Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale.
Alloa Athletic 1968-74 Memories/Highlights - Player of the year (Twice). Best ever career goal I scored was at Hamilton. We had just scored to equalize and they were kicking off again. I had noticed that they always played the ball back to the right midfield from kick off and I positioned myself on that side of the centre circle. When the ball was played back I sprinted (as only I can) towards the midfield player to close him down and force him to play the ball inside to his centre half. I changed direction anticipating this pass, intercepted the ball, ran at the centre half, went past him on his left hand side, ran on for a few yards, and screamed the ball into the goalies top left hand corner of the net.
Clydebank 1974-78: Memories/Highlights - Winners of Division II 1975-76 and Spring Cup finalists. Runners-up to Alex Ferguson’s St. Mirren 1976-77 and promotion to Premier League. Playing Rangers in League Cup and drawing 3-3 with Rangers at Ibrox and 1-1AET at Kilbowie. 0-0 AET again at Ibrox and then playing next night at Firhill going down 2-1.
Falkirk 1978-80: Memories/Highlights - Winners Division II.
Meadowbank 1980-82 Memories/Highlights - Beating Hibs at Easter Road in East of Scotland Cup.
Peterhead 1982-83 Memories/Highlights - Two cup finals, but losing both 3-2. Rothes 1983-85 Memories/Highlights - Great bunch of guys but always having to change and re-build as players came and went.
Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ?
1985-88, Ken Tedcastle.The fact that Ken made the effort to come and see me at my home and that I always enjoyed the large and excellent, playing surface at Princess Royal Park.
What are your fondest memories of your time with the club?
Every Saturday was a day to look forward to simply because of the team spirit. Travelling to games with the radio on. Feargal Sharkey and “A Good Heart” was a regular play. We belted that out in good style (Ian Thain in particular) and took it as a lucky omen for the match. After the game we went out and shared our wins as well as our losses - although a few stayed out longer than others. Training indoors during the winter at the Aberdeen Exhibition Centre was something of a “novelty”. Coaching the local kids on a Saturday morning at PRP was really enjoyable. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Being presented with a bottle of whisky by Fort William as that was my full set of playing in every senior ground in Scotland was a special day.
What is the most memorable game(s) you played in for Vale, and why?
Several games come to mind. I always enjoyed beating my previous club Peterhead which we managed to do on a number of occasions. Beating Inverness Caley 4-1 at PRP and getting a draw in Inverness after going to Keith and beating them when we were temporarily managerless were memorable games not just for the results but for the football we played. Getting beat by Huntly in a League Cup Final was disappointing but more so for Kevin Henderson as that was his home town - and he was red carded. I remember one game against Caley at PRP which should have never been played. The wind was so strong that the goalkeepers at the bottom end could only kick the ball to the side for a throw in as kicking it up the middle resulted in it simply blowing back on them.
Who were the characters at the club ?
The groundsman “Dougan” not only kept the park in good condition but was really knowledgeable about football as well. Despite appearing a bit offhanded he was an interesting guy. Stewart McPherson has Vale running through his veins and he and the other loyal supporters and committee members who see the club through the difficult times are the real characters. Jules Morrison was a man full of character and commitment. On the playing side Alec Cormack was ultra competitive, Gary and Neil Morrison should have been goalies as they were both daft as a brush although completely different personalities. Gary McDonald and Nigel Montgomery were the local worthies who led everyone astray. Trevor Beagrie could have been a traveling salesman for men’s toiletries. Steve Middleton was Mr. Memory. To be honest I saw every single one of them as characters - I was the only sensible, mature, average Joe there.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale and why?
It wouldn’t be fair to pick any one out as we were fortunate in having a great team spirit that only needed time and the usual bit of luck to bring success.
And who were the best players you played against, and why?
In the Highland League: Hamish French (Keith) and Billy Urquhart (Caley). In the Scottish League: Kenny Dalglish, Danny McGrain, Gordon McQueen, Davy Cooper (at training) and too many more to mention.
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
Inverurie Locos (Juniors) 1988-93 Memories/Highlights - Division I Champions, Premier League Champions. Various cup wins. Green Final Player of the Year. Hall Russell United (Juniors) 1993-1996 Memories/Highlights - Division I Champions. Going down to Beith in Ayrshire and beating the cup favourites 4-2. Aberdeen United (Welfare) 1996-2000 Memories/Highlights - Division III Champions, Division II Champions. Various cup wins. Green Final Player of the Year. Albion Rangers (Amateur) 2000-2001 Memories/Highlights - Folded due to lack of committee members. Suffered consecutive frozen shoulders which put me out of the game for a year. Play in 7-a-side veterans league at Strikers, Aberdeen when being run. Play every Monday and Thursday on all-weather at Bridge of Dee at present.
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Watching my son play for his boy’s club, listening to the scores on the radio and then watching the full time come in on the television.