Bobby Full Of Family Pride

Paying Tribute To The Good And The Brave

Bobby Thomson……solemn duty.

Bobby Thomson has made an emotional visit to Merseyside to honour the inspirational great uncle he never met.

The Scot was proud to be invited to attend the unveiling of a plaque laid in tribute to First World War hero Hugh McKenzie and speak on his behalf at a commemorative service.

The occasion was staged 100 years on from when Lieutenant McKenzie – a winner of the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the French award, the Croix de Guerre – was fatally shot in the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium.

It also fell while football pays its collective respects to the war dead, with Molineux having witnessed a moving rendition of The Last Post by a lone bugler on Friday night.

“These guys deserve all the praise we can give them,” Bobby said. “I was born long after my great uncle gave his life for the cause but several of my later relatives were also military people and there is a lot of family pride in him.

“What we have learned about his career is that he was a very impressive leader and a brave, brave man.

“I have felt a warm glow since laying a wreath outside the St Nicholas Church and seeing a stone in the courtyard with his name on. Everything about the day was so lovely.

“I didn’t bother writing what I was going to say. I was invited to be in the pulpit for five or ten minutes but just decided to speak from the heart. That is what I do.

“I said what came naturally and shed a few tears. We Scots can be a bit sentimental!”

Hugh McKenzie, who we wrote about at length in our story in May, is already commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres.

He was born in Liverpool and already has a plaque in his honour outside the school he used to attend in Bobby’s birthplace, Dundee.

“I was the only family member at the service but am very proud of what all this represents,” Thompson added.

“I was very well received by the Lord Mayor, who turned out to be a Newcastle fan from the north east. That was the club I faced when I played my only League match for Wolves.

“I could have signed for them actually during Stan Seymour’s time as manager but didn’t fancy the idea of joining the groundstaff when I heard it partly involved cleaning boots. I took my chance and stayed in Scotland a bit longer.

Hugh McKenzie

“It was nice to see a bit of Liverpool last week as well. I was never the best traveller in my football career and used to get stuck into a game of solo or something to take my mind off the journey.

“I never took any notice of where we were passing through but I plan to go back to Liverpool, have another look at the stone and a better look round. It looked a wonderful city.”


Thomas Publications