Born: 1927; Died: June 4, 2012.
Bobby Black, who has died at the age of 85, was a Scottish footballer who enjoyed successful stints with East Fife and Queen of the South during periods when both clubs were arguably at their peak on the pitch.
Born in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Black played as a 15-year-old for Queens during the Second World War against visiting service teams. He was playing for Connell Park Rangers in 1945 when he signed for East Fife for a fee of £30. Fulham had offered a signing-on fee of £2000 but the influence of his mother, who was impressed by the Bayview club's chairman John McArthur, persuaded the Scot that his best interests lay in Methil.
A debut against Dundee United in the North-eastern League produced a goal in a 6-1 home win but Black's appearances in the next three years were restricted. The appointment of James Scotland Symon as manager in June 1947 proved the catalyst for a golden era for the Fife club, and Mr Black became a key figure in Symon's side. Promotion to the top division was achieved in 1947-48 with Mr Black playing in the final two games of the campaign, and the club won the League Cup with a 4-1 final replay victory over Falkirk.
The Fifers took Division A by storm, finishing in fourth position with Mr Black a first-team regular. A home win over Celtic and away win against champions Hibernian paved the way for a Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers, which the Ibrox club won before a crowd of 104,958.
East Fife avenged that reversal the following season, defeating Rangers 2-1 at the penultimate stage of the League Cup at Hampden before beating local rivals Dunfermline Athletic 3-0 in the final.
East Fife again finished fourth in the league but went one better in the Scottish Cup, defeating Partick Thistle at Ibrox in the semi-final. Rangers awaited in the final as did 120,015 spectators. Willie Findlay opened the scoring after 30 seconds and Willie Thornton added two more. Symon said of the 3-0 defeat, "I have never seen a finer display from Rangers," as the Ibrox club won a third successive Scottish Cup.
A record high of third place followed in 1951-52, but after an injury-troubled season Mr Black returned to Dumfries, signing for Queens having scored 23 goals in 78 league games for East Fife.
The Palmerston side was a fine one – and in season 1953-54 Queens led the title race at Christmas, but a New Year slump ended dreams of securing the championship. Mr Black earned his sole representative honour that year, scoring twice in a 3-1 win for the Scottish League over the League of Ireland in Dublin.
These were happy days for Mr Black who enjoyed nine years with the Doonhammers. On Boxing Day 1959 he scored in a 7-1 mauling of a Queen's Park side that included Alex Ferguson in its ranks.
A total of 120 goals in 346 games for Queens marked the winger as the second-highest goalscorer in the club's history. After departing Palmerston Park in 1961 Mr Black played non-league football in England with Bath City and Bridgwater Town.
He settled in Somerset, where he worked as an accountant and became a keen golfer and outstanding bowler.
Mr Black was married with two sons, one of whom – Bobby Jr – followed in his father's footsteps by playing for Queen of the South from 1971-73. The other, Russell, played for Dundee, Gretna, Sheffield United and Halifax Town. Two grandchildren – Toby and Jamie Paterson – played senior football and his great-grandson, Denny Johnstone, is a Scottish youth internationalist while another, Brodie Paterson, is an Australian youth internationalist.
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