Robert "Bobby" Evans (16 July 1927 – 1 September 2001) was a Scottish football player and manager, most notable for his time with Celtic.
Bobby began playing football for Glasgow Junior side Pollok FC. He then joined Celtic during 1944 from other Glasgow junior side St.Anthony's. He started out his Celtic career as a forward, but it wasn't until manager Jimmy McGrory moved him back to right-half that Evans became a Celtic great. Unmistakable with his red hair, he was probably the first to wear his shirt out of his shorts, his trademark. His stamina, determination and sheer will-to-win were regarded by many as exceptional.
Celtic's long-awaited Scottish Cup victory of 1951 and the historic Saint Mungo Cup win of the same summer gave Evans his first taste of major success. He then went on to give the sustained performance of a lifetime throughout the unexpectedly triumphant Coronation Cup run two years later. In the final, Evans was regarded by many as simply sublime, as he played the great Lawrie Reilly out of the game and fittingly instigated the move that led to Jimmy Walsh's clinching strike in the 2–0 defeat of favourites Hibernian.
Evans was the first Celtic captain to lift the League Cup in 1956 and he famously helped defend it a year later against Rangers in what will forever be known as Hampden in the sun. He made 535 appearances for Celtic and scored 10 goals in 16 years with the club. During this time he won 48 caps for Scotland. Evans also won 25 caps for the Scottish League XI, the most of any player.
Evans left Celtic in 1960, heading south to Chelsea, where he played for one season before being appointed player-manager of Newport County. He returned to Scotland in a playing capacity with Greenock Morton in 1962, then joined Third Lanark as a player with coaching duties in 1963. He was promoted to manager in June 1964 but left after a difficult 1964–65 season. He played with Raith Rovers for two further years. He played for them as they won promotion from Division 2 to Division 1 in 1967 before retiring at the end of that year, at the age of 39.
Evans died of pneumonia in 2001, after suffering for several years with Parkinson's disease. In 2008 Evans was inducted to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.Close