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Bobby Corbett

Bobby Corbett
Bobby Corbett
Birth 16/03/22 Throckley N’land
P/H/W LB 5’ 7.5" 10st 7lb
Jnd 02/43 Throckley W
Pro 08/43 £25
Deb 05/01/46 Barnsley (H) FAC
Dep 13/12/51 Middlesbrough £9,000
App/Gls 1221

NB - One contemporary newspaper report stated North Walbottle as his birthplace.

Happy-go-lucky Bobby was one of the many young players developed by United in wartime soccer and one of the most popular players during his time on Tyneside. He was a fine character: modest and a real "geordie". Ask him something he did not know and his ready reply was "a divvent knaa".

He was born into a well-known footballing family and was a a pit-worker when he was signed as an amateur from home-town club Throckley Welfare in 1943. Six months later he signed professional forms.

Bobby participated as a pro-sprinter during the summer months and fancied himself as a winger when he was signed. He was soon converted into a left-full-back and was one of the speediest defenders in the game.

He played with great tenacity, was robust and strong in the tackle and a decent crosser.

Bobby made his first appearances in the Wartime League with his "official" debut coming in the FA Cup in January 1946.

He had stiff competition for a place in the side from Dougie Graham, Ron Batty and Alf McMichael and was by no means a regular choice. However an injury to McMichael gave him the chance to appear in the 1951 Cup Final.

Charlie Crowe stated that he "played football with a permanent smile on his face"; although this was wiped off when he had an on-pitch altercation with Captain Harvey during the game with Bolton at the start of the 1951/52 season.

Corbett had misplaced a pass, Harvey had called him a "stupid b****** and Bobby squared up to him. Although the players soon settled their differences he never featured again and was sold to Middlesbrough a couple of months later.

It was a sad end to the Tyneside career of a genial Geordie who played the game hard but fair and had never (previously) argued with anyone.

His uncle Bill was a coach of Chicago side Norkopping, a Swedish-American team.

1943/44 (6)

1944/45 (21)

1945/46 (37)

1946/47 (12)

Doug Graham held down the Number 3 shirt for most of the season.

1947/48 (4)

Bobby had a short spell in the side in September but struggled and lost his place after the 3-0 defeat at Fulham.


Did not feature at all in the first eleven and was transfer-listed in January.

1949/50 (13 - 1)

Having not played since September 1947, Bobby was recalled in February and retained his place until the last week of the campaign. Scored his only goal for the club from the penalty spot in the home win against Derby.

1950/51 (25)

Bobby got his chance in the side when Alf McMichael broke his wrist whilst training on the St. James’ car park. He didn't let anyone down and played a significant part in the Cup triumph. He brilliantly shackled Wolves danger-man Hancocks in the first Semi and was not overawed with the prospect of facing the mercurial Matthews on the wide open Wembley pitch. Also featured at outside-left in a couple of games when Mitchell was injured and played particularly well in the win at Old Trafford.

1951/52 (4)

Played at the start of the season before being dropped after a completely out-of-character spat with Joe Harvey during the home defeat against Bolton. He did not feature again and was sold to Middlesbrough a couple of months later.


Painting by Piotr