IN this the third of his articles about Cowdenbeath footballers who made their mark, Cowden football history guru David Allan looks at Robert Kinnell.

Robert was born at Main Street, Lumphinnans, on the April 21 1923.

He was a cousin of ex-Cowdenbeath club secretary Tom Ogilvie. Another of Bert’s cousins was the father of two well known Cowdenbeath footballers – Andy and George Kinnell.

Bert was a member of the Cowdenbeath Schools side which lost 2-1 to Dunfermline Schools in the Fife Cup final. Bert then played juvenile with Keltyhill Athletic and Broomhall from Charlestown before turning junior with Lochgelly Violet where he banged in goals aged just 16.

A hat-trick v Valleyfield saw him offered a trial with Dunfermline.

He scored in a match v Stenhousemuir and signed for Dunfermline Athletic in April 1940. Bert then lived in King Street, Cowdenbeath, and his father, a diehard Cowden fan, wasn’t too pleased to see his laddie join the Pars! Cowden had closed down due to the war by that time. Bert mainly played up front for the Pars but was equally effective at centre half. In season 1941/42, he scored 21 times in just 19 league appearances.

Later in the war, Bert served in the RASC and drove a ‘duck’ across the Rhine in ‘Operation Turnscrew’ as the allies advanced into Germany. A ‘duck’ or more accurately a DUKW, was an amphibious truck used for transporting troops or material over land and water. Training on DUKW’s took place at Annick Water, near Stewarton, in Ayrshire and Bert ended up marrying a girl from Stewarton.

During the War, Bert once made a guest appearance for Everton. Post-war he served out in the desert in Palestine. On his demob, Bert returned to East End Park and also worked on the clerical staff for the NCB in Cowdenbeath.

He scored 34 goals in 36 League games for Dunfermline between 1946 and 1948. In March 1948, Bert was signed by Partick Thistle for a £6,000 fee. Bert though didn’t hit the high spots leading the Firhill front line and dropped out of the 1st XI.

However, an injury to Jags’ centre half Forsyth gave Bert the chance to stake a claim for a regular role as Partick’s pivot and he took to that position once more like a duck to water. Soon he was skippering the side.

Bert thus enjoyed a successful time at Firhill before coming back home to play for Cowden in 1952. He ended his career with three seasons at Central Park. Bert moved back east to live at Gilmerton in Edinburgh and was to become superannuation and pensions officer for the NCB.

Most of his appearances were made at centre-half for the Miners alongside Alex Menzies.

His brother Jim played for Crossgates Primrose and then Cowden in season 1950/51. Another brother John was also with the Primrose.

Jim’s son Iain also played for Cowden and for Hill of Beath Haws when they won the Scottish Junior Cup.

Eventually, Bert moved back to live at 40 Johnston Park, Cowdenbeath and latterly worked as a meter reader. He then enjoyed watching his son Alan playing for Cowden between 1971 and 1976. Bert died in Cowdenbeath in 1994.