Bob Wallace - a Linfield Giant - Volume 3 of 3

Posted : 10th May 2020 at 16:52:31

In the third and final volume of today’s tribute articles to the captain of the 1921/22 Clean Sweep Seven Trophy winning team, Linfieldfc.com reproduces the club’s archive records from the treasure trove that is the handwritten notes of the former chairman, the late David Crawford.

Bob’s place among the All time Greats of this club is assured on account of his role as captain of one of the Greatest sides in this club’s proud and illustrious history.

When added to his military role in the First World War, as outlined earlier today in volume 2, it all adds up to a remarkable and well lived full and active life.

Robert Stewart Wallace was born on January 20, 1893 in Greenock near Glasgow.

His address was 31 Ingleston St in the Scottish town.

He played for Scottish division 2 team Abercorn between 1911 and 1914.

He signed for Linfield in February 1914 and he remained a registered Linfield player until 1923.

He made his Linfield debut in a 4-1 win against Glentoran on Feb 14, 1914.

Bob was a half back / left half with Linfield and he was an army player with the 38th company serving in France and Egypt in 1915.

He was an engineer by trade.

Bob was the captain of the Clean Sweep 7 Trophy winning Linfield 1921/22 team.

He was Linfield captain for 2 and a half seasons and in that memorable 1921/22 team he played in 37 games scoring 4 goals.

He won all seven of the Clean sweep seven trophy winners medals.

With Linfield he won the following honours

Irish League winners medal - 1921/22

3 Irish Cup winners medals - 1915 v Belfast Celtic, 1922 v Glenavon and 1923 v Glentoran

2 City cup winners medals - 1913/14 and 1921/22

3 Charity cup winners medals - 1914/15, 1918/19 and 1921/22

2 Gold cup winners medals - 1918/19 and 1921/22

3 County Antrim Shield winners medals - 1913/14, 1921/22 and 1922/23

Alhambra Cup winners medal - 1921/22

5 Inter league caps v English, Scottish and Welsh leagues

The 1921/22 season was his benefit season and he was awarded a benefit game - See image below - Linfield v Irish League - in December 1922.

He made a total of 188 Linfield appearances scoring 17 goals which can be broken down as follows.

1913/14 - 12 appearances and 3 goals

1914/15 - 36 appearances and 1 goal

1915/16 - 2 appearances

1916/17 and 1917/18 - on War duty

1918/19 - 4 appearances

1919/20 - 28 appearances and 3 goals

1920/21 - 28 appearances and 4 goals

1921/22 - 37 appearances and 4 goals

1922/23 - 39 appearances and 2 goals

In Belfast he lived at 8 Castleton Avenue in 1919 and 22 Marlborough Gds in 1920.

Bob was transferred to Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1923

With Nottingham Forest he made 269 appearances scoring 2 goals between 1923 and 1931.

He made his Forest debut against Everton on August 25, 1923 and in 1931 he signed for Burton Albion.

David Crawford records that Bob played at both Linfield and Nottingham Forest alongside Gerry Morgan.

David Crawford adds that Bob owned a hotel in Nottingham.

Bob passed away in Nottingham on October 16, 1970 aged 77.

What is perhaps quite striking from David Crawford’s records is the omission of any family details.

So, Linfieldfc.com is well aware of the National and international reach of this website and would ask if anyone knows of any family descendants of Bob Wallace to get in touch via siteeditor@linfieldfc.com

We really would love to hear from you

Did Bob have a wife and any children and grandchildren

David Crawford records that Bob owned a hotel in Nottingham. Does anyone know the name of the hotel.

Bob captained one of our greatest teams and he played his part in making this club the great institution that it has become today.

He captained Linfield to major trophy successes and his place as one of the immortals of this club is assured.

As always with these tribute articles, it is our hope that we can do justice to the memory of one of the Greats who made this club Great.

Linfield FC salutes Bob Wallace - a name that is synonymous with success at this club and a name that will live for ever more among the legendary icons of this proud and illustrious club.

Audaces Fortuna Juvat

AC

In the iconic image below Bob is seated holding a ball in the middle of the front row behind the unmistakable County Antrim Shield trophy.





The images below have been provided by the NI Football museum Facebook account to whom our appreciation is extended.







The Games that Made our History – by Roy McGivern
Linfield v Glenavon, Irish Cup Final, 25 March 1922


It was Linfield’s Gold Cup win against Glentoran in 1922 which clinched the club’s first seven trophy success but in this article we feature another memorable game from that historic season when Linfield faced Glenavon in the Irish Cup Final.

The Blues had already secured four of the seven trophies on offer ahead of the Irish Cup showdown. The Alhambra Cup, City Cup, County Antrim Shield and League Championship were all safely deposited in the Windsor Park trophy room as Linfield headed to the Oval for the final. It was a time of considerable civil unrest in the country following the Government of Ireland Act in 1920 and the establishment of the separate Northern Ireland state in 1921. In the week leading up to the final, there was much speculation that the game could be cancelled or the venue changed due to difficulties facing spectators travelling across the city from South and West Belfast and from Mid Ulster.

In the end the game went ahead at the Oval with only 5,000 fans in attendance producing a gate of £375. Tram services on the Newtownards and Mountpottinger Roads were suspended for the afternoon but that didn’t deter thousands of Bluemen from descending on East Belfast on foot. As the teams took to the field Linfield fans had to look twice to recognise their heroes who were kitted out in unfamiliar black and yellow striped jerseys. This was due to a clash of colours with the Lurgan side who wore their usual blue jerseys.

It was not surprising that Linfield went into the game as strong favourites. They had only suffered one defeat in the domestic season and had 13 Irish Cup successes under their belts compared to none for the Lurgan Blues. It was not to be plain sailing, however, as Boyd put Glenavon ahead in the first half. Linfield soon came storming back though and goals from centre forward Bill Savage and inside right Dick McCracken put the Blues ahead. That McCracken goal past Glenavon goalkeeper Morrow proved to be the winning one and Linfiedl were celebrating a 14th Irish Cup triumph and their fifth trophy success of the season.

The undoubted stars of the show for Linfield were captain Bobby Wallace and Dick McCracken. The Belfast Telegraph report from the game commented: “The half-back line was ably led by Wallace who put in a massive amount of work, indeed he practically won the cup on his own bat. McCracken too played very hard and was really the only dangerous forward on show. It was only fitting that he should have the distinction of scoring the winning goal.”

The News Letter marked Linfield’s victory as follows: “The Irish Cup went to Windsor Park, as anticipated, and the Linfield club are to be congratulated on their success. They won by taking advantage of their chances more than anything else. To him that hath shall be given and their array of trophies is ever growing. They will soon have a show that will outshine Gibson’s or Sharman D. Neill’s windows. Of all the many trophies they have acquired this season they will take more pride in the Irish Cup than any other.”

Those old Belfast silversmiths may have long departed the scene but Linfield’s quest for trophy success remains undiminished. That Irish Cup success of 1922 was followed by many more but we salute that famous 1921/22 side and their magnificent achievements.

For the record the Linfield team which won the Irish Cup on 25 March 1922 was: Harland, Gaw, Frame, Wallace, Morgan, McIlveen, Cowan, McCracken, Savage, McIlreavey, Scott.
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