Andy Walker’s latest contribution to BwB states how amazing a simple question can cause ‘animosity’.
He takes up the story: “I was recently at a junior match, standing among an array of veteran boys club former players of assorted ability.
“This included the likes of Davie Bruce, Danny McAlpine and John Daley.
“They all played at one time for Butterburn Youth Club.
“I put the question to them: ‘Who was the first Butterburn player to play for Celtic FC?’
“I produced a picture of Butterburn and told them he was in the photo.
“After many mute moments, and a lot of shaking of heads, their squirming got the better of me.
“A further clue was he played at least two games in Europe for the Celts, and maybe more, possibly five.
“The half-time whistle at the junior game saved their bacon.
“During the second half, I was approached by other unknown former Burn players asking for the name, and I said ‘You are standing beside him!’
“It was Hamish McAlpine.”
Andy further explained: “The situation arose, at the start of season of 1989-90 when Celtic had a goalkeeping problem.
“Packie Bonner, Allen McKnight and young prospect Andy Murdoch had long-term injuries, and the team were touring Austria and Czechoslovakia.
“While there, they played two trialists – an U/21 keeper and an Austrian keeper.
“However, both were considered not to be up to scratch.
“An SOS was sent out and former Tannadice hero Hamish McAlpine responded.
“He had just left United, so, really, it was a no-brainer.
“I spoke to Hamish recently and he reckons it was five appearances.
“Ultimately, it did not lead to anything long-term as Celtic signed Alan Rough and Ian Andrews.”
This photo is from 1980 and was a football match between local solicitors and the Dundee Constabulary. The Dundee solicitors’ team manager is Billy Boyle, who was unable to play due to a long-running injury. The lawyers are in the striped tops (from left) – Wilson McMichael, Michael McGinley, Frank Doran, Jim McDonagh, George Donnelly, Billy Boyle (in overcoat), Phil Forte, unknown, John Macdonald, Dan Lafaye Ednie, Brian Fitzpatrick, John Clarke. The police won the game 2-1. If anyone can supply the police names, then send them in.
Some football stories are legend. The following, I’m assured, is true . . .
What do you do when your favourite team is losing at home and you happen to be at the stadium?
Most people would probably jeer at the players for few seconds, but would you run on to the field armed with a knife and assault an opposing player?
That’s what went down in August 2009, when a Bolivian fan went for Uruguay’s Henry Gimenez after Uruguay took a 1-0 lead. Thankfully, Gimenez was unhurt and referee Victor Carrillo called off the match.
Unfortunately, the fans in attendance didn’t see it that way.
The suspended match sparked protest from spectators as they responded by throwing objects onto the field and lighting flares.
Delia Gallagher contacted BwB with a query from her 82-year-old father-in-law George ‘Spud’ Martin, a former welder.
She said: “Many, many years ago, George (below) went out with a girl who said her cousin was Donald Houston, the Welsh film star.
“He thinks her uncle, Donald’s dad, left Dundee to play football down in Wales.
“Can you find if there’s any truth in this.”
Donald Houston, who appeared in movies such as The Blue Lagoon, The Longest Day and Where Eagles Dare, had a dad called Alexander, who was listed in his bio as a ‘Scottish professional footballer’.
An Alexander Houston played for Clydebank, Bathgate and Falkirk in the 1920s.
Can any readers add to this tale?
Returning to a George, he is the author of ‘A Keek Inside’, a book of cartoons and writing from when he was working with Kestrel.
Continuing our look back at old Sporting Post Queries.
SPQ – In May 1989, “FM” asked: Did Arkle ever run on the flat, and did he win?
SPA – Arkle ran in two bumper races in Ireland, finishing third and fourth.
He then won for the first time in the Bective Novices Hurdle at Navan on January 20, 1962, at 20-1.
I’ve come across some tales regarding football referees which I’ll share in the coming weeks.
A Scottish theme to start with, and it was reported in 1981 that . . .
Glasgow referee Kenny Hope is now using the coin issued to all officials in Red China before tossing up before kick-off.
Instead of asking for heads or tails, bemused skippers are asked to choose from the side with black and gold spots, or the red side emblazoned with a dragon.
There has been much correspondence over the years regarding the old and much-loved Saturday evening institution, The Sporting Post.
STV reporter Craig Millar revealed he worked for the newspaper in his fledgling years.
He said: “The Sporting Post was a magical publication – out in the city centre by 5.15pm with match reports up to about the 55th minute, then the full edition just after 6pm.
“I loved writing match reports in The Sporting Post, which I did in the late 1970s, mainly following Dundee United around Scotland.
“That was partly because a DFC fanatic and senior reporter Bert Young did the Dark Blues games.
“Notable matches I reported on included the Dundee derby League Cup Final at Dens in 1980, with swaying crowds on the terracing, the 1980 Rangers v Celtic Scottish Cup Final when the riot took place, and Maradona scoring for Argentina against Scotland at Hampden in 1979.
John Hunter commented: “It was amazing how quickly it was out to buy before the digital age we live in now.
“It’s definitely missed. It had not just a few lines about games, but the whole game.”
Certainly up to the 1980s, there was a front-page summary, which contained humorous lines about that day’s football matches.
This was written by then editor Bob Kennedy.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll share a few with you – and here is a couple to start with.