Belfast Telegraph

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Obiturary: Bobby Braithwaite was a huge Linfield favourite

By Stuart McKinley

One of Linfield's greatest ever players, Bobby Braithwaite, has died at his home in South Africa at the age of 78.

A member of the renowned seven-trophy team from 1962, Braithwaite was a huge favourite with the Windsor Park fans.

A talented left winger, Bobby thrilled crowds in the late 1950s and early 1960s after joining the Blues from Crusaders, having grown up close to Seaview.

He was instrumental as Linfield swept all before them in that amazing 1961-62 season, which culminated in him scoring in a 4-0 win over Portadown in the Irish Cup final.

That special campaign also brought his international debut, when manager Bertie Peacock selected him to play against Wales in Cardiff.

Bobby won both the league and Irish Cup on two other occasions.

It was no surprise when the opportunity to move into full-time football came his way. He joined Middlesbrough a year after the seven-trophy triumph, where he spent five seasons.

By his own admission Bobby never really fulfilled his potential at Ayresome Park. A serious knee injury, suffered just four games into his Boro career, meant he played just 71 times in four seasons, scoring 12 times.

He did take his tally of international caps into double figures before moving to South Africa in 1967, where he spent the rest of his life and played for and managed Durban City and Bloemfontein City.

Bobby and his family have kept in regular contact with Linfield over the years and in 2012 he flew back to Belfast for a dinner to honour the seven-trophy team, 50 years after their success, and it was only six weeks ago that his granddaughter Ashley was a guest at Windsor Park at the Blues' home game with Portadown.

Belfast Telegraph

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