October 9, 1902
The vexed question – Who is to be outside right in the Dundee team against St. Mirren at Paisley in the Scottish League? – has been satisfactorily answered, the Committee having been successful in securing the transfer of a noted player – one possessed of considerable reputation, and in the procuring of whom Dundee have made a good capture. Tom Robertson, the well-known Anglo Scot, was last night signed on by representatives of Dundee in Edinburgh, the Hearts officials having agreed to let him go.
Robertson has many qualifications to recommend him for inclusion in the Dundee team. For one thing he has had ample experience in League football on both sides of the Border. “Tommy,” as he is familiarly known by, is a native of Fauldhouse, and 24 years of age. He is good built – not tall, but thick, well-set, and of the Henderson type. He was picked up by the Hearts in rather remarkable fashion many years ago. The Tynecastle Club was engaged a Fauldhouse in a second eleven cup tie, and being a man short the officials were forced to search for a substitute, and Robertson was picked from among the spectators as being, according to local reputation, “a likely hand.” He performed so satisfactorily that right away he stepped into the Hearts regular team, so that it may be said he was a born player. He soon made himself a good name.
Tommy repeatedly appeared at Carolina Port, and was one of the team who whacked Dundee 6-1 in the Scottish League some seasons ago, and on that occasion showed his goal-getting ability by beating Jack Hillman four times. The next occasion he was on the same ground he was not so successful, Barney Battles proving a thorn in the flesh. When Tom Watson, of Liverpool fame, was scouring the country for players, he was able to induce the Hearts to part with Robertson, and took him across the Border. He had no reason to rue his bargain, as Tommy turned out to be one of his best catches. For four seasons he remained with Liverpool, and was one of the lot who carried off the English League championship. John Walker and he made a capital wing.
He had ultimately to give way in the team to John Cox, the internationalist, who is a local man, and at the beginning of the present season, he along with his partner returned to Scotland – Walker going to the Rangers, and Robertson again to the Hearts. It should be here mentioned that he was three times called upon to take part in Anglo-Scots v. Home Scots matches, and it was only the fine play of Alexander Smith that prevented him on every occasion from being capped v. England. He is very fast and clever on the ball, and can play on either wing. To-morrow he makes his debut as outside right, with William White as his partner. The pair will not be new to each other, as they had charge of the wing in Liverpool. Altogether it would appear as though Dundee had done well, and the attack should be materially strengthened by his inclusion. No time is to be lost in getting the transfer – Association and League – carried through, and he is a certain starter at Paisley.
There is a short biography of Robertson given by the “Northern Athletic Football Guide”: – “Robertson (forward) has long ranked as one of the best of Scottish outside rights. His partnership with Morgan, then Walker, always gave an overplus of work to opposing left halves and backs. Fast, every clever with the ball, and ‘class’ writ large in every movement.”
Dundee was not the only Club who was on Robertson’s track. Two other teams in addition to Dundee were wanting him. Middlesbrough being also desirous of picking him up. The Dundee secretary was in Edinburgh on Wednesday, but much negotiation had to be carried through ere he was transferred. Hearts officials had to be seen, and Fauldhouse, where Robertson resided, had to be visited and the player interviewed. Consequently it was late last night ere everything was satisfactorily settled.
(Source: Evening Telegraph: October 10, 1902)