Bobby Roberts

The Transfer Record: Bobby Roberts

In September 1963, Leicester City broke their Club record transfer fee when they signed Motherwell midfielder Bobby Roberts for £41,000.
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At Motherwell, Bobby made nearly 100 appearances, as well as winning a Scotland Under-23s cap. He was also a team-mate of the future Liverpool star Ian St John. 

Although Ipswich Town offered more money, he was keen to come to Filbert Street because City had finished fourth in the league the previous season and were beaten FA Cup finalists.

Also, Leicester had tried to buy him a few years beforehand and his friend, Davie Gibson, was already at the Club.

When Bobby arrived, Frank McLintock was still in the team, so manager Matt Gillies initially deployed him at centre-forward, a position he had sometimes played at Motherwell.

In his first season at Leicester, Bobby was hindered by ankle trouble, which wasn’t really sorted out until the end of the season.

However, he scored in both legs of City’s League Cup Semi-Final against West Ham United, but in the days before substitutes, he did not play in the side which beat Stoke City in the two-legged final.

When McLintock left for Arsenal in September 1964, Bobby took over his midfield role and played in the side which lost to Chelsea in the 1965 League Cup Final.

A popular player, he was a regular in the starting line-up for the next six seasons, accumulating a total of 281 appearances and scoring 36 goals. A feature of his midfield play was his tendency to unleash thunderbolt shots from distance.

As well as playing in a side which finished seventh and eighth in the old First Division, he took part in epic cup ties against Manchester City in 1966 and 1968 and Liverpool in 1965 and 1969.

Bobby also played in the 1969 FA Cup Final side which lost to Manchester City. Unfortunately, the Club was relegated three weeks later. They hit the woodwork 18 times that season.

In addition, the team had to play five games in the three weeks after the FA Cup Final. Two wins, two defeats and a draw was not quite enough. The side fell one point short.

The following season, Bobby was again a regular as Leicester finished third in the Second Division, narrowly missing out on promotion back to the top-flight.

At the end of the campaign, Bobby left Filbert Street to join Third Division outfit Mansfield Town.

After coaching and managing Colchester United, Wrexham, El Shabar in Kuwait and Grimsby Town, Bobby returned to Leicester in June 1988 for a three-year stint as a coach, working with David Pleat.

He subsequently worked in Kuwait again, and as a scout for Derby County, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Oxford United.

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