Fullam, Robert (‘Bob’) (1895–1974), soccer player, was born 17 September 1895 in 32 Bridge St., Ringsend, Dublin, son of John Fullam, fisherman, and Mary Fullam (née Reilly). He began his football career in 1914 with St Brendan's in Dublin, and moved (1917) to another Dublin club, North End, before playing his first senior match with Shelbourne (1918). His introduction to senior football was a controversial affair, as he was still registered with North End when Shelbourne, a player short, offered him the opportunity to play in a Leinster League championship decider against Bohemians. His stay at Shelbourne extended to three seasons culminating in an Irish Cup victory in 1920, an award that was unusual because the final was never played due to persistent crowd trouble in the other semi-final. A brief spell with Olympia in the League of Ireland was followed by a move to Shamrock Rovers, then of the Leinster League, in 1921. In his first season with the club it reached its first FAI Cup final – a final which again involved some controversy. After St James's Gate won the match, a few of the Shamrock Rovers team, including Fullam, entered the dressing room of the victors. A riot was averted when the brother of Fullam's intended victim, Charlie Dowdall, produced a revolver and the Rovers players left. Fullam received a one-month suspension for his part in the affair.
The following season (1922/3) saw Shamrock Rovers enter the League of Ireland for the first time. Scoring a total of seventy-seven goals, the club won the championship at its first attempt; Fullam was the top scorer, with twenty-seven from the outside-left position. This total remains a record for a Shamrock Rovers player. His prolific goal scoring resulted in a move (1923) to Leeds United, then in English League Division Two, along with his Rovers team mate John Joe Flood (qv). Despite Leeds winning the league that season, Fullam's stay in England was brief and unsuccessful; he made a total of seven appearances and scored just two goals. In 1924 he returned to Shamrock Rovers to complete the famous forward line that became known as the ‘four Fs’, alongside Flood, Billy ‘Juicy’ Farrell, and John ‘Kruger’ Fagan. They contributed to a League and Cup double for Rovers in 1924/5 and he scored a total of twenty league goals as well as scoring the first goal in a 2–1 cup final victory against Shelbourne.
In 1926 he was on the first FAI international team, which lost 3–0 to Italy; but in the following year a return match was played, in which he scored Ireland's first international goal. Fullam was known for his powerful shooting particularly with his left foot; a free kick taken by him in the second match knocked one of the Italian players unconscious. These were his only games for Ireland. With a number of players from both north and south he went to America in 1927 to form a club to be known as Philadelphia Celtic, but the venture failed and he spent a year in Detroit playing for the Holly Carburetors. Returning to Shamrock Rovers in 1928, he was a winner of three further FAI Cup medals (1929, 1930, 1931). He retired from playing after Rovers regained the League Championship in season 1931/2. A very popular captain with both players and supporters, he was always unstintingly loyal to his teammates despite his sharp tongue when some were under-performing on the pitch. His reliability on the field was reflected in the common phrase of the time, ‘Give it to Bob’, which was heard not only in football grounds but also in the music halls of Dublin in the 1920s and 1930s. A naturally gifted footballer, he could play in a variety of positions in the front line; on the wing, at inside-forward, and at wing-half. For Shamrock Rovers he scored a total of ninety-two league goals and a further nine in the cup. He won four league medals and four cup medals.
A crowd of 12,000 attended his benefit game at Dalymount Park in 1931, a 2–1 win against Shelbourne. After his playing career ended he coached for a while, taking charge of the inter-league team on occasion, and coaching the Shamrock Rovers teams that won the cup in 1944 and 1945. A docker on Dublin's North Wall, he lived in Thorncastle St., Ringsend, until he emigrated to London in 1945. Bob Fullam died in London in 1974.