Links Park Legends - Bobby Kemp
A few weeks ago the featured player was goal-scoring legend, Jimmy Kemp and this week our Links Park Legend player is his brother Bobby.
Like Jimmy, Bobby played for Forfar West End but, shortly after manager Norman Christie signed his brother for Montrose, he joined Forfar Celtic.
Before long, reports of the ability of this pacy winger with a flair for scoring goals reached manager Christie and he signed Bobby. (In fact Norman Christie later signed their brother David for Montrose although he never quite enjoyed the success of Jimmy and Bobby.)
Before long, Jimmy and Bobby formed an important part of the side's strike force, scoring freely in the process.
Bobby says that the team from this era, with players such as Frank Sandeman, Jimmy Kilgannon, Willie Nicoll and of course his brother, was probably one of the finest in Montrose's history. Although the team were certainly good enough to be promoted they always seemed to fail at the final hurdle.
Season 1959-60 had seen the team on the verge of going up and for the early part of the following season they were again among the promotion challengers. They were sitting proudly on top of the Second Division in January 1961 when they were knocked off their perch, losing by a single goal to Brechin City at Links Park before a crowd of over 3,000. Changed days indeed.
In the Scottish Cup that year they defeated Albion Rovers by three goals to one at Links Park with Bobby scoring twice and Jimmy getting the other.
They were then drawn against Celtic and travelled with high hopes of bringing off a shock result. Represented by; Grieve, Russell, Ogilvie, Cross, Nicoll, McCorquodale, Dunn, Sandeman, Riddle, J Kemp & R Kemp, the team didn't enjoy the best of luck on the day and they lost by six goals to nil. The heavy defeat set them back considerably and they appeared to lose heart, finishing in seventh spot in the League after their bright start.
The Celtic game apart, the team was certainly capable of playing a fine brand of football. Bobby's part in the side's success hadn't gone unnoticed and by the end of season 1961-62 he had been transferred to St Johnstone for a 'substantial fee.' He remained at Muirton until 1967 before being transferred to Hearts where he spent a further two years.
After leaving Hearts Bobby went to South Africa to play as a part timer. It was a wonderful experience but unfortunately his spell there was cut short by a broken leg.
Bobby returned to Scotland and to Edinburgh where he has lived for the last thirty years. Once he retired from the game he admits that football was never the same for him although he still recalls his time at Links Park with affection.
Today, Bobby reckons that too many young players are obsessed with money and he recalls, "Playing for any senior club in those days was the height of a player's ambition. We would have played for nothing!".
© Forbes Inglis 2004