Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale.
Prior to Deveronvale I had gone amateur at 16 due to travel issues into Aberdeen so whilst playing for Portlethen Thistle was invited down to Dundee United for Trails at 17 and after scoring in a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen was told by Jim Maclean that they wanted to sign me but would have to get into a better standard of football so left and went back to Juviniles with Deeside u-18’s and then stepped up to Banks of Dee for a season before George Yule my old manager at Deeside took me up to the Vale. Had trails with Manchester City, Blackpool & trained regularly with Aberdeen but never quite made it.
Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ?
I signed for the Vale at 19 years old, 1988 and the managers at the time were Billy Anderson and George Yule. The attraction of playing up in the Highland League and the Vale was the perfect place.. I was lucky enough to have played at some great family clubs in the Vale, Keith, Buckie and Rothes and always gave 100% each game and that was why I was always appreciated.I maybe wasn’t the best football player but if you give your all then that is all the fans and management can ask for.
What are your fondest memories of your time with the club?
Although I was only at the Vale for around a season and went to Keith as part of the Dave Wilson(Dinky) transfer I am proud to have played for the Vale and what made it such a special club was the although we weren’t the best of teams we had a tremendous bond within the dressing room and friendships that will always be there. We would fight for each other as we had that bond and although there was a mix of locals and Aberdeen boys we all socialised together well and many a night in the Saints or across in Macduff. The crack within the club and with the supports was great, unlike some clubs the committee and supporters were all part of it all. Some of the trips home on the bus after away games will never be forgotten with the whole bus having a good drink and in full voice and many leading the singing whilst standing in the walkways especially Mr McPherson. Remember pre season training on the pitch beside Princess Royal and swimming in the Deveron after it and we were nearly getting swept into the sea as we were so tired that we didn’t have the strength to fight the current Don’t miss pre-season Ha. Another memory from my time at the Vale was going up to Recreation park for the first time in my first season and going into the changing rooms and seeing the pegs for your clothes were about 7ft 5 high and thinking to myself Christ these boys must be massive. This had my stomach churning before I started the match and am sure that was there thinking behind it. Lucky they only had John Sievwright the Peterhead Lighthouse and Jim Bain that were big lads and I had to deal with both.
What is the most memorable game(s) you played in for Vale, and why?
Pre-season friendly against Rangers as Princess Royal Park. Ground was packed out and the chance to play against the great late Davie Cooper who was amazing to play against and watch even at his age and up against John Spencer and Gary Mcswegan. Ever touch was a class one from Cooper and he spent most of the game hitting things with the outside of his foot and none of us could get near him when he started to dribble. We had a good night socializing with them at the Function at the Banff Springs and all seemed decent down to earth blokes.
Who were the characters at the club ?
We had a lot of characters at the club and all with there own little bit to add to the overall great atmosphere. Mairy with some classic Banff lingo, words like Cov, Deek Deek and Gadgie have never been forgotten The Flying Painter & Nigel Montgomery the Banff Legend. Nigel was backed up by fellow local Kev Taylor both thought they were the boys in Banff. I could go through all the boys but we just all got on so well. You find that sometimes committee and players are kept pretty much separate but have been lucky to be at clubs where everyone was one big family. We won & lost together, celebrated together and drowned our sorrows together
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale and why?
Nigel Montgomery was Mr Consistent, Alex Cormack and Neil Clark where the workhorses in our midfield and we had to rely on Mike Ritchie to save us if the forwards got through the defence.
And who were the best players you played against, and why?
Ian Stewart used to give me nightmares as he always manage to sneak away and nick a goal and Wilson Robertson’s blistering pace was always a problem. I had some great battles with boys like Charlie Barbour, Billy Urquhart, Jim Bain, Sammy Leonce , Alan Duff all those boys were really strong in the air and you knew you had been in a battle after playing against them. Johnston Bellshaw, John Sievwright, Doug Rougvie, Alan Forbes, Andy Paterson were all great centre half’s that were all hard to contain at corners and set pieces. There was so many great players in the League , far to many to list and there was some great teams. The League was badly weakened by the loss of Inverness Caley, Thistle and Ross County and worsened when Elgin and Peterhead left also.
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
I was at Keith as part of the transfer of Dinky back to the Vale and stayed for 3 seasons before moving on to Rothes for a season and a half. Then was at Buckie Thistle for 4 seasons and the last season was Captain , Inverurie Locos in the juniors for a season and then back up to Cove Rangers where I had 4 seasons and retired from Highland League at the end of the successful title winning year of 2000-01.
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Working Offshore means I miss a lot of the football and when at home try and catch a game when possible but normally have to spend time with the kids. I keep up with the scores and always check out all my old teams and how they got on each week