Foxes A to Z, Bobby Roberts, transfer record breaker with a grand utility capacity

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City’s record signing at the time, Bobby Roberts cost £41.000 as Matt Gillies outbid Ipswich Town for his services. Primarily an attacking linkman, with one appearance for each Scotland U.23 and the Scottish League to his credit, he struggled initially to justify high expectations at Filbert Street, espaically as City employed him successively at left-half, inside right and center forward, and he missed out on the 1964 League Cup final success, despite scoring in both legs of the semi-final classic against West Ham. 

Bobby really clicked, however, when he inherited Frank McLintock’s No 4 shirt, rolling up his sleeves and becoming City’s midfield anchorman through out the mid and late 60’s, and finally gaining a modicum of reward as an ever present in the 1969 cup run.

Much valued for his 100% effort and skilfull prompting, he had one trait that became almost perversely endearing rarely finishing a game without having endangered the crowd with at least one thunderbolt shot way over the bar!

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He later gave two season and 80 games service to Mansfield Town, and twice returned to the League fray when coaching at Colchester United, where he assumed his first managerial role in June 1975 and met much success.

Subsequently, as boss of Wrexham, Bobby was forced to make one last return to action, playing in a Welsh Cup tie as a goalkeeper! (His dubious qualifications for the amounted to the fact that he’d temporarily replaced the injured Peter Shilton at Old Trafford in 1967, and had even earlier guarded the net behind Ian St. John in a trophy winning Motherwell 5-a-side team!. Bobby later coached the El Shabar in Kuwait, managed Grimsby Town during their 1987/88 relegation season, and then returned to Leicester in June 1988 for a three-year spell on the City coaching staff.

In 1992, he was once more back in Kuwait. He has over the years been a scout at several clubs and worked for Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Robert Roberts
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 02.09.1940
  • Birthplace: Edinburgh
  • Nation: Scotland
  • Caps / Goals: –
  • Major League Career:
    • 1959-63, Motherwell (91/28)
    • 1963-70, Leicester City (230/25)
    • 1970-72, Mansfield Town City (80/4)
    • 1972-73, Coventry City (2/0)
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