Bob Hepburn was a footballer from Eddlewood. His son John Hepburn tells Historic Hamilton a bit about his dad during his football & time in the Army. John wrote:
“Bob was his family name, but in the Eddlewood community where he was born in 1902, he was known as “Hep”. This nomenclature lasted through his lifetime. Bob attended Low Waters School, and then followed his father and brother into working in Neilsland pit.
He played his junior football with Dykehead Juniors. He then had a short spell with Third Lanark. He went back to playing Junior with Quarter Juniors, and then had the unique experience of signing for Ayr United on a slab of coal down the Neilsland pit.
I believe that was in 1922 and then he went on to play for Ayr for 15 years. He was capped for Scotland against Ireland in season 1931-32. His biggest disappointment was after being selected to play at Wembly was not able to play owing to injury.
Hep was rewarded by Ayr with a benefit match against Manchester United. It was in this game that the late great Frank Swift made his debut for Man United. Hep was very popular in the close knit Eddlewood community, and with a few more local worthies organised and performed in concerts in the community hall.
One of my fondest memories was being carried on his shoulders at the head of the pipe band, in the final Eddlewood gala. I believe Eddlewood missed his gregarious personality when after marital differences with my Mother, he moved to London.
My dad joined the Royal Air Force in ww2 and landed in France on D Day plus 4. He returned to London post war working in De Havilands factory. Dad died in London at age 74 and his ashes are interred Prestwick Cemetery.”
We would like to thank John’s daughter Carol Hepburn-Manseau for taking time to send us her pictures of her Grandad and for writing down her dads story. The photos provided are from a football coupon from a packet of cigarettes which featured Robert Hepburn.