Bobby Lavery

Date of passing
03 November 1955 (Age N/A)
Lisburn, Antrim, NIR
Where they grew up
Belfast, NIR & Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Bobby Lavery

Robert Lavery... soccer family (brothers Phil and Albert, nephew Bill)... he was a teenager when he moved to Toronto in 1912... he married Edna May Woods on 29 January 1921 (their daughter was Anne Jane)... he was 60 years old when he passed away at Toronto East General Hospital on 3 November 1955 (he was buried at Pine Hills Cemetery, Section 6, Lot 2228)... in Canada, he suffered from rheumatic fever and was incapacitated for two years and told he would never play again...

posthumously honoured by the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame as a player...

as noted in 1918, he was “really a class exponent of the game”... described as “Canada’s premier centre forward”... wrote historian Colin Jose, he was “a centre forward with a bullet-like shot”... wrote footballer Andy Wilson after a Scottish tour 1921, Lavery was “to my mind the best exponent of the forward pivotal position that you have in Canada“... as noted in 1921 in the Globe, Lavery “was one of the most effective of the Ulster players” during the 1921 Connaught Series final... as noted in 1922 in the Montréal Gazette, Lavery “is regarded as the best centre forward in the Dominion”... as noted in 1924 by The Globe, “in Lavery of Ulster and Andy Stevens of Scottish, Toronto has two of the best centres playing in the Dominion; Lavery is the more polished of the two, but Stevens has a terrific shot”... as noted in 1925 in the Winnipeg Tribune, “can be classed as one of the best centres in the Dominion... football simply rolls off (his) nimble toes... his opening out play, dribbling, and shooting is top notch at all times... his shooting with either foot usually spells goal, as he has the science of shooting worked out like an Andy Wilson”... as noted in 1932 in the Toronto Star, “almost every soccer fan in Toronto knows Bob, because he was one of the shining lights in the game”... as noted in 1955 in the Toronto Star, Lavery was “a famous Canadian soccer player during the 20s... a centre forward with a bullet-like shot”... after Lavery’s death, former teammate Billy Simpson said “soccer has lost a true friend and one of its greatest players”... also remembered in 1955 by Billy Simpson, “I cannot recall him being sent off the field for misconduct in all of his brilliant career”...

wrote Augustus Dunne in 1955, “I have watched many centre forwards play here with visiting Old Country teams, but have yet to see a finer than Lavery; he could trap a pass and drive with either foot to the net before another man could decide what foot to shoot with. In headwork, I have never seen in any other player Lavery’s uncanny timing, in jumping with an opponent to head a ball, nine times out of ten he’d get his head to it first, with a slight nod and deflect it where he wanted it to go. Lavery was one of the cleanest players; he played the ball, not the man, which is probably why he attained such mastery over it. Some disparaged him because he was not the bustling, hustling type, like Andy Wilson or McGarry of Celtic, but to observers who appreciate skill and finesse, the memory of the Prince of Sharpshooters will be a long, long time dying out”...

For Country

would have been part of the 1921 Canadian XI that faced the touring Scottish Star Footballers, but was unavailable to make the 9 July 1921 match in Montréal... 

Individual Honours