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[Top] Alternate captain of the Pirates, VIHA Premiers, Melbourne, Australia, 1976. [Middle] On left in Gladiators article (Burley Cup), 1979. Courtesy John Heron (full copy in images below). [Beneath] With the Rocky Padjen Trophy from IHA president Kevin Brown, May 2011.


CAREER SUMMARY

Birth
20 February 1939
Hamilton South Lanarkshire Scotland

Clubs
SNL Glasgow Mohawks, Paisley Mohawks, Glasgow Dynamos, VIHA Tigers, VIHA Rangers, VIHA Pirates, OiHAN Melbourne Nite Owls

Goodall Cups
1972, 1973, 1976

World Championships
1963, '65, '66, '71 (Great Britain) Ice Hockey


Captain of Great Britain, 1971
Captain of Victoria (Australia) vs West Germany, 1977
VIHA President's Medal (x2)
John Nicholas Trophy (Goodall Cup MVP x 2)
Ice Hockey Journalist UK Hall of Fame Honoured Member, 2003

BORN FEBRUARY 20TH, 1939, at Hamilton in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he was raised at Langside Road on Glasgow's southside. His father Sam was centre-ice in the Sottish National League for Kelvingrove, Dennistoun Eagles and Glasgow Mohawks from 1929 until 1938 when he last played for Glasgow Lions. Then manager-coach of the amateur Mustangs, Glasgow Mohawks and finally the Glasgow Dynamos where he remained until the age of 82, coaching his grandson Doug in the 1980s. [589] Sam was inducted to the Ice Hockey Journalist UK Hall of Fame when it was revived in 1986, where he is referred to as "the Grand Old Man of British, and especially Scottish, ice hockey".

Robbie was introduced to hockey when he was just 7 years-old. He could play the piano as well as the puck and sat the entry exam for London's Royal Academy of Music. He attended Calder Street Secondary and Strathbungo Senior Secondary schools in Glasgow, and became an apprentice joiner. Known as "Stevie" in Scotland, he was only 13 when he made the Mohawks in 1952, mentored by Canadian-born Jim Kenny, a former player turned rink manager at Crossmyloof.

But it was Billy Brennan who Stevenson has credited with developing his aggressive competitiveness — Mohawks coach from 1959, the year after they moved to East Lane Arena at Paisley in Strathclyde. Under Brennan, Stevenson became the fine all-round player and prolific goalscorer fans remember. He represented Great Britain in B-Pool when they were ranked 14th in the world — at Stockolm in the 1963 Worlds, Finland in 1965, and Zagreb in Yugoslavia in 1966 — until his country dropped-out for some years. He was a Paisley Mohawk when they won the 1964-5 Scottish League title and then the 1965-6 BBC Grandstand Trophy, defeating Fife Flyers in the final at Kirkcaldy, 4-1. But in 1966 he returned to Crossmyloof to be the foundation player-coach of the Glasgow Dynamos in the new Intermediate League that was soon to evolve into the Northern League, one of British hockey's successes.

The first Dynamos were young and inexperienced but Stevenson's coaching more than compensated. Acknowledged as a key factor in the club's success he developed forwards such as John Hester (1950- ) and Martin Shields (1954 - ) who went on to become future Northern League champions and national team players. Under his tutelage the Dynamos quickly advanced to championship play-offs for the Icy Smith Cup. They were 1967 British Champions in just their second season, and two-times runners-up in their fourth and fifth seasons. They won the Spring Cup in 1969-70 and Stevenson himself was top point scorer in the Northern League for the first four seasons, winning the Earl Carlson Memorial Trophy 1966 to 1969, and an All-Star 5 years straight, 1967-71. He produced 253 goals and 168 assists in 5 seasons, averaging just under 4 points per game, well ahead of his nearest rivals. [590]

After a 4-year absence, Great Britain re-entered the international arena at the 1971 C-Pool World Championships with Stevenson as captain. He combined on the power forward line with two other UK Hall-of-Famers, the wingers Jackson McBride and Les Lovell. They finished fourth behind Romania, France and Hungary but it was Stevenson's crowning glory. Because by then he had played against some of the world's top-15 hockey nations, collecting 31 points from 26 world championship games along the way. He worked as a carpenter in a shipyard on the QE2 liner during those years with teammate McBride, then his own heating installation company in Glasgow. He had married Eleanor and had four children by the time he accepted the position of player-coach of the Melbourne Tigers IHC in Australia, on the recommendation of former Dynamos' right-winger, Dave Sinclair, who had emigrated 3 years earlier.

"Dynamos Star To Emigrate Soon", screamed the Hockey Herald that month, "... An outstanding stickhandler and playmaker, Stevie will perhaps best be remembered in the years to come as the man to whom scoring goals was as easy as falling off a log. Even as a thirteen year-old with Glasgow Mohawks he received frequent tellings-off from the late Jim Kenny for scoring too many goals and not concentrating enough on playmaking". [590] He emigrated with his family at the age of 32 in April 1971, leaving the Dynamos the third most successful team in the circuit since 1966, after having begun the least experienced. In a letter back to the Glasgow Hockey Herald that year, Stevenson explained how he missed the first five games in Melbourne, then played a scoreless first game within 24-hours of getting off the plane. But he did go on to say he was top goal scorer by the end of his third game, and "had 23 goals in his first seven outings." [591]

Stevenson won at least 3 Goodall Cups in 1972, 1973 and 1976 during the years Elgin Luke was coach, the last when he was 37 years-old (1975 is not confirmed). He played for the Rangers IHC in 1972 and won both the VIHA President's Medal and the John Nicholas Trophy (Goodall Cup MVP) for a record two consecutive seasons, 1972 and 1973. The former was awarded each year to the Best and Fairest player of the Victorian league by the votes of referees. In 1977, he was captain of Victoria representing Australia against the touring West German team at Olympia 80 in Melbourne. Yet, he did not represent Australia at the Worlds in 1974, even though his club sponsor here had insisted upon a full clearance from the International Ice Hockey Federation. "It was a prominent condition of the agreement", reported The Glasgow Hockey Herald, "suggesting Australia may be planning a return to the World Championships spear-headed by Britain's top scorer". [590]

Australia did return, but without Stevenson, and the reason was unlikely to have been age-related. He was the same age as Charlie Grandy, for instance, who had played in 1974 and then again in 1979 at the age of 40. Stevenson had just changed continents with a young family, making it unlikely he would have paid to play and subsidise officials as required here. His father Sam lived through all of this until his death at Glasgow in 1995, at the age of 92, and his son seems set to similarly endure. He plays veteran hockey with the Melbourne Nite Owls winning MVP of the AJAS Cup, the 55-years and over category of the OiHAN Australian Masters Tournament. It earned him the Rocky Padjen Trophy in May 2011 at the age of 72.

Robert Stevenson was small in stature for his heyday but during the 1960s and early 1970s he was an outstanding centre-ice for Paisley Mohawks and Glasgow Dynamos, a captain of Britain who scored 18 goals for his country, a coach of champions. His career as both player and coach in local and state ice hockey in Victoria is longer than in Britain, spanning over 4 decades. He was inducted to the Ice Hockey Journalist UK Hall of Fame in 2003. His son Allen played for Great Britain Under-19s at the 1983 European Junior Championships in Sarajevo. His son Doug represented Australia at Barcelona in Group C of the 1979 Ice Hockey World Championships and went on to play in the Heineken League of the mid-1980s with Glasgow Dynamos, Ayr Bruins and Dundee Rockets. [589] Doug returned to Australia and played A-grade hockey for Melbourne Blackhawks into his late-forties and the AIHL Melbourne Ice in 2004-5. He then briefly coached the AIHL Melbourne Mustangs, and is presently coach of the IHV Melbourne Demons and the AJIHL Melbourne Glaciers.

01. Historical Notes

[1] It was a decade after the closure of Glasgow's original Crossmyloof Ice Rink (1907-18) before a larger rink of the same name was built there. The Scottish National League was based solely at Crossmyloof until the 1936-37 season. The original was Scotland's first indoor rink. Its 1928 replacement closed in February 1986.

02. Citation Details

Ross Carpenter, 'Stevenson, Robert Alexander (1939 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio_stevenson.html, accessed online .

03. Select Bibliography

Ice Hockey Journalist UK Hall of Fame
Ice Gladiators: the coming boom in ice hockey, unidentified newspaper, July 30th 1979

04. Citations
Citations | 1 - 280 | 281-on |
G A L L E R YArrows at right scroll the images
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With Paisley Mohawks

Crossmyloof, Scotland, 1967. Courtesy Bill Lavety.

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With Glasgow Dynamos

Glasgow, Scotland, 1967. Courtesy Nicky Nicolson

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With Paisley Mohawks

British Ice Hockey League, Glasgow Dynamos v Paisley Pirates,

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With Glasgow Dynamos

Unidentified Glasgow newspaper, undated

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Crossmyloof Ice Rink

Crossmyloof, Scotland, Undated

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Crossmyloof Ice Rink

Crossmyloof, Scotland, Undated

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With Great Britain

Scottish Contingent, IIHF C-Pool Worlds, 1971

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With VIHA Pirates

VIHA Premiers, 1976.

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Captain of Victoria (Australia)

v West Germany Olympiad 80, Melbourne, 1977.

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Captain of Victoria (Australia)

v West Germany Olympiad 80, Melbourne, 1977. Courtesy Andrew Kirkham.

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The Burley Cup, Melbourne

State league ice hockey series article, unidentified newspaper, Melbourne, Australia, 1979. Courtesy John Heron.

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"Scotty's" Stick

Stick used by Scotty Stevenson of Footscray against Sydney 26th July 1980, Melbourne, Australia, 1980. Courtesy John Heron.

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Sam and Doug, Glasgow Dynamos

Glasgow, Scotland, 1985

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Glasgow Herald article

Glasgow, Scotland, 11 Feb 1986

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With Laurie Lovell (right)

Melbourne, Australia, 2014