Having enjoyed a meal with my wife and friends in a Dundee city centre restaurant, at the end of our stay I had occasion to use the “wee boy’s room”.
While drying my hands, I heard: “Hey John, what was the name of thon Aberdeen scout who used to bring in great signings in the 1960s and 70s?”
I replied Bobby Calder.
He then offered: “Be good if you could do something about him in your column.”
I then turned around to see my inquisitor walking out the door.
He then walked straight out of the restaurant, thus denying me the chance of a name or a face.
So, Bobby Calder?
I’ve often offered on this page that Charlie Cooke was the best player I ever watched. He was a Calder signing, as were Tommy Craig and Jimmy Smith.
They both left the Dons as big-money transfers to Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United respectively.
When Aberdeen won the Scottish Cup in 1970, beating Celtic 3-1, four of the victorious side – Bobby Clark, Tommy McMillan, Jim Hermiston and Arthur Graham – were Calder prodigies.
But what of the man himself?
Until I perused through his files, I wasn’t aware he was a referee in his younger days. Indeed, he was also a linesman at the famous Rangers v Moscow Dynamo friendly at Ibrox in 1945.
Two years later, he refereed the 1947 Scottish Cup Final as Aberdeen beat Hibs 2-1 at Hampden Park.
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Dunfermline were one of the first clubs to note his football knowledge and he managed the Pars just after the Second World War.
But he soon returned to officiating, and was a whistler abroad in such locations as the USA, Canada and Argentina.
In 1949, the call came from Aberdeen to look for fresh talent for them, a role he kept until 1981.
Sadly, Bobby died in 1983.