Better known as R S McColl, thanks to the chain of newsagents he founded with his brother Tom in 1901, Robert Smith McColl had two spells at Queen's Park, the first from 1894 to 1902, and the second from 1907 to 1910.

Until the recent relaxation allowing former professionals to play for Queen's, "Toffee Bob" was also one of the few ex-professionals allowed to return and play for Queen's.

Born in April 1876, he was signed for Queen's Park as a 18 year old from Benmore, a now defunct club from Mount Florida, and debuted in April 1894 in a 2-0 Merchant's Cup tie win against Rangers at Cathkin Park.

Even with Queen's still refusing to join the embryonic Scottish league, McColl's form was good enough to see him selected for Scotland, and he reached the peak of his international career in 1899 and 1900.

In 1899 he scored hat tricks on successive Saturdays, firstly against Wales then against Ireland the following week, then in 1900 he scored a hat trick in the first half as Scotland hammered England 5-1 at Celtic Park.

The professional clubs were never far away from such a prestigious talent, with Liverpool, Derby and Blackburn all attempting to tempt McColl to England. After eight years at Queen's, he eventually left the club and signed for Newcastle United, where he remained for three years.

In 1905 he returned north of the border and signed for the Southside's second club, Rangers, where he played until 1907.

McColl asked to return to Queen's as he looked to finish his career, but with the club still strictly amateur there was some doubt about whether he would be allowed to return. It took the casting vote of the President for his return to go ahead and, until the club's signing policy changed in the mid 1990's, he is one of only two players known to have played professionally and then play for Queen's.

His return to Hampden was warmly welcomed by Queen's fans, with a larger than normal 20,000 crowd attending for his return in a match against Rangers, the Glasgow Herald reporting the explanation for the large crowd "lies in the reappearance of of R.S. McColl in the colours of the club with which his name will ever be fondly associated". The Scotsman reported "On appearing once more in the old familiar colours, McColl was cheered to the echo, and after not only serving up a good game himself, but inspiring confidence in others, the Queen's centre came in for a great ovation at the finish", also adding that "McColl's presence made all the difference to Queen's" as they defeated Rangers by three goals to one, with McColl scoring Queen's second goal after they had fallen behind.     

Following this McColl played for Queen's for a further two and a half years, retiring at the age of 34. However, he certainly went out with a bang, scoring nine goals in his last three games for the club, all at Hampden, including six against Port Glasgow Athletic.

His record for Queen's over his two spells are 40 goals in 76 league appearances, and 72 goals in 104 cup appearances.

McColl died in November 1958, aged 83, and is buried in Cathcart cemetary in the southside of Glasgow.

Back| Home