Bobby Cameron of Queen’s Park Rangers says: ‘You are never too Young to Start‚’

The following article dates from the 1950’s and I think it appeared in ‘Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly’:

‘Can you remember your sixth birthday ? I can. My home was in Greenock, and the local Well Park was a favourite childhood haunt. One day I walked into the park and asked a group of older boys if I could join them in their kick-about.

“You’re too young to play with us,” they said. “But I’m six years old today,” I protested. My appeal was upheld – I was allowed to join in. That, I think, is about my earliest soccer recollection. It was the start of the trail that led me to London and league football with Queen’s Park Rangers.

My first organised football was at Mount Street School, in Greenock. When I first gained a place in the school team, it was at left-back. I stayed in that position just fifteen minutes. “Cameron, go to inside-left,” ordered the headmaster. That is how I became an inside-forward.

As a Greenock boy, it was natural that I should support Morton. I was a regular visitor to Cappielow Park even before I was old enough to go to school.


Just after the war, schoolboy international matches were re-introduced, and I was picked for a series of trials held at the White City Stadium in Glasgow.

Then came a match between East and West, on the ground of Stirling Albion. After that game the team to play England at Goodison Park was picked. In the dressing room after the match we were all tense, wondering who would be selected.

The schoolmaster in charge was holding a team-sheet, and we crowded round him. He had underlined the names of some players and, on glancing over his shoulder I could see that my name was not among them. I was acutely disappointed, for I was certain that I had been omitted.

No immediate announcement was made, however, and we went for a meal. This was followed by speeches – and still no team was announced. I must have looked pretty miserable, because the school teacher who had accompanied me from Greenock, turned to me and said: “Stop worrying – you’re in !”

I then discovered that the names underlined on the team-sheet were those of the players NOT selected for Scotland. That incident taught me a lesson. I have since tried to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusion.

That schoolboy international match, on Everton’s ground, took me to England for the first time. We drew 1-1.

After leaving school, I played for Port Glasgow Rovers. In the same team with me was Jackie McKim, the inside-forward who went to Chelsea, and who afterwards played for Colchester.

I might have become a Bolton Wanderers player. I was asked to play in a private trial by Walter Rowley, who was then in charge at Bolton. I went to Bolton and played in the trial. They suggested a further try-out, but on the advice of George Gillespie, secretary of Port Glasgow Rovers, I refused. Gillespie sensed that Bolton must have been in doubt if they could not judge me on my trial form.

The match which set me on the road to League football was played at Port Glasgow. I was picked to play for Greenock and District Juveniles against a combined team of Port Glasgow and Gourock juniors.

In the junior select team was Alec McCue, the outside-left who afterwards played for Shrewsbury, Morton, Falkirk, Carlisle and Grimsby. A string of English clubs were interested in Alec, and everybody in the district seemed to know about it.

Before I left home for the match my father looked up from the local paper in which he was reading about the interest in McCue. “Here’s your chance, son,” he said. “You can do yourself a good turn by having a good game. With all these clubs watching McCue, you’ve got a great chance to show them what you can do.”

It was good advice, and I went out determined to do well. After the match Mr Gillespie came into the dressing-room, and I heard him telling several players that bigger clubs were interested in them. I began to think I was the only player not wanted – then I heard that Johnny Barr, Queen’s Park Rangers’ Scottish scout, was waiting outside, and would like to have a word with me.

He whisked me off by car to my home for a chat with my parents, but after a discussion we turned down the offer. I was keen enough, but I was very young and my mother was against me moving so far from home. Rangers were persistent, however. Alf Ridyard – who was then the club’s assistant manager – made a special trip from London, but we gave him the same answer.

Then came a visit from Alf and Johnny Barr. Still we declined the offer, but when Dave Mangnall, Rangers’ manager, came up it was decided I should take the plunge and travel south. It was the first time I had ever been to London, but I was soon made to feel at home for there were quite a lot of Scottish boys on Rangers’ books at the time.

Rangers were then in the Second Division. I hope the day is not far distant when we are again playing in that division of the League.’

Bobby Cameron made 278 appearances for the R’s and scored 62 goals. He was transferred to Leeds United in July 1959 and later played for Gravesend and Northfleet and also Southend United. He emigrated to Australia in 1964.

Steve Russell

2 thoughts on “Bobby Cameron of Queen’s Park Rangers says: ‘You are never too Young to Start‚’

  1. Remember Bobby well. Very skilful inside forward as it was in those days. Lived in Kensal Rise whilst playing for Rangers.

  2. Yes I too had the honour of seeing Bobby Cameron play. He was a very classy inside forward of the old School.

    He could have spent most of his career at a higher level than the third division.The ability was there.

    Eventually he was transferred to Second Division Leeds and although he did well for a while along came Don Revie to Elland Rd and he fell out of favour…presumably the “work rate” and “tough tackling” was not high enough for Mr Revie..more fool DR!

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