John Tait Robertson

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John Robertson
Personal information
Full name John Tait Robertson
Date of birth (1877-02-25)25 February 1877
Place of birth Dumbarton, Scotland
Date of death 24 January 1935(1935-01-24) (aged 57)
Place of death Milton, Wiltshire, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Half-back
Youth career
Sinclair Swifts
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
189?–1895 Morton
1895–1898 Everton 26 (1)
1898–1899 Southampton 19 (0)
1899–1905 Rangers 102 (18)
1905–1906 Chelsea 36 (7)
1907–1909 Glossop 45 (10)
National team
1898–1905 Scotland 16 (3)
1900–1905 Scottish League XI[1] 6 (1)
Teams managed
1905–1906 Chelsea
1907–1909 Glossop
1911–1913 MTK Budapest
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Tait "Jacky" Robertson (25 February 1877 – 24 January 1935) was a Scottish football player and manager who played as a central defender. He won 16 caps for his country, scoring three goals.

Having started his career at Morton, Robertson moved to Everton of the English Football League in 1895, and then Southampton in 1898, with whom he won the Southern Football League in his only season. He then returned to his homeland with Rangers, where he won three consecutive league titles in his first three seasons. Robertson was the first player signed to Chelsea in 1905, and served as their player-manager in their first-ever season, in addition to scoring their first competitive goal. He finished his career in the same role at Glossop North End.

Playing career[edit]


Robertson began his career at Morton, and moved to Everton in 1895. He spent a single season at Southampton in 1898–99, winning the Southern League. Following that, he returned to Scotland and won three consecutive league titles at Rangers in his first three seasons.

In April 1905, Robertson was the first player to be signed by the newly formed Chelsea Football Club, but continued to play as well. It was Robertson who scored Chelsea's first competitive goal, in a 1–0 win at Blackpool on 9 September 1905.[2] In his first season, he led the club to a third-place finish in the Second Division, one place off promotion.[3] Robertson then surprisingly resigned from the club (third in the table at the time) on 27 November 1906. Chelsea were promoted to the top flight at the end of that season under caretaker secretary-manager William Lewis. Soon afterwards Robertson became player-manager of Glossop, where he remained until summer 1909, when he became reserve-team manager at Manchester United.


Robertson made his debut for Scotland on 2 April 1898 while at Everton, in a 3–1 home defeat to England in the Home Nations Championship. His second cap came on 8 April of the following year, while at Southampton. All of his 14 remaining caps came during his spell at Rangers.

He captained the Scots in his fourth match, as they beat England 4–1 at home on 7 April 1900. His first goal came in his sixth match, on 2 March 1901, in a 1–1 draw with Wales, again as captain. Robertson was Scotland's captain in five matches, and scored two more goals, both against Wales. The last was in his last international on 6 March 1905, in a 3–1 away defeat in Wrexham.[4]


He died in Wiltshire in January 1935.





  1. ^ "Scotland FL Players by Appearances". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Blackpool v Chelsea, 09 September 1905 - 11v11 match report". Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  3. ^ "Football League Division 2 table 1905/06". Footballsite. 1905-11-18. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  4. ^ "John Robertson - national football team player". Retrieved 2016-09-27.

External links[edit]