Bob Blyth

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Bob Blyth
Personal information
Full name Robert Fleming Blyth
Date of birth 16 October 1869[1]
Place of birth Glenbuck, Ayrshire, Scotland
Date of death 7 February 1941(1941-02-07) (aged 71)[2]
Place of death Milton, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England[3]
Playing position Wing half
Youth career
Glenbuck Cherrypickers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Middlesbrough Ironopolis
1891–1894 Rangers 10 (2)
1894–1899 Preston North End 114 (8)
1899–1901 Portsmouth
Teams managed
1901–1904 Portsmouth
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert Fleming Blyth (16 October 1869 – 7 February 1941) was a Scottish footballer and manager for the club Portsmouth F.C. from 1901–1904.[2]

Football career[edit]

Blyth was born in Glenbuck, and was a member of the Glenbuck Cherrypickers, playing alongside members of his extended family. From there he was scouted by the Glasgow Rangers, playing as a wing-half (1891–1894), followed by Preston North End (1894–1899) and Portsmouth (1899–1901).[2]

He became player–manager of Portsmouth in 1901, winning the 1901-02 Southern League title. After retiring from his post as manager, he later served Portsmouth as director and chairman. According to the Portsmouth Evening News, Blyth was "the only man to rise from professional player to be chairman of his club through all the intermediate positions: Captain, player-manager, manager, director, and vice-chairman."[2]

Personal life and family[edit]

Blyth grew up in a poor mining village which managed to produce a number of football stars. Five of his nephews played professionally, including future Liverpool manager Bill Shankly OBE and Bob Shankly, sons of his sister, Barbara.[2] His brother William Blyth also played for Portsmouth.[4]

He married Isabella Taylor,[5] with whom he had daughters Mary and Janet, and a son, Robert Blyth, who played for both Portsmouth and Southampton in the 1920s.[6][2]

Blyth was also a licensee and operated several hotels in Portsmouth. He died peacefully at Saint James Hospital in Milton, Portsmouth, in 1941.[3][2]


As manager[edit]



  1. ^ "1869 BLYTH, ROBERT FLEMING (Statutory registers Births 607/ 109)". Retrieved 12 August 2017. (Subscription required (help)). Robert Fleming Blyth, born 1869 October Sixteenth, Glenbuck, Muirkirk parish, son of James Blyth, coal miner, and Janet Blyth (Fleming) 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Death of Mr. R. Blyth - One of Football's Personalities". Portsmouth Evening News. 8 February 1941. Retrieved 12 August 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ a b Estate left to Robert Roberts Taylor Blyth at St James Hospital Milton Portsmouth; England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995
  4. ^ Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 
  5. ^ Robert Blyth, professional footballer; 1901 England Census
  6. ^ 1911 England Census

Further reading[edit]