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Famous Scots - Robert Austin Thomson

Robert Thomson signed from Glasgow Perthshire in October 1929 the Johnstone-born outside-right made his debut on November 16th when Celtic defeated Cowdenbeath 2-1 in a league tie at Parkhead. Seemingly carefree, Bertie mixed a fine ability on the ball with a terrier like approach to the game and this style certainly won over the Celtic support.

It was Bertie's last gasp cross that was turned into the net by Motherwell's Alan Craig to give Celtic an unlikely 2-2 draw in the Scottish Cup final of 1931. When the Bhoys returned to Hampden for the replay Bertie's impact was even greater as his two goals helped Celtic lift the cup. At the end of the game he tried to retain the ball on the wing (as he was told he wouldn't get the medal) in hope to keep it, but on not hearing the final whistle he just lumped it in the stand. He would also play his part in the cup triumph of 1933.

Bertie did however have his run ins with manager Willie Maley and consequently his stay at Parkhead would always be limited. Maley found him to give "unsatisfactory play and physical condition", ordering double training in Sep 1932 for him which Bertie refused. He was suspended sine die, but he then belatedly apologised but it was the beginning of the end. So it proved in August 1933 when he was sold to Blackpool.

The support never forgot him and as a measure of their love for him, when he took the field on 8 Dec 1934 playing for Motherwell against Celtic, the fans presented him with a decorative horseshoe in green and white.

According to "An Alphabet of the Celts" Bertie was a "live-for-the-day" type who epitomised gallus! He is also said to have been spendthrift which likely created many financial problems.

Tragically just three years later Bertie would be dead from heart failure. He died in his mother's arms at 327 Argyle Street,Glasgow and left behind a three-year-old child (he died on her birthday). It dug deep into the hearts of the Celtic support, and over 10,000 lined parts of Argyle St in Glasgow to pay their respects as the funeral cortege passed by. A number of players were also present.


Headstone Photograph

Further Information



Date of Death: 17th Sep 1937

Age at Death: 29

Cemetery: Abbey Cemetery

  Abbey Road

Town: Elderslie

Region: Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Country: Scotland


Please Note, the marker on this map indicates the Cemetery location, not the location of a particular grave. is a privately owned website with no affiliation to any Local Councils.