“From the Beach to The Final”
Sunday 30th April 1989 League Cup Semi Final
Raith Rovers 1 Queen’s Park 2
Season 1988/89 was an historic one for our Club as we won the Scottish Supporters League for the first time. But, we also reached our first, and only, Final after a famous game at
The League title was in our grasp but getting games played was a problem and we had had only one competitive game in six weeks before we headed to Kirkcaldy to play the mighty Raith.
It was the Semi Final but we hadn’t kicked a ball in the competition as our Quarter Final opponents Dundee United had refused to play us in
With little or no football under our belts a few of us made our way to Knightswood to see Raith in action against Partick Cross as we took our preparation seriously.
This scouting mission was to have its reward later !
The day of the big game arrived and, never ones to do anything by half, we organised a coach to Kirkcaldy, later telling Raith that we always travelled in style !
Cup Fever was in the air as we arrived very early in
Seeing as it was a nice day some of the younger guys decided to go down to the Kirkcaldy beach for a kickabout to pass the time. Our beloved Patron, Ian Younger, was in the touring party and decided he wanted to join in the football.
Now it was a six foot drop to the beach and some of the young lads had either dreaped down or ran along and taken the stairs.
The Patron, however, was pacing up and down not knowing how best to get to the beach before there was an almighty crash and he had thrown himself over the barrier and onto the sand.
Luckily The Patron was wearing his usual three piece suit, anorak and brownie hat which softened his landing.
For the next twenty minutes or so The Patron threw himself about on the sand as he dived for headers and slid into tackles like it was the Cup Final itself.
It would be fair to say that the team were in uproar and eventually Boss Higgins shouted to everybody to get on the bus so we could go for the ground.
The youngsters climbed the wall and jumped onto the bus but The Patron remained on the sand looking up forlornly.
He was told to go to the stairs but didn’t move and we then realised that we’d have to give him a hand to climb the wall.
About four of us leaned over the barrier as The Patron put his hands in the air but we had to call for help as Ian never made any effort to assist us in lifting him up. Eventually we got him over the barrier and he muttered “just can’t do it” as he went onto the bus covered in sand !
We drove to
It was a long walk from the car park to the dressing rooms and once we were changed we decided, for the first time ever, to have a warm up ourselves so we trooped out the dressing rooms as the home side were coming back.
Serious stuff these Semi Finals !
Despite our lack of games we were at full strength and lined up as follows:-
Kevin Devine, Stephen Fox, Robert Graham, Ronnie Burns (c), John Donaldson, David Nisbet (Paul Stormonth), Neil McAllister (David Wilson), Stephen Stormonth, Kenny McLellan, Gordon Hunter and Stephen McGilp
Raith were a strong team, particularly at Beveridge, and they had the Morrison brothers in attack, the beautifully coiffured Kevin Simpson in midfield and the imposing centre back pairing of Quinny and Big
However, after our scouting mission, we had decided that the man who made them tick was Big Rab MacDonald and so our Rab Graham was given the task of man marking
The plan worked as our Rab only let Big Rab escape his clutches once and the Fifer’s shot went past the post.
It’s was always a hard game at Beveridge and this was no different as both teams battled for a place in the Final.
Our lack of games meant we were a wee bit rusty and we fell behind in the first half when Kevin Simpson floated a free kick over the wall and into the net.
Half time and Boss Higgins worked his magic and then told the subs to warm up.
Wilson and Jazza went running behind the goal for a wee stretch but they both quickly came back and asked for money so they could go to the ice cream van which was in the park !
Despite Raith being ahead there was nothing between the teams and we kept battling away, showing the attitude which made us Champions elect.
Eventually we found an equaliser and it was Gordon Hunter who got it with a shot from a tight angle.
Time was ticking away and, with extra time looming, Gordon made a break down the right then crossed to the back post where
Back came Raith but we stood strong and held on to put us into the League Cup Final.
It was a happy squad that walked to the dressing rooms to get changed and we were even happier once we got to the pub for stovies and plenty of lager.
Raith admitted in the pub that their sponsor had promised them new strips for the Final and that it was meant to be played at Starks Park but both things were now cancelled.
Nevertheless a great day out and The Patron was still shaking sand out of his clothes when we got back to Glasgow !
[The Final was played at Maryhill Juniors park and we lost
4-2 in extra time to Partick Summerston after we had dominated most of the game.
We also spoke to Rab MacDonald after the Raith game for the first time and found out he was starting work in Glasgow and thus started a twenty year friendship.]