In a general conversation about football (all grades), I was asked which one player did I find it hard to play against.
My answer was instant . . . Jimmy Bone.
Now, my encounter was really brief, as I came on as a substitute for East Fife at Partick Thistle in 1971, a game we were to lose 3-0. In my time on the pitch, his movement was such I hadn’t encountered before, and he gave me “a doing”.
Many years later, when he was assistant to Jocky Scott at Dens Park, I asked him if he remembered that game.
“I do remember that game very well,” he immediately said.
“I had just come back from injury at that time and was really buzzing to be back in the team.
“I did give the East Fife central defenders a hard time.”
Then, looking straight at me, he concluded: “Don’t worry, I would have given anyone a doing on that day.”
After he scored well over 100 goals for Partick Thistle, others noted his form and he soon earned a move to Norwich, then on to Sheffield United.
Celtic took him back to Scotland, but he didn’t appear regularly for the Hoops.
In 1975, Arbroath paid around £10,000 to Celtic to bring him to Gayfield and then recouped treble that amount three years later when they sold him to Alex Ferguson’s St Mirren.
After four years at Love Street, he had spells with Toronto Blizzard and Hong Kong Rangers before spending two years with Hearts and another stint at Arbroath.
Bone (left) moved into management with Arbroath in that second spell, then took charge of Airdrie, St Mirren, East Fife and Stenhousemuir.
In addition to his coaching stint at Dens, he enjoyed similar posts at Ross County, Partick Thistle and Chester City. Other appointments took him abroad to Zambia (Power Dynamo) and Bidvest Wits (South Africa).