. Next season he scored nine times in the league in 23 games.

Skinner wasn’t as prolific in the Scottish Cup. His first goals in that competition didn’t arrive until 1926-27 when he scored three for Dunfermline – all against Bathgate over two games. In 1928-29 he scored three times for Airdrie – one each v Hearts, Cowdenbeath and Motherwell. 1929-30 was his best season when he scored five times. One of these was against former club Dunfermline. The other four were against Murrayfield Amateurs. In 1930-31 Airdrie met Dunfermline again and Skinner scored twice in a 6-2 replay victory when he had a particularly outstanding performance.

It is known that he scored at least 196 career goals – 181 league (121 Dunfermline, 43 Airdrie, 9 Morton, 7 Ayr, 1 St Mirren), 13 Scottish Cup (10 Airdrie, 3 Dunfermline) and two for the Scottish League, but as records are sketchy it is likely there were further goals after 1931.

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