Here is a man, Robert "Bob" Campbell, with no known picture, no known grave and a life of two halves, the first half surprisingly complicated and the second seemingly a sea of calmness. He was born in Renton in 1875 the son of a local father, William, a Labourer in an Engine Works, and Ann Campbell, an Irish-born mother. At six he was a school. At sixteen he was a Yarn Clearer and a footballer of considerable talent. That year, 1891, he made his debut at left-back for the Renton senior team, clearly seen as a future replacement for captain, McCall, already touching thirty.
But Bob's time at Renton, at least this first time around was to be brief, just two seasons, before at just eighteen he headed South to Sheffield Wednesday. It was not to be a success. A few months later and after a single appearance he was back at the village club for three more seasons, which would see him partner with Donald Coleman at the back with John Lindsay behind them but not in the lost 1895 Scottish Cup Final. With seemingly a surfeit of fine full-backs John Ritchie and Archie McCall were the pairing that day. Instead Glen played at left-half, young legs to the aging Willie McColl inside him. It had followed his first Scottish cap, this time at full-back.
These games seems to have tempted him South once more. In the summer he signed for Everton but once more was soon home, this time seemingly with complications. In 1896 a local girl, Margaret Lindfield, gave birth to a daughter. The young girl would die the following year but the mother was soon pregnant once more and on this birth in 1898, a paternity suite was raised against him at his mother's address, he recorded as a Professional Footballer. Ans presumably it was successful since the child, a second girl, would thereafter be known as Christina Glen.
At the time of this second pregnancy Glen had joined Rangers as an understudy to its established full-backs, Nichol Smith and Jock Drummond. It meant once that he got little playing-time and after the suite he moved on and further away this time. Still not twenty-five he joined Hibernian for what was to be his real golden era. He would spend almost a decade at Easter Road. His personal situation in the village also seemed to calm down. By 1901 Margaret had found love elsewhere, married and moved to Kilsyth. It seems to have freed Glen himself to marry and back in the village. The year was 1903 and his bride was like his mother a Campbell, local girl Catherine.
Bob Glen was to make the best part of one hundred and fifty appearances for Hibs, including a Scottish Cup triumph. There he also won a third cap before at the age of thirty-two he went back to Renton, where two of his children would be born, to begin life as a bricklayer. But this time he did not settle, so much so that in 1909 the decision was taken to emigrate to Canada. He went alone in 1909, probably because Catherine was pregnant. But once their second son was born she him in Toronto. And it was there mainly in the Riverdale area they and their two boys and four Canadian-born daughters would live out the rest of their lives. Robert's passing as a retired bricklayer would be in the city in 1953 at the age of seventy-eight, Catherine's would be in 1958, aged eighty. Both would be buried in Toronto's Pine Hills Cemetery, where they were be joined in 1974 by their son Robert.
1881 - Shaws Land, Renton, Dunbartonshire
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