Bob Kelso (footballer)

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Bob Kelso
Personal information
Full name Robert Robison Kelso[1]
Date of birth 2 October 1865
Place of birth Cardross, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Date of death 19 November 1950(1950-11-19) (aged 85)
Playing position(s) Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1886–1888 Renton
1888 Newcastle West End
1888 Everton 1 (0)
1889–1891 Preston North End 38 (0)
1891–1896 Everton 88 (5)
1896–1898 Dundee
1898 Bedminster 20 (1)
National team
1885–1898 Scotland 7 (0)
1898 Scottish League XI[1] 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert Robison Kelso (2 October 1865 – 19 November 1950) was a Scottish footballer who played for Renton, Newcastle West End, Preston North End, Everton, Dundee, Bedminster and the Scotland national team.

Kelso was described as a player, difficult to get past, he caught the eye with his powerful and timely tackling, always clearing the ball well while specialising in long-range dipping shots at goal.[2]

Kelso, a defender, was born in Cardross, Dunbartonshire, and began his football career with Renton where he won the Scottish Cup in 1885 and 1888 and played in the unsuccessful 1886 final. He also won the Champions of the World title in 1888 when Scottish Cup winners Renton defeated English FA Cup winners West Bromwich Albion.

He moved to Newcastle West End in 1888 and then to Everton the following year. He made his Everton and Football League debut on 19 January 1889 at Anfield, Liverpool against "The Invincibles", Preston North End. Jimmy Weir, the Everton right-half was injured and so Bob Kelso got his chance to play. In front of 15,000 fans Everton had an excellent first half and had it not been for some poor finishing and good defending by Preston Everton would've had the lead. In the second-half Everton continued to press but Preston got stronger and scored two goals and looked the better side at the end of the game. Kelso must have made a good impression on his opponents as he left Everton for Preston in May 1889.[3]

With Preston he won the English league championship in 1889-90 before moving back to Everton in 1891 where he played in the 1893 FA Cup Final. He returned to his native Scotland in 1896 with Dundee, where he earned selection for the Scottish League representative team,[1] before ending his career with a brief spell in the Southern League at Bedminster in 1898-99.

He won seven caps for Scotland, making his debut in an 8-2 win over Ireland on 14 March 1885. He captained his country in his final Scotland appearance - a 3-0 win over Ireland on 26 March 1898.

His nephew, Tommy Kelso, was also a Scotland international footballer, who played for Manchester City, Dundee and Rangers. Bob's brother James Kelso played for Renton, and once appeared for Liverpool.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Robert Robinson Kelso". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  2. ^ Matthews, Tony (2004). Who's Who of Everton. Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1840188196.
  3. ^ Metcalf, Mark (2013). The Origins of the Football League. Amberley. ISBN 978 1 4456 1881 4.
  4. ^ "James Kelso". Retrieved 29 April 2016.

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