A talented footballer, after a FA Cup game in 1892 against First Division side Derby County, their captain and manager, John Goodall, attempted to sign Buist and Peter Connolly. As Arsenal was a non-league amateur club, there was nothing they could do to stop this happening.
John Humble, Arsenal's secretary was upset by this attempt to poach his best players and at the 1891 Annual General Meeting suggested that the club applied to join the Football League. The motion was carried by a large majority.
Buist remained with Woolwich Arsenal and played in the club's first ever Football League game against Newcastle United in September 1893. All told, Buist played in 17 league games before returning to Scotland to play for Leith Athletic in 1894.
Bobby Buist died in 1944.