Tele columnist John Brown has previously “blethered” about Ally Martin, a well-decorated junior player in the Dundee area.
John spoke of how Ally’s first wage for playing football was a packet of sweets.
Then he told us about Ally’s schoolboy days, and how he played with and against some stars of the future in his teenage years.
In this, the third piece about the former keeper, Ally explains how he reached five North of Tay Cup Finals – but only found success in one…
Ally Martin’s form on the park started to attract the attention of higher-grade teams.
He said: “After two seasons with the Broughty YM U/18s, I signed for Carnoustie Panmure Junior FC and this, unfortunately, coincided with my leaving school and starting an apprenticeship as a quantity surveyor.
“Besides a one-day-a-week attendance at Bell Street Technical College (now Abertay University), I had night classes four evenings a week.
“This did not bode well in getting to know my junior team colleagues as I was unable to train with them, except on the odd occasion.
“However, during my one season with The Gowfers, I was fortunate to be invited to play for Arbroath reserves and had a week’s training at Dens Park with Dundee FC.”
One of his early senior stints threw up a quirky tale.
He explained: “On the bus going through to Stenhousemuir for a reserve game, some of the senior players asked me how good my goal-kicking was as Stenhousemuir had a reputation of using something akin to a medicine ball for games.
“I was confident in that respect and was looking forward to playing with a new ball, a prerequisite of all games under the SFA – as I understood it.
“A white ball was carried out by the referee and, after my first goal-kick, I realised the players were correct. It was some weight.
“Later in the second half, the rain came on and that revealed we were not playing with a new ball but one whitewashed before the game.”
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Ally recalls John Prentice as the Arbroath manager and he travelled with the team.
He continued: “I did not sign for Carnoustie for the following season and resumed my football with Broughty United in the senior team.
“YM Anchorage held sway within the Midlands AFA during the 30s, 40s and 50s, winning the League Championship on 17 occasions.
“NCR then dominated the 1960s, winning the League Championship 10 seasons in a row and, in 1965, they won the Scottish Amateur Cup.
“They are the only Midlands AFA team to lift that trophy.
“From season 1961-62, Broughty reached the final of the North of Tay Cup on three consecutive seasons, losing out on each occasion to NCR, Ballinluig and NCR respectively.
“In the 1961-62 competition, we defeated Ballinluig in the semi-final after 5 hours 40 minutes play (first tie, first replay and extra time, second replay and extra-time and ‘goalden’ goal). The ‘goalden’ goal came into effect as there were no penalty shoot-outs in those days.
“We reached the final once more in 1964-65, losing out to our great adversaries NCR.
“Season 1969-70 saw the team come of age when we won the League Division 1 Championship for the first time and also the North of Tay Cup, defeating Angus Amateur side Edenbank 1-0 in the final. No-one was more relieved than me to win that final as I had played in all four occasions we reached the final.
“Ironically, the 1970 final was the poorest game of the five, but I suppose, in cup competitions, winning is what matters.
“On our way to winning the league, the club lost just one game and went 23 games without defeat.
“Not only that, 15 of those games were played in the seven weeks of evening games at the end of the season.
“In the 70s, the club won the Championship on a further three occasions and the Bremner Cup twice.
“The club reached the final of the North of Tay Cup once more in season 1973-74, but we lost out to Auchterhouse.
“My record is, therefore, five finals with one win.”