Robert Vaughan McBurnie was born on March 9, 1925 in Glasgow, Scotland. At the age of two Bob emigrated to Canada together with his family. They arrived in Montreal on May 28, 1927.

Bob grew up in Toronto where he played juvenile soccer. At the age of 18 he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served with the Navy until the end of World War II. He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Navy soccer team.

After the war Bob joined Toronto Greenbacks and played as a professional soccer player in the North American Soccer Football League.

Bob passed away on December 15, 2015 in Oshawa, Ontario.