Football could be at your corner shop.

You may live in a neighbourhood where you have an RS McColl, McColls or Martin’s newsagent as a local shop. There are over 1100 of them, many with a post office within and more recently some have been changed to Morrisons Daily. More will now follow with last year’s takeover by Morrisons but they have also announced that 132 will be closing.

So what is this to do with football. Well it was all to do with a man from the St Rollox area of Glasgow named Robert Smyth McColl.

Robert was a promising footballer who started playing for a junior club called Benmore in 1892 at the age of 13. Two years later he moved to the amateur club Queens Park and success there led to a lucrative move to Newcastle United with a signing on fee of £300 of which he invested £100 into business with his brother Tom.

He stayed there until 1904 when he was transferred to Rangers, where he played for another 3 years before returning to Queens Park to see out his career. In that career he scored goals at almost one every two games. In one game near the end of his playing days, he scored 6 at Hampden Park, a record that still stands today. In fact he scored on average one a game for the 13 games he played for Scotland. He is still the only man to score three goals against all of the Home International teams.

Robert Smyth McColl finished his international career in a 4-1 victory over England at Celtic Park a year before he opened his first R S McColl store. He continued to increase the store portfolio until he retired in 1951, seven years before his death in 1958. A cup competition was named after him, the RS McColl cup junior football competition. – which is still played for today.

So if you are a football fan enjoy your McColls store until it is revamped and renamed.

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