Sad news has reached us at Dial M For Merthyr.
Bobby McIlvenny who was one of the matinee era boys from the early 1950s sadly passed away in Exeter on 15th May aged 89 years.
Bobby was an inside forward who developed in wartime Irish League football. He was born in Belfast on 7th July 1926. He played for Balmoral United and then both Distillery and Glentoran during that era. He then joined Merthyr Town (alongside his brother Paddy) where he again shone helping the Lilywhites to win both Southern League and Welsh Cup culminating in a move to Oldham Athletic in March 1950 for £3,000, later helping them win the Division Three North title in 1952-53 by scoring 8 goals and laying on a lot more for Eric Gemmell. He went onto to play for Bury, Southport and Barrow, taking his tally of Football League appearances beyond the 250-mark and earning a reputation as one of the most skillful players of his era playing in the lower divisions. After leaving senior football he played for Yeovil Town and was then player-manager for Colwyn Bay. Later he worked for 30 years in insurance for the Liverpool Royal Victoria Friendly Society.