Robert Raeburn

When the second round, effectively the semi-final, of the inaugural American Cup took place on 27th November 1884 on the right-wing of the side, Kearny Rangers, that would lose to New York, was an R. Raeburn. And he was there again in the first game of the next season of the same competition, in the second too and this time all the way as one of the right-wing pairing to the final, lost to town rivals, ONT. But he was not in the team in 1886-7, when it would again reach the final, lose once more and to the same opponent. 

No-one can say how good a footballer Raeburn might have been but he was typical in that he clearly played the game briefly at was at the time the American top-flight and all the more so if we make the jump to assuming the R initial stood for Robert. If so then he was also an example of many other quiet and, of course, un-lauded, footballing pioneers, a Scot, who had been raised in one of the old country's football hotbeds with the transference of its particular expertise in the making of cotton-thread bringing him across The Pond him to Kearny, today known as both Soccer- and Scots-toon USA.

Robert Raeburn, indeed Robert C. Raeburn, Robert Cameron, Raeburn was born in 1860 in Paisley, Renfrewshire. His father was a Shawl Weaver, who seems to have died young, but with four children, leaving his wife, Jane Cameron, to earn a living as a Wool Winder. At eleven Robert was at school. At twenty-one he, a mill-worker, was staying with his elder brother and his family still in Paisley with younger brother, John. However, it seems later that same year both he and John would leave for America, settling on Grant Avenue in Harrison, from where in 1886 he married Emma Tindell, an explanation perhaps for hanging up his boots. And they, continue to stay on the same street, would have four children, three boys and a girl, he working as a Fireman in a thread/cotton mill, in other words in the factory Clarks of Paisley had erected on the Passaic River with Kearny to the immediate north and Harrison to its south.

However, Emma Raeburn would die at some point in the 1920s. In 1930 Robert was living with his son and his family in Kearny and in 1938 in retirement in Arlington to the the north of the town. But at that point records seem to stop. There are no indications of where or when he died, nor of where he or Emma are buried. Perhaps descendants can enlighten us. 

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