You had me thinking there...
The St Mirren Campbells – one Black and one Red
The Sunday Post (Dundee)
9 Oct 2016
By Brian Fowlie [email protected]
Sir Matt Busby suffered regularofffield problems with George Best.
ST MIRREN appointed Jack Ross as manager last week and he’s probably glad he didn’t play in an earlier era.
Despite being 17 years his junior, people still mix him up with former Dunfermline striker Ross Jack.
But that’s nothing compared to the confusion that once reigned at St Mirren.
Back in the ’60s, the Buddies had two Bobby Campbell’s in their squad.
A look at the record books shows that colours were used to identify the correct player.
One man was known as Black Campbell and the other as Red.
Bobby “Black” Campbell recalls that not everyone used those nicknames.
He said: “I signed for St Mirren in 1959 and the other Bobby Campbell was already on the books.
“I was going to be referred to as Bobby Campbell and he was to be Robert.
“But that didn’t seem to work and the R and B became Red and Black.
“My mother hated it. She said being called Black sounded as if I didn’t wash!
“Red did have red hair, but mine wasn’t black, it was more a fairish-brown colour.
“We were never known by the colours at training.
“The other players would call him Bobby and I was Boaby because I came from Ayrshire where it was pronounced differently.”
Bobby arrived at Love Street just as St Mirren won the Scottish Cup.
He recalled: “When I was signing, my father said to the manager, Willie Reid, ‘I hope you’re not going to get relegated’.
“He said they just needed a couple of good wins to get going. They then went all the way to beat Aberdeen at Hampden.
“It wasn’t easy for me to get into the team because they had two great inside forwards in Tommy Bryceland and Tommy Gemmell.
“I was a student at Glasgow University studying pure science during my time at St Mirren.
“My daytimes at university were quite a contrast to the characters I would meet when I went to train at night. It was a real eye-opener.”
Bobby’s next club was Morton – where he helped them win promotion by winning 23 games in row.
They also faced Rangers in the League Cup Final in front of more than 100,000 supporters.
He said: “Our coach, Doug Cowie, told me to follow Jim Baxter in the first half, not dive into tackles but make him play across the park and not make forward passes.
“It worked because the game was still at 0-0 at half-time.
“Then the manager, Hal Stewart, decided we should forget about Baxter. We ended up losing 5-0.”
Another Morton coach, Bobby Howitt, took over as Motherwell manager and recruited Bobby.
In September 1966, he went back to St Mirren and scored all five goals as the Steelmen ran out 5-0 winners.
It was a classic case of a player returning to haunt his old club.
He recalled: “I scored the first two goals with my head. You don’t have to be that tall to score with headers.
“The guy who replaced me at Motherwell, Dixie Deans, wasn’t that big, but was a great goal-scorer.
“The intention was to play further back in midfield but I scored 18 goals in second season and that kept me higher up the pitch for a while.”
Bobby, now 75, retired after a short spell with Stranraer in 1971.
He said: “Some ex-managers tried to get me into coaching but I got a job with IBM and decided to concentrate on that.”