80th Anniversary Party & 2018/19 Player of the Year Awards

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Deveronvale Football Club players, management, staff, directors, supporters, volunteers, sponsors and friends came together at the Banff Springs Hotel on Saturday 13th April 2019 to celebrate the club's 80th anniversary and annual player awards.

Following the arrival drinks reception (kindly sponsored by the Banff Springs Hotel), our master of ceremonies Ian Thain and club chairman Jim Mair delivered the welcome address, before a special Vale version of Heads & Tails was ultimately won by our recently retired club captain Graeme Watt. Our thanks go to Donna Beaton for providing the winner's prize - a lovely gift hamper of various tipples!

Over 200 guests enjoyed a delicious meal, rounded off perfectly with an amazing 80th anniversary cake which was kindly provided by Aberdeen-based Cake That & Party, and then it was time for the main event - the awards ceremony!

Robert Scott picked up the Leigh Henderson Trophy for Goal of the Season for his strike away to Lossiemouth, Matty Wallace was presented with the award for Young Player of the Season and Kev Adams celebrated being named "Rear of the Year" by the Vale ladies.

The Jim Beaton Clubman of the Year trophy was picked up by Lewis Dunbar, with Michael Dunn voted the Lawrence Jewellers Players' Player of the Year. Robert Scott picked up his second award of the night with the Banffshire Journals Supporters' Player of the Year title.

Our outgoing skipper Graeme Watt was deservedly honoured with a special recognition award for his long and distinguished service to the club. "Watty" has been a role model for many senior players and youngsters and will be a big miss on the pitch and in the changing room at Princess Royal Park, where he has been both a significant influence and a very important contributor to the team and club for the last 16 years! We hope that Graeme remains a regular visitor in the future, influencing the team from the side-lines rather than from on the pitch. 

Club chairman Jim Mair then took to the stage to officially launch the Deveronvale Football Club Hall of Fame and announce the first three inductees. This initiative is to recognise directors, officials, management and players, past and present, who have made significant contributions to the club during its long history. The intention is that one or more inductees will be considered every year.

First to join this exclusive club was Vale legend Eddie Bruce. It seems fitting that Eddie has been chosen as the first inductee of the Deveronvale Hall of Fame. Eddie, a former Vale player and successful businessman, joined the club’s committee in 1994. He was the driving force behind the club for many years and directed the setup of Deveronvale Football Limited and Princess Royal Trust in 1997. Eddie join the board on the incorporation of Deveronvale Football Club Limited and served as a director of the club for 13 years until his untimely death at the age of 68 in December 2010.

The second inductee was our very own Executive Secretary Stewart McPherson. Also known as "Mr. Banff", Stewart has served the club for an incredible 33 years and is widely recognised as one of the most respected club officials in the Highland League. Our final match of the season was his 1291st consecutive game with the club! Not many people appreciate the demands placed upon club officials, especially Stewart, and we are honoured to work alongside him.

Rounding off the Class of 2019 was legendary Scotland goalkeeper Jim Leighton. Although Jim's time with the club was brief (a season-loan from Aberdeen in 1977/78), he has always reinforced how important it was to his career, allowing him to slot straight in to the Dons side on his return to Pittodrie. From there, it's fair to say his career was "nae bad" - winning 2 Scottish Premier Leagues, 4 Scottish Cups, 1 Scottish League Cup, 1 FA Cup, as well as the European Cup Winners' Cup and European Super Cup. Not to mention his 91 Scotland caps and appearances at 4 World Cups! Despite all these honours, Jim always reminds reporters and commentators that his first trophy was actually the Bells Cup, which the Vale won on penalties against Huntly. 

We're extremely proud to have been able to honour these three individuals, who have all contributed to the club in one way or another over the years. We look forward to announcing our next inductees in 2020!

Following the presentations, Ian Thain masterfully hosted our fundraising auction and raffle which featured some truly excellent pieces including a signed 2018/19 Manchester United home shirt (kindly donated by Manchester United FC), signed 2018 Ryder Cup pin flag (kindly donated by European Tour Golf), signed Mike Tyson boxing shorts (kindly donated by club directors Neil & Linda Montgomery) and signed Pelé artwork (kindly donated by our Commercial Manager Calum Lawrie). We also auctioned a one-off item featuring former Scotland captain Colin Hendry's appearance for the Vale, the proceeds of which will be split between the club and the Ochre Charity, in memory of Ian McAllister. Other highlights included signed Vale tops (including one signed by Hall of Famer Jim Leighton) and kilt hire for a whole year from Kilts Wi Hae! Our raffle featured some amazing prizes including a 40" Samsung 4K UHD TV (kindly provided by Booth Scotland Ltd.), luxury hamper (kindly provided by Walkers Shortbread), Meal for Two (kindly provided by AVO), matchday football tickets and much more! Thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets, both in advance and on the night, and to those who bid in our auction. Your support is much appreciated by everyone associated with the club!

Entertainment on the night was provided by the fantastic Soulbrothers, who had our guests working up a sweat on the dancefloor for the rest of the night. The band worked their way through some classic funk and soul tunes, as well as modern-day hits. It was a case of "kick off your shoes and boogie on down" as the singers strutted their stuff on the stage and danced alongside guests too!

We were delighted to have been supported by so many individuals and companies in the build up to the event and on the night itself and as such would like to thank the following for helping us make it such a success:

• C&M Kitchen Engineering • Booth Scotland Limited • Duff House Royal Golf Club • Banff Springs Hotel • Walkers Shortbread • Paul Lawrie Golf Foundation • Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC • Finnie's the Jeweller • Aberdeen FC • Norwood Hall Hotel • Partick Thistle FC • Cove Rangers FC • Lee "The Aberdeen Assassin" McAllister • NJE Fireworks • Transition Extreme • Ross County FC • Structured Finance • European Tour Golf • AVO • Peterhead FC • Kilts Wi Hae • Cake That & Party • Motive Offshore Group • Steve Dolan • The 'Famous' Spotty Bag Shop • Campbell Urquhart • Ian Thain • Elite Promotions • Billy Gatt • Nicole Christie • Jim Leighton • 1st Additions • Peter Bruce • Sytec Engineering • Craig Stewart • The Banffshire Journals • Seafield Bakery • Lawrence Jewellers • Sandy Birnie • Tony Stott Professional Framing Solutions • Fergus & Donna Beaton • Manchester United FC • JF Blanchard Electrical Services • Neil & Linda Montgomery • Stan Harrower • Richard Evans • Ally Rennie Snr • Matthew & Sonia Pirie • Calum & Kimberley Lawrie • Deveronvale Community Football Club • Duncan Clark • Graeme Buchan • Kevin Stewart • Portsoy Gift Box • Martin Whaw • North East Electronics Ltd • Dougie MacPherson • Stewart McPherson • David Bruce • Steven Clark • The Good Estate Agent • Trish Gale • Bubble Balloons

Here's to the next 80 years of the Vale!

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