Name: Pursell, Robert Russell
DoB: 18/03/1889, Campbeltown

DoD: 24/05/1974, Hanley, Stoke on Trent

Robert Pursell spent two seasons at Queen's Park after signing from Aberdeen University and is perhaps best known for being involved in one of the first major betting scandals to hit the British game.

Born in Campbelltown, full back Pursell made fifty appearances for the club over the course of two seasons from 1909 to 1911, scoring two goals.

When he left Queen's, his move to Liverpool at the end of the 1910/11 season was shrouded in controversy, and it ended with Liverpool being fined 250 as they had approached Pursell without first contacting Queen's Park. Although playing fairly regularly, he never established himself as a regular at Anfield, although he did play in all eight of Liverpool's games in their FA Cup run of 1913/14 which ended with Liverpool losing in the final to Burnley at Crystal Palace.

However, he was to gain notoriety when he became one of six players, three from Liverpool and three from Manchester United, who were found guilty of conspiring to fix the outcome of a bottom of the table match between the two sides on Good Friday, 1915. Odds of 8-1 were being offered against a Manchester United 2-0 win, and, with Manchester United leading 1-0, Pursell handled the ball to give away a penalty, although the kick was sent well wide of the goal. Manchester did eventually win 2-0, although suspicions were immediately raised, and, after an FA inquiry, it was found that the players had "sought to undermine the whole fabric of the game and discredit its honesty and fairness", and all six were given lifetime bans.

The ban was rescinded on all six following the players' service in the First World War, and Pursell returned to Anfield, although he was only to play another couple of games for Liverpool during the 1919-20 season. He then moved onto Port Vale where he played alongside his brother, Peter, also a former Queen's player, making 68 appearances for Vale until he broke his leg in a 1-1 draw against Leicester in April 1922, an injury that brought the curtain down on his playing career.

Pursell remained in England following the end of his playing days, and died in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, in 1974, age 85.

 

Shirt Home/
Date: Competition: Number Opposition: Away Goals Result
28/08/1909 SFL Division One 8 Heart of Midlothian Home 1 Drew 2-2
04/09/1909 SFL Division One 8 Hamilton Academical Away - Lost 2-4
11/09/1909 SFL Division One 9 Kilmarnock Away - Lost 1-6
08/09/1909 SFL Division One 10 Falkirk Home - Lost 1-4
25/09/1909 Glasgow Cup, Semi Final 7 Celtic Home - Drew 1-1
27/09/1909 SFL Division One 7 Aberdeen Away - Lost 1-3
02/10/1909 SFL Division One 7 Airdrieonians Away 1 Won 4-3
06/10/1909 Glasgow Cup, Semi Final Replay 7 Celtic Away - Lost 1-6
16/10/1909 SFL Division One 11 Hibernian Home - Lost 1-2
30/10/1909 SFL Division One 8 Morton Home - Won 5-2
06/11/1909 SFL Division One 7 St Mirren Away - Lost 0-2
13/11/1909 SFL Division One 7 Third Lanark Home - Drew 0-0
20/11/1909 SFL Division One 7 Rangers Away - Lost 1-7
27/11/1909 SFL Division One 11 Dundee Home - Won 3-0
04/12/1909 SFL Division One 11 Motherwell Away - Lost 0-3
11/12/1909 SFL Division One 11 Port Glasgow Athletic Away - Lost 0-3
18/12/1909 SFL Division One 4 Hamilton Academical Home - Won 2-0
25/12/1909 SFL Division One 4 Heart of Midlothian Away - Lost 2-3
02/01/1910 SFL Division One 4 Partick Thistle Home - Won 2-0
15/01/1910 SFL Division One 4 Motherwell Home - Won 3-1
22/01/1910 Scottish Cup, 1st Round 4 Kirkcaldy United Home - Drew 0-0
05/02/1910 Scottish Cup, 1st Round Replay 4 Kirkcaldy United Home 1 Won 6-1
12/02/1910 Scottish Cup, 2nd Round 4 East Fife Away - Won 3-2
19/02/1910 Scottish Cup, 3rd Round 4 Clyde Home - Drew 2-2
26/02/1910 Scottish Cup, 3rd Round Replay 4 Clyde Away - Drew 2-2
02/03/1910 Scottish Cup, 3rd Round 2nd Replay 4 Clyde Neutral - Lost 1-2
05/03/1910 SFL Division One 4 Clyde Home - Drew 2-2
12/03/1910 SFL Division One 4 Rangers Home - Won 3-2
19/03/1910 SFL Division One 4 Celtic Home - Lost 0-1
26/03/1910 SFL Division One 4 Morton Away - Won 2-0
16/04/1910 SFL Division One 2 Partick Thistle Away - Won 2-0
20/04/1910 SFL Division One 2 Falkirk Away - Drew 1-1
24/04/1910 SFL Division One 6 St Mirren Home - Won 2-1
26/04/1910 SFL Division One 2 Port Glasgow Athletic Home - Won 6-1
30/04/1910 SFL Division One 2 Aberdeen Home - Drew 2-2
07/05/1910 Merchants' Charity Cup, Semi Final 10 Third Lanark Away - Lost 0-2
20/08/1910 SFL Division One 3 Hamilton Academical Home - Won 2-1
27/08/1910 SFL Division One 3 Heart of Midlothian Away - Lost 1-4
03/09/1910 SFL Division One 2 Airdrieonians Home - Lost 0-1
10/09/1910 Glasgow Cup, 1st Round 3 Clyde Away - Lost 0-3
17/09/1910 SFL Division One 3 Falkirk Away - Lost 0-3
24/09/1910 SFL Division One 3 Dundee Away - Lost 0-5
03/12/1910 SFL Division One 4 Third Lanark Home - Lost 1-4
10/12/1910 SFL Division One 3 Motherwell Away - Drew 3-3
17/12/1910 SFL Division One 3 Hibernian Home - Lost 0-1
24/12/1910 SFL Division One 3 Kilmarnock Away - Lost 1-2
31/12/1910 SFL Division One 3 Clyde Home - Lost 1-3
07/01/1911 SFL Division One 4 Hamilton Academical Away - Lost 1-2
14/01/1911 SFL Division One 5 Falkirk Home - Lost 0-1
21/01/1911 SFL Division One 2 Partick Thistle Away - Lost 0-3
28/01/1911 Scottish Cup, 1st Round 4 Stanley Away - Won 6-1
04/02/1911 SFL Division One 4 St Mirren Home - Won 2-0
11/02/1911 Scottish Cup, 2nd Round 4 Clyde Away - Lost 1-4
18/02/1911 SFL Division One 2 Celtic Away - Lost 0-2
25/02/1911 SFL Division One 2 Kilmarnock Home - Drew 1-1
04/03/1911 SFL Division One 3 Airdrieonians Away - Lost 2-5
11/03/1911 SFL Division One 2 Morton Home - Drew 0-0
18/03/1911 SFL Division One 2 Rangers Away - Lost 0-4
25/03/1911 SFL Division One 3 Motherwell Home - Won 1-0
01/04/1911 SFL Division One 3 Dundee Home - Lost 1-2
08/04/1911 SFL Division One 3 Raith Rovers Away - Drew 1-1
22/04/1911 SFL Division One 3 Aberdeen Home - Lost 2-4
06/05/1911 Merchants' Charity Cup, Semi Final 2 Rangers Home - Lost 0-1

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