Scottish centreman Robert Stevenson enjoyed a short but spectacular career in Scotland during the 1960s.
A prolific goal scorer, ‘Stevie’ amassed 421 points (253 goals) in five Northern League seasons with Glasgow Dynamos – an average of better than four points a game – well ahead of his contemporaries and fellow Hall of Famers Derek Reilly and Les Lovell.
Robert’s father Sam was player-manager of the teams in Glasgow’s old Crossmyloof rink, a 15-minute walk from their home in Langside Road, so Robert was virtually predestined to take up the sport, which he did at the age of seven. When he turned 13 in 1952, he was a prodigy on the junior Mohawks where his coaches instilled aggression and a competitive edge into his game.
After a fall-out with rink management and with the game in Scotland at a low ebb, they moved to Paisley’s East Lane rink and became Paisley Mohawks. The East Lane rink would only grant the team practice ice, however, forcing them to play all their games on the road for the next four years at Altrincham, Ayr, Brighton, Durham, Kirkcaldy, Murrayfield, Southampton, Wembley and Whitley Bay.
Nevertheless, surrounded by some seasoned players, Stevie climbed his way up the club’s scoring, eventually topping the table with 26 goals in 20 games in 1964-65. He remained his team’s leading scorer for the rest of his brief British career.
The Mohawks captured the Scottish League Play-Off title in 1964-65, and took the prestigious BBC Grandstand Trophy the next winter. Moonlighting for Ayr Rangers in August 1965, he top-scored for them when they lifted the Peter Keenan Challenge Trophy.
Stevie returned to Crossmyloof in 1966-67 as player-coach of new club Glasgow Dynamos (his father Sam was team manager) in the inaugural season of the Northern League, the country’s top circuit for the next 16 years. The league’s ace marksman four years in a row, 1966-70, he was voted on to the All-Star team in every season between 1967 and 1971, and led them to the Icy Smith (knock-out) Cup, the play-off championship and BBC Grandstand Trophy titles.
First selected by his country in 1963, he played in four World Championships (three in Pool B) and was appointed captain of the 1971 squad. Capped 27 times in all, he fired in 18 goals and added 14 assists against strong opposition, including Austria, France, Norway and Switzerland.
A carpenter by trade, he worked in Clydeside’s famous John Brown shipyard and helped to build the QE2 ocean liner. But in April 1971, aged 32, he and his wife and four children emigrated to Melbourne, Australia. There he began a second hockey career, again winning shelf-loads of cups. He was still turning out regularly for his local hockey team at the age of 72.
The Stevensons are one of ice hockey’s dynasties. Father Sam is also a member of the Hall of Fame, making them only the second father-son combination (after Sonny and John Rost) to go through the hallowed portals. Robert’s sons, Doug and Allen, also took up the game, as did his brother Barrie.
Robert Alexander Stevenson was born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland on 20th February 1939.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.