Robert Smyth McColl 1876 - 1959

RS McColl started playing with Queens Park in 1894. He is one of those few players to have gone from amateur to professional and back to amateur again. Although he played 64 times for Newcastle United and 27 times for Rangers, it is as a Spider and a centre forward for Scotland, that he will be forever remembered. His most interesting statistic is that he scored six goals in his second last game for Queen’s Park, against Port Glasgow Athletic in 1912.

His greatest game to Scotland was the 4-1 win against England, at Celtic Park in 1900, when he scored a hat-trick.

His influence on the game came through his three years at Newcastle. Whilst Newcastle had always been heavily influenced by Scotch professors, it was not until McColl arrived that the influence became permanent. McCall persuaded Newcastle and working intelligently was the route to success. He greatly influenced the Inverness Scotch professor Peter McWilliam, who took the idea to Tottenham Hotspur in 1912. This is how the Scottish game spread throughout England and then the rest of the world.

In his retirement he would quite literally follow Queens Park. He would position himself at the front of the South Stand Paddock and walk back and forth, following the ball.

He was able to be an amateur, because he had founded the chain of Newsagents which was named after him. This made sense because he was so famous. This photo was taken in the year of foundation. Kids at the time called him ‘Toffee Bob’ and the name stuck.


Giving History a Sporting Chance