Regular contributor Dave Bruce got in touch to describe Dundee United legend Jim McLean’s recent passing as “very, very sad”.
Dave revealed he was also a team-mate of Jim’s with city neighbours Dundee around 1967, and sent in this group photo.
The Dark Blues had a tie-up with local boys club Butterburn YC at that time and Dave – along with John Duncan, Mitch Goodall, John Sime, Keith Donnelly (all in the photo) and others – were all snapped up by the Dens men at the same time.
Back row (from left) – Norrie Christie, Jim Steele, George Stewart, John Arrol, Ally Donaldson, Bobby Wilson, Bobby Rough, Jim McLean, Derek McKay.
Middle row – Ron Selway, John Sime, Sammy Wilson, Doug Houston, Jocky Scott, Mitch Goodall, George McLean, John Duncan, Dave Bruce, Raymond Steele.
Front row – Jim Easton, Alex Bryce, Alex Hamilton, Stevie Murray, Dave Swan, Billy Campbell, Keith Donnelly, Alex Stuart, Kenny Cameron, Bobby Cox.
Jim Don was a very well-known face in Dundee Sunday Welfare AFA circles in the 1970s and 1980s.
He was a very good and successful player with a couple of clubs, before hanging up his boots and making the step up to match secretary.
And that appointment coincided with the Sunday afternoon league really taking off.
‘These were great times’
In a matter of a few seasons, the association saw their division tally leap from two to five.
And that at a time when there was also a very healthy Sunday Morning AFA, in addition to Saturday associations such as Angus and Midlands.
Jim was well supported by other office-bearers such as Ian Irvine, Lindsay Bell, Gregor Brough, Jim Douris, Jim Morrison, Owen O’Rourke and Stewart Gibson, in addition to others.
Jim said: “These were great times, with many great teams and players.
“We even had a couple winning the Scottish Cup in GJ’s and Duncraig.”
With the help of Jim and a few former Welfare ‘history books’ and ‘handbooks’, the following is an alphabetical list of many (not all) of the teams who made up the Welfare League.
Albany, Arronvale, Ashcraig, Ashgrove.
Balunie, Bank Street Athletic, Bank Street Albion, Bank Street Accies, Bartons, Brackens, Butterburn Athletic.
Caldrum Works, Caley Athletic, Camby Town, Camperdown, Carnegie Star, Castle Athletic, Castlebank, Charleston, City Rovers, Craigie HSFP, Craigie Rovers.
David Lows, DCC, Douglas Ath., Downfield, Drumvale, Dryburgh, Dryburgh Cosmos, Duncraig, Dundee Celtic, Dundee Hibs, Dundee Raiders, Dundee Spartans, Dundee Thistle.
Findale, Finlathen, Fintry.
GJ’s, Glamis United, Gowriepark, Greenvale.
Kestrel, Kingsmuir, Kingsway, Kirkton, Kirkton Rangers, Kolfor.
Law, Lochee Cosmos, Lochee Hibs, Lochee Pentland, Lochee Vics, Longforgan.
Manhattan Works, Maryfield, Meadowvale, Menzieshill, Midmill Swifts, MOCO, Myrekirk Rangers.
Newport, Ninewells, North End Albion.
Parkside Hearts, Parkvale, Pitalpin Thistle.
Riverside Athletic, Royal Croft, Rosemill.
Sardis, Sidlaw, St John’s, St John’s FP, Stobsmuir, Stobsmuir Athletic.
Tannadice United, Taygrove, Taysands, Tayside Albion, Tayside Athletic, Tayside Harp, Tayside Police, Tayside Royals, Thistlebank.
Westdale, West End Albion, Whitfield Labour Party.
If your team is not on this list, drop me a line and let me know.
Mike Gallacher takes the recent story on former Dee George McLean further.
Resident in Carnoustie, but a “proud Dundonian”, Mike said: “Further to your story regarding George McLean being made a scapegoat for Rangers’ defeat to Berwick.
“A Celtic fan of a certain vintage once told me that, after that game, Gers boss Scott Symon was going round the players asking if anyone had any good excuses he could pass on to the press.
“Various theories were put forward by the squad, including ‘wee muddy park didnae suit our game’.
“Big Dandy hammered the final nail in his coffin by piping up: ‘The bit I was standing on wisnae muddy’, much to the great mirth of Jim Forrest sitting next to him.
“Neither played for Rangers again.”
An amusing tale from 64-year-old Mike with perhaps a bit of journalistic licence chucked in.
Mike’s semi-retired and is “still kicking a ba’ with Panmure Walking Football (until Covid restrictions started)”.
He also volunteers with Dementia Football Action.
Those who followed football in the 1960s and early 1970s will remember a referee who was a larger-than-life character in more ways than one.
Tom Wharton was an imposing 6ft 4in figure in the Scottish refereeing scene in these decades and was known affectionately under the antonym nickname of ‘Tiny’.
He was also one of those refs who talked to players throughout the game.
‘Well respected throughout the game’
I played under him just once, and claimed for a goal-kick or offside (can’t remember which).
The decision went against me and, as he ran past, he said: “You get nothing for toenails, son!”
He was well respected throughout the game and took charge of four Scottish Cup Finals and two League Cup Finals.
Referee Tom 'Tiny' Wharton (1927-2005) Seen here in action at a Rangers v Celtic match at Ibrox. Pic: star50 pic.twitter.com/SIQ0oN6foc
— PictureThis Scotland (@74frankfurt) July 7, 2016
In addition, he was the man in the middle when Atletico Madrid and Florentine contested the 1961-62 European Cup-Winners’ Cup Final at Hampden Park in his home city.
Tiny was also a regular official for internationals and club games in Europe.
In later years, Wharton was chairman of the SFA’s Referee Supervisors Committee between 1976 and 1990 and served as part of Fifa’s Referees Committee between 1981 and 2000.
He was awarded the OBE in 1990 for services to Scottish football.
He died in 2005 aged 77.
Football players, managers and staff are always sought for quotes by the media. I’m continuing to share some of them with you.
Stenhousemuir manager John McVeigh, speaking in May 2003, was asked to pick his all-time World XI. He offered: “Di Stefano, Eusebio, Puskas, Baptie – the list is endless!”
Crawford Baptie was a former Stenny player who also played for Falkirk, Motherwell, Hamilton and Clyde in the 1980s and 1990s.