DOWN MEMORY LANE

 

“In The Beginning……………”

Sunday 9th August 1987

 Queen’s Park 0 Hearts 0

 

 

Neil McAllister, Martin Harvey, Alan Raeburn, Alan Dickson, Ronnie Burns (c), Barry Haniford, David Nisbet, Hector Cook, Gordon Hunter, Ronnie Smith and Iain Campbell

 

A Queen’s Park Supporters Team had been on the go since 1982, playing twice yearly games against Meadowbank Thistle, and we’d been invited to submit an application to join the Scottish Supporters League in 1986.

 

However, the League felt we needed more time to get ourselves organised so we were told to leave it a year. In the meantime the League invited us to their Pentland Trophy so we could get to know some teams.

 

 Mister C went to the League AGM in Edinburgh during the summer of 1987 to present our case and we were accepted to the League. This was despite League Chairman Colin McPherson saying afterwards that it wasn’t a great presentation. To be fair the meeting was held in an Edinburgh hotel that had all day drinking (a rarity in those days) so we were lucky that people knew what team we were !

 

 And so the hard work began as we met at the team’s HQ in Prospecthill Circus to plot our first ever full season.

 

Michael Higgins was appointed Manager with Davie Nisbet his Assistant while Iain Campbell became Secretary/Treasurer.

 

Meadowbank’s help was invaluable and they had put us in touch with Hearts who they said were good guys on and off the pitch. In fact Hearts had been invited to our inaugural end of season tournament, The Hampden Trophy, in May 87, along with Meadowbank and Partick Cross, and they had made a good impression that day.

 

The League season was starting at the end of August so we arranged three friendlies with Hearts agreeing to come through to Glasgow to be our first ever opponents.

 

The first problem was finding a place to play and we decided that Queen’s Park Recs would be the best bet. This had advantages and disadvantages.

 

The advantage was the pitch price which was £10.  The downside was that the dressing rooms were very small (even with only two substitutes) and there were only two showers with hot water very optional.

 

The pitches had an ash surface and were very small but that was the norm in those days and was only an advantage when playing teams from outside Glasgow who were lucky as they had grass to play on.

 

Hearts travelled through by train and made their way out to the Recs but only had nine players with them. We had twelve so we loaned them Derek Stronach to make it eleven against ten.

 

There were no subs for either team and we had no recognised keeper [Martin Harvey hadn’t mentioned he’d played for the BB and Gordon Hunter had a finger injury] so Neil McAllister volunteered to go in goals.

 

Ronnie Burns had been appointed Club Captain and he took his place at centre half with Alan Dickson alongside him. At full back we had schoolboy Martin Harvey and Alan Raeburn.

 

The midfield consisted of Gordon Hunter, Davie Nisbet and two veterans from 1982 Barry Haniford and Hector Cook.

 

Up front, more in hope than expectation, were Ronnie Smith and Iain Campbell.

 

The game itself never lived up to anybody’s expectations, if there were any, and Hearts centre half Willie Anderson, a defector from Partick Cross and a League character, played an offside trap on the halfway line which meant the only person busy was referee AKC Harvey blowing his whistle.

 

At half time Ronnie Smith switched with Neil in goals and Boss Higgins made numerous positional changes to try and break the deadlock but no goals came. Mister C did amazingly come close a couple of times but his efforts only meant a long walk to get the ball for the Hearts keeper.

 

An instantly forgettable game but we did surprise the watching Keith McAllister who thought we did “aw right”. Mind you Keith did watch the game whilst drinking a carry out !

 

Our first game and we’d created a bit of history as it was the first ever goalless draw between two Supporters League teams. Just shows we were always at the footballing forefront !

 

It wasn’t a great game but it was a start and we were off and running before we started our league campaign.

  

Two days later we did manage to open our goal scoring account at Toryglen (ash pitches) when Gordon Hunter notched the opener in a 2-1 victory over the Bower Bar.

 

The Glasgow licensing laws [this was a 2pm kick off and the pubs shut at 2.30pm till 7pm] meant we couldn’t take Hearts back to the pub so we had to content ourselves with just enjoying the football. Maybe we should have bought a carry out and sat in the sun !

 

The rest as they say is history and we carry on 25 years later with many, many more years to follow.

 

 

 

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