Bobby Gould at Arsenal (and elsewhere)

Robert Hewitt “Bobby” Gould was born 12 June 1946 and started his football career with Coventry City – his home town, playing for them at the age of 16.  He offered great potential by scoring 40 goals in 82 games, and helping with the winning the second division in 1966/7.

On the basis of such figures he was transferred to Arsenal in February 1968 for £90k.  He did not become a regular with us, but did play and score in the League Cup Final of 1969 which we lost to Swindon.

So he was part of the re-birth of Arsenal at the end of the Darkness but left in June 1970 before the double side got going (he also had missed out on the Uefa Cup run), and was transferred for a lower fee than we paid – £55k – a loss of £35,000 in 2.5 years.

At first at Arsenal, however, it had looked promising, as he scored in the last four games of his first season.  But then he hit a poor patch, before coming back to goal-scoring in early 1969.

The official Arsenal site describe him as “a willing worker, capable of turning an average pass into a good one by chasing down defenders and forcing mistakes. And although Gould’s record of 23 goals in 83 games was hardly prolific, he was a deadly finisher at times.

“Unfortunately, having contributed to Arsenal’s rehabilitation, Gould found himself out in the cold. The emergence of Ray Kennedy and Charlie George pushed him down the pecking order and he joined Wolves in June 1970 after playing no part in the Fairs Cup triumph that season.”

Here’s his Arsenal table:

Season Lge app (sub in brackets) Lge goals Manager
1967/8 15 (1) 6 Bertie Mee
1968/9 33 (5) 10 Bertie Mee
1969/70 9 (2) 0 Bertie Mee
Total 57 (8) 16

After leaving Arsenal he went on to play for West Bromwich Albion (then managed by Don Howe) and then later to Bristol City, West Ham, Wolverhampton (for a second time) then Bristol Rovers as player coach, before moving into management with Aalesunds FK in Norwary and Hereford United.

In all he never beat the appearance total of 82 for Coventry nor the goal total of 40 for that club.  His second biggest appearance total was with Arsenal, and his second biggest goal tally was 18 with Wolverhampton (first time around) and WBA.

Season Club



1963–1968 Coventry City



1968–1970 Arsenal



1970–1971 Wolverhampton Wanderers



1971–1972 West Bromwich Albion



1972–1973 Bristol City



1973–1975 West Ham United



1975–1977 Wolverhampton Wanderers



1977–1978 Bristol Rovers



1978 Aalesunds FK
1978–1979 Hereford United



After  that, it was a management career that was developed, first at Chelsea as assistant, then Bristol Rovers, Coventry,  Bristol Rovers and Wimbledon with Don Howe as assistant (winning the FA Cup), where he expanded on the club’s unique”direct approach” style of play.

He then became assistant manager to Don Howe at QPR, before quickly moving back to WBA, and Coventry.  Then after a brief sojourn into managing Wales he took over at Cardiff.  He last management job was with Cheltenham Town apart from a short stint with Weymouth.  He is now retired.

The books…

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One Reply to “Bobby Gould at Arsenal (and elsewhere)”

  1. I saw it that Gould had replaced Joe Baker. He possessed a fraction of Bakers skill, was a second rate cf who spent most of his time getting pointlessly physical with the opposition. Blessed the day he was finally shipped out.

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