PICTURES of the extraordinary sporting career of a former bank manager from Wirral have come to light following his sad death.
Robert – known as Bob – Arnold had most recently been manager of the TSB Birkenhead branch, after moving there from Heswall.
Schooled at the Liverpool Institute for Boys, he left in 1943 and immediately enlisted in the Royal Navy.
He saw active service in the Atlantic and Asian theatres of World War II, and spent time in Ceylon, India, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Singapore, serving alongside the then Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark, but all the time was able to maintain his love of football, even managing to be selected to play for Bombay in The All India Cup – on the winning team..
Bob left the Navy in 1946 as a lieutenant and signed for Liverpool Football Club, although he went amateur in favour of a long and successful career with Trustee Savings Bank (TSB).
In the late 1940s, Robert played for Marine FC, swapping later on, in the 1950s when he moved to Wirral, to New Brighton FC.
There he was part of the giant killing side that got to the fourth round of the FA Cup beating the teams of the day along the way, Stockport County, Derby County, Torquay United, finally playing Burnley in front of 43,000 – where they unfortunately lost 9-0.
However, Bob always kept strong links with Liverpool FC, and was a life- long fan.
Kate Jones, Bob's daughter, said: “You think you know your mum and dad really well.
“I spent 40 fantastic years with my dad but it was only when coming to write his eulogy after we sadly lost him that all the snippets and stories gleaned over the years slotted fully into place.
“A young evacuee at the start of the Second World War, playing for Liverpool FC, Marine FC and even New Brighton in the FA Cup competition, minesweeping in the Navy, playing cricket with HRH Prince Phillip.
“These memories were found tucked away safely in an old leather suitcase, fantastic snapshots of a full and varied life.”
Bob was a prominent member of Oxton Cricket Club for many years, and on his retirement in 1985 took up golf, and as a lover of classical music took the opportunity to attend Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall more frequently.
Born in Liverpool on January 16, 1925, Robert Arnold died on August 13, and leaves his wife of over 50 years, Beryl, and daughter Kate, together with family and friends.