Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale.
My first competitive game was for Calder Primary School in Motherwell. We were playing Knowtop Primary School and I was proudly wearing my Stanley Matthews football boots with reinforced toecaps when I scored my first ever goal. As I blasted my first penalty kick over the crossbar I learned two important lessons in football. The referee does not always get it right and that you should never question his decision. I then moved on to play for Dalziel High School and was lucky to play alongside Willie Pettigrew for the next six years, winning the Scottish Schools Senior Cup in 1972. Whilst at school I signed for Queen’s Park FC aged 17 and stayed with them until 1977. During my time at Queen’s Park I managed to gain Full Scottish Amateur Caps against Holland and France, Scottish League Cap v Highland League in 1976 and I played in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee match at Hampden against The English League. This was particularly memorable as I played alongside boyhood heroes such as Sandy Jardine, Danny McGrain and Kenny Dalglish . Leaving Queen’s Park in 1977 I joined Clydebank FC as they entered the Scottish Premier League for the first time. This was a great step up for me but I enjoyed my time there, even although I played second fiddle to another striker called Joe McCallan, who I eventually got to play alongside at Deveronvale FC. From Clydebank FC I moved to Clyde FC in 1978 under the management of Craig Brown who farmed me out to Stenhousemuir FC. I really enjoyed my time at Stenhousemuir FC as I topped their goal scoring charts with 22 goals in 26 games. This helped me be selected for the Scotland ‘B’ Team who played the Highland League Select in 1980 in Inverness before the first International Four Nations Tournament in England in 1980 between, Holland, Italy, Scotland and England. Harry Melrose was the manager and it was Harry who signed me for Dunfermline FC where I enjoyed my most successful spell in football as a player. I was top scorer at Dunfermline FC between 1980 and 1983 with 56 goals which still stands today as the highest number of goals scored in the Scottish 1st Division by a Dumfermline player. In 1981 I was joint top scorer in the First Division alongside a young Ally McCoist who played for St Johnstone FC at this time. Also 1981 I played again in The Four Nations International Tournament. This time it was in Italy with Jock Stein as Scotland manager. In 1983 I joined Ayr United FC and played alongside a young Alan MacInally and Bobby Connor. Unfortunately this was probably the highlight of my time at Ayr United as I failed to find the same form as I did at Dunfermline FC. I retuned to Stenhousemuir FC in 1985 under Archie Ross and drifted into coaching and management becoming Assistant Manager to Billy Henderson in 1985-86 at Stenhousemuir FC. In 1987 I was appointed Principal Teacher of PE in Kincorth Academy and I moved up to Aberdeen where a man with a strange accent and name (Julius) invited me to come along and play for a team called Deveronvale FC. Since being in the North East : • 1987-88 Played for Deveronvale (scored the best goal of my career) • 1988-96 Played for Cove Rangers FC , appointed Coach in 1988 – 1993, Assistant Manager to Kenny Taylor 1993-96. Won Scottish Qualifying Cup, Highland League Cup (2), Aberdeenshire Shield. • 1996-98 Co-Manager Inverurie Locos with Kenny Taylor • 1998-2001 Co-Manager Banks O’Dee with Kenny Taylor • 2001- to present Coach at Keith FC. Won - Highland League Championship, Scottish Qualifying Cup(2), Highland League Cup , Aberdeenshire Shield
Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ?
I played for Deveronvale in 1987-88 after being persuaded by Julius Morrison that he had a very good group of younger players at Deveronvale who needed some experienced players to lead them on the park ( Again I was to play second fiddle to the ever youthful Joe McCallan!).
What are your fondest memories of your time with the club?
My fondest memory was scoring against Brora Rangers the Saturday after my daughter Pamela was born ( 4.01.1988). This was by far the most memorable goal I have ever scored. I hit a full, left footed volley, from a Mike Campbell corner, from the right hand side of the pitch at the golf club end, at the edge of penalty box into the top right corner of the goal. A great way to celebrate!
What is the most memorable game(s) you played in for Vale, and why?
Beating Buckie Thistle FC at Banff at new year in 1987. This was an excellent result as Buckie were top of the league and flying at this time. This result set us up for the rest of the season and helped greatly with the growing confidence of the team at this time. ( Did Neil Morrison not get booked in this game for starting a fight with his brother Bruce, who was playing for Buckie at the time ? - MTT )
Who were the characters at the club ?
Steve Middleton, who had and still has a photographic memory and is a life long Dunfermline FC fan after receiving a blow to the head.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale and why?
Joe McCallan was by far the best player at the club at this time with a young Nigel Montgomery starting to grow with each game he played. Neil Morrison was excellent upfront as was Colin Clark in goals.
And who were the best players you played against, and why?
Kenny Taylor, when he played for Arbroath, as he was a carthorse. I think I scored a hat trick against him! All slow defenders are best!
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Standing on a touchline somewhere in the Highland League wishing I was still wearing my Stanley Matthews football boots and starting all over again as I have loved every minute of my time in football and would love to do it all over again.