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Rabbie Dow - 1937-2022

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Rabbie Dow - 1937-2022

PostedJanuary 13, 2022

Cowdenbeath FC have today sadly learned of the passing of one of our former players, Robert ‘Rabbie’ Dow, on 3 January 2022 at the age of 84. Condolences go to all Rab’s family and friends from everyone at Central Park. There are indeed still Cowden fans who recall when Rabbie sported the colours of his home town club. Rab was born at 36 Arthur Street in Cowdenbeath on the 29 September 1937 – a born and bred Cowdenbeath laddie. He attended Foulford and Beath High Schools and was an avid footballer from a young age. In 1947, he was a member of the Foulford School team that won the Montgomery Cup alongside such well-known names as Dave Guthrie, Bill Livingstone, Bert Johnston and George Kinnell.

He was also a follower of Cowdenbeath FC and soon was playing for their nursery club Cowdenbeath Royals. A note in the Cowdenbeath Advertiser from June 1952 reports that the Cowdenbeath Football Supporters Club annual outing took place at Mawmill Farm in Kinross. 150 adults and 160 juveniles went along. The boys’ race champion was George Kinnell with Rab Dow in 3rd place.

Rab Dow was a contemporary of players such as Bobby Gilfillan, Jock Miller and Hugh Ness at Cowdenbeath Royals. In 1956, he went from the Royals to play for Crossgates Primrose along with Norrie Rattray and Alan Shaw. Jim Baxter joined Crossgates at the same time. In one of his very first matches, Rab headed the winner in the Fife Cup final for Crossgates v Newburgh. Rab was a hard working player who was very fit and full of running. He stepped up to join Cowdenbeath in season 1957/58 and played for ‘the Miners’ that season and in the following one. At that time the Cowden side was full of local boys such as Jock Miller, Bobby Gilfillan, Donald Clark, Basher Murphy, Dave Beveridge and Bobby Ross. In 1957, Rab also hit the newspaper headlines across Scotland when he was a Co-op milkman in Cowdenbeath. His horse bolted and he was thrown off the lorry. The horse then knocked over a butcher’s van and then hit a furniture van before it was brought under control.

Rab later enjoyed telling the story about when he read in the papers that several clubs including Rangers were watching youngsters Gilfillan and Dow. Just after this Rab was walking into Central Park one day when a big flash car drew up alongside him. Peering inside Rab was convinced it was Scot Symon of Rangers. The car’s occupant asked him, “Are you Robert Dow?” However, when he replied in the affirmative his dreams of Ibrox were rudely shattered. It wasn’t Scot Symon after all but a reporter who wanted to interview him about his recent recapture of the runaway horse!

After playing for Cowdenbeath, Rab went on to play junior football for many years. He thrived at Oakley United who were then quite a new junior club in the Fife League. Famous ex-Scotland player Charlie Fleming coached the team at first and later Tommy McDonald succeeded him. There were lots of Cowdenbeath/Hill of Beath boys at Oakley then - Mick Payne, Rab Sharp, Roddy Mill, George and Dick Moran, Charlie Bartie and John Fyfe among them. Bert Allan the comedian was the goalkeeper for a time as well. Then when Jubilee Athletic came to play as juniors for few years in Cowdenbeath, Rab played for them alongside many other well-known local boys. He stayed in Chapel Street around that time. He also played in the Elliot’s Factory team. After his footballing days ended Rab was a regular golfer at Lochgelly for many years.

His family passed on the following details to us today – ‘Robert ‘Rabbie’ Dow passed peacefully at the Victoria Hospital Kirkcaldy on Monday 3rd January 2022 aged 84 years. Much loved dad, father-in-law, grandad, brother, uncle and friend. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Funeral service will be held at Beath Cemetery, Cowdenbeath at 10am on Thursday 20th January 2022, to which all friends and family are respectfully invited. There will be an opportunity to leave a donation for Alzheimer’s Scotland if so desired. Thank you to everyone for the messages of condolence the family have received’.

Rabbie was proud to have played for Cowdenbeath FC and we pass on our respects and thanks for all his service and commitment to our club – the Order of Service for Rabbie’s funeral will bear the crest of Cowdenbeath FC on its reverse.

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