Them and us – Bobby Campbell (Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic)

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This weekend’s trip to Loftus Road brings TNS the opportunity to look back at the career of a man whose career took in both clubs, step forward Bobby Campbell!

No not that one!

Robert was born on 23rd April 1937 and signed for Liverpool in the summer of 1954 and progressed through the youth ranks at Anfield, finally making his first team debut on 15th September 1958.

In total he made 25 appearances for Liverpool scoring twice.  He also featured in 13 matches in the legendary Bill Shankly’s inaugural season as manager of the club.

His playing days at Anfield came to an end due to injury and he found himself at Springfield Park playing as a part timer at the start of season 1961/62.  He made two league appearances without scoring whilst with the Blues.

He also scored twice for Latics in the FA Cup, his first coming in a second qualifying round game at home against Prescot Cables which resulted in a 1-1 draw.  His other goal came in a third qualifying replay against Altrincham, also at Springfield Park, which Latics won 3-1.

In the winter of 1961 he decided to return to the game in a full time capacity and he joined Portsmouth for whom he went on to play 64 games, netting twice before his injury finally won the battle when after playing just five games for Aldershot in 1968 his career finally did come to an end.

He began his coaching career in 1966 at Portsmouth and then, after a spell at Loftus Road with Queens Park Rangers, he went on to work under Bertie Mee at Arsenal as first-team coach following the resignation of Steve Burtenshaw who given up his position to become the manager of Sheffield Wednesday.

Campbell, who had been a coach at Craven Cottage following the resignation of Bill Taylor, then became manager at Fulham in 1976, after his former boss Alec Stock was sacked.

In May 1982 he succeeded Frank Burrows and became the manager of Portsmouth for whom he won the Division Three title, before being replaced by Alan Ball in May 1984.

He then spent a year in Saudi Arabia, becoming the manager of  Al Qadsia in Kuwait and then, towards the end of the 1987-88 season, he  was appointed assistant to manager John Hollins at Chelsea eventually becoming caretaker manager following Hollins’ departure from Stamford Bridge in March 1988.

Hollins had endured  a torrid four months in which he failed to record a single victory and Bobby was unable to buck the losing trend and Chelsea were relegated via the relegation play-offs (remember them?) that season.

His appointment as manager proved a good decision by the club’s board, as he then guided Chelsea to promotion as Second Division champions with a haul of 99 points. Not content with that Bobby then guided the Pensioners to a 5th place finish in the First Division, their highest league placing (at the time) since 1970.

His time at Chelsea ended after a spell as chairman Ken Bates’ personal assistant.  Ken, a former Wigan Athletic chairman, had bought Chelsea for a penny in 1982!

Bobby’s last post in football was as manager of Al-Arabi in Kuwait, who were the bitter rivals of his former Kuwaiti club  Al Qadsia.

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