The incredible story of Celtic legend Bobby Hogg

The incredible story of Celtic legend Bobby Hogg

Part 1 – A star is born

Legendary Celtic defender and captain Bobby Hogg was born Robert Brown Hogg at Elmbank, Burnhead, Larkhall at 5.30pm on Sunday, 10 May 1914. The previous day, two goals from Jimmy ‘Sniper’ McColl and one from winger Andy McAtee had given Double-winners Celtic a 3-0 victory over Queen’s Park in the Glasgow Charity Cup semi-final at Hampden. The Hoops would duly add that trophy to the collection on the following Tuesday, with a 6-0 rout of Third Lanark at the same venue, before setting off on what would be an historic tour of Hungary, Austria and Germany.

Celtic 1913/14 with the Scottish Cup

It was on that continental trip that the infamous Budapest Cup clash with English FA Cup-winners Burnley took place, a 1-1 draw in the Hungarian capital later that month followed up by a 2-1 success for Celtic at Turf Moor on the opening day of September, by which time the country was at war with the three nations which the club had visited just a few months earlier.

Budapest Cup and medals
Photos from Charlie Doherty of Berliner FC Preussen v Celtic, 1914.

Bobby’s mum and dad were both older than Celtic! Robert Hogg was born on 4 January 1883 at Barrack’s Row, Carfin, Lanarkshire, whilst Cecilia Cameron Smith was born at Noblehouse, Newlands, Peeblesshire on 10 January 1885. The parish of Newlands lay on the border of Peeblesshire and Midlothian, sandwiched between West Linton and Eddleston.

Robert Hogg and Cecilia Cameron Smith married at the Christian Institute, Larkhall on Friday, 25 September 1908. Robert was 25 years old and lived at 58 Miller Street, Larkhall. His parents (Bobby’s paternal grandparents) were Robert Brown Hogg – a Coal Miner whom Bobby was named after – and Janet Hogg, nee Brownlie, who married at Low Waters, Hamilton on 19 July 1872.

Bobby’s mum Cecilia was a 23-year-old Domestic Servant. Her address is given as Ashgillhead, Dalserf and her parents (Bobby’s maternal grandparents) were John Love Smith – a Gemstone Miner – and Janet Smith, nee Gilroy, who had married at Dalserf on 24 February 1882. The witnesses to the marriage were Andrew Hogg – Robert’s younger brother – and Agnes Smith, Cecilia’s teenage sister.

As an aside, 24 hours after the marriage of Robert and Cecilia Hogg, Willie Maley’s ‘Team of all the talents’ continued their defence of the four trophies won the previous campaign by drawing 2-2 with Rangers at Celtic Park in the semi-final of the Glasgow Cup. The story of that match was built around the outside-right featuring for Rangers, Alec Bennett, who a few months earlier had scored the title-winning goal at Ibrox – for Celtic! Part of what many consider to be Celtic’s greatest-ever forward line, Alec switched allegiances to Rangers and scored both goals against his former club in the 2-2 draw mentioned above. His replacement on Celtic’s right flank that afternoon was Willie Kivlichan, who had joined Celtic from Rangers in the spring of 1907! A qualified doctor, Willie would be on duty at Ibrox that fateful day in September 1931 when Celtic’s young goalkeeper John Thomson suffered his fatal injuries.

At the time of the 1911 Census, taken on Sunday, 2 April as Celtic prepared for a Scottish Cup final meeting with local club Hamilton Academical at Ibrox six days later – Hampden was still out of bounds following the Riot Final of 1909 – Robert Hogg (28, Coal Miner Hewer, born in Carfin) and Cecilia Hogg (26, born in Newlands) are living in a terraced home at 25 Brown Street, Larkhall with their two infant daughters, 21-month-old Janet – named after both grandmothers – and baby Margaret, who arrived just three months earlier in January 1911. Both girls were born at number 10 Brown Street, Larkhall.

As a further aside, that Hamilton Academical cup final team featured a young outside-right enjoying his first season as a senior footballer. His name was John Herbert McLaughlin and if that rings a bell then you probably know your Celtic history. His father of the same name was a Founding Father of Celtic and a key administrator and influencer in Scottish football. Two late goals from Jimmy Quinn and Tom McAteer in the Ibrox replay brought the cup home to Celtic Park after the first match had ended goalless.

Hamilton Academical’s cup-final team 1910/11 featuring John H McLaughlin.

A decade later, the Hogg family has expanded significantly.

The Census record taken on 19 June 1921 shows Robert Hogg (38 years/5 months, a Coal Miner Hewer with Summerlee Iron Co. Ltd., born in Old Monkland, Lanark) and Cecilia Hogg (36/5, born in Newlands, Peebles) now living at 128 Raploch Street, Larkhall, in the shadow of Gasworks Park, home of Scotland’s oldest surviving junior football club, Larkhall Thistle.

Gasworks Park, Larkhall

The Hoggs now have seven children: Janet (11 years/11 months), Maggie (10/5), Cecilia (8/7), future Celt Robert (7/1), John (4/11), James (3/1) and William (6 months). All of the children were born in Larkhall and all seven seem to have been given a family name as a middle name.

Janet Gilroy Hogg, born at 10 Brown Street, Larkhall on 6 July 1909
Margaret Lindsay Hogg, born at 10 Brown Street, Larkhall 8 January 1911
Cecilia Cameron Hogg, born at Elmbank, Burnhead, Larkhall on 16 November 1912
Robert Brown Hogg (Bobby), born at Elmbank, Burnhead, Larkhall on 10 May 1914
John Smith Hogg, born at 128 Raploch Street, Larkhall on 29 July 1916
James Brownlie Hogg, born at 128 Raploch Street, Larkhall on 4 May 1918
William Smith Hogg, born at 128 Raploch Street, Larkhall on 24 November 1920

An eighth and final child, Annie Brown Hogg, would duly complete the family in 1924.

Bobby, his siblings and his dad.

To be continued…

Hail, hail!

Matt Corr

Follow Matt on Twitter/X @Boola_vogue

The Celtic Star is committed to telling the Celtic story

The Celtic Star is committed to telling the Celtic story, and by publishing top quality books that tell so far untold parts of Celtic’s History we believe we fulfil a significant role in making sure that these stories will be known and talked about by future generations of Celtic supporters.


Matthew Marr tells the story of Celtic’s first ever title win and in doing so you learn about the hardships our ancestors had to endure in the last years of the 19th century in Glasgow.

The late, great David Potter single-handedly brought Alec McNair’s remarkable achievements at Celtic back into the prominent position he deserves and in telling his story we get a further insight into life around the time of the Great War and afterwards. Even for a Celtic player life was far from easy.

David Potter followed that with the long overdue biography of Willie Fernie, a player that the Celtic support still sings about even to this day but remarkably no book had been written about this legendary Celt.

Matt Corr’s Invincible captures the magic of a very special season perfectly, while at Leicester City, the current Celtic manager purchased multiple copies of the book to gift to his own family members.

It’s an awesome read from what was just about the perfect Celtic season.Harry Hood is another Celtic legend whose story was told by The Celtic Star author Matt Corr. Like the McNair and Fernie families, the Hood family gave Harry’s biography their full support and all three families were delighted with the books when published.

The most recent book published by The Celtic Star is Matt Corr’s in depth look at Gordon Strachan’s first season at Celtic. Majic, Stan and the King of Japan takes us through one of the most eventful seasons in the modern Celtic era and it has to be acknowledged that WGS was a hugely successful Celtic manager, who was able to punch above his height and weight in the Champions League.

Two of our books are completely sold out, having been re-printed to satisfy demand. David Potter’s wonderful title, The Celtic Rising, told the story of Jock Stein’s first season at Celtic – 1965 The Year Jock Stein Changed Everything. Things changed alright and this book explains how it all happened.

The Celtic Rising is available on Amazon Kindle and all the brilliant photos shown in the print version from that era are included on Kindle. The same goes for Walfrid and the Bould Bhoys –  which was co-written by Liam Kelly alongside Matt Corr and David Potter and if you have a hardback copy, congratulations, it’s going to be a collectors’ classic. There’s hardly a week goes by when someone enquires about buying a copy.

Like The Celtic Rising, Walfrid and the Bould Bhoys is available on Amazon Kindle, as is Invincible, Harry Hood, The Bould Bhoys, Glory to their name and Majic Stan and the King Japan.

So if you haven’t read our books, or have a few more to add to your collection, we’re inviting you to do so over the next month so that we can continue to tell Celtic stories that deserve to be told. And all hardback books are available at just £10 plus postage, which is paid only on the first book ordered. You can order from and if you prefer Amazon Kindle then shop for the title of your choice there, which will cost £3.49.

Hail Hail

David Faulds
Editor – The Celtic Star

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About Author

Having retired from his day job Matt Corr can usually be found working as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park, or if there is a Marathon on anywhere in the world from as far away as Tokyo or New York, Matt will be running for the Celtic Foundation. On a European away-day, he's there writing his Diary for The Celtic Star and he's currently completing his first Celtic book with another two planned.

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