Links Park Legends - Eddie Wolecki
Eddie Wolecki is a Links Park legend with something of a reputation as a goal scorer. Having had been released by Brechin City he had just signed for Dundee junior outfit St Joseph's when Montrose's co-managers, Chic McLelland and Doug Rougvie, enticed him back into senior football towards the end of season 1990-91.
After just over a season at Links Park Jim Leishman let him go but he was later brought back for a second spell by John Holt and he spent a further two seasons at the Club.
His first game for the Gable Endies was a reserve game against former Club Brechin and Eddie 'celebrated' with a hat trick. Hat tricks seemed to come naturally to Eddie and he scored another against St Johnstone in a Forfarshire semi-final and got a single goal as the Mo defeated Forfar Athletic to win the competition.
Eddie particularly recalls the opening match of the Club's First Division campaign in season 1991-92. The fixture was against Hamilton Accies at Links Park before a sizeable crowd. After going a goal down, the Gable Endies fought their way back to finish with a creditable 2 - 2 draw, with Eddie picking up the man of the match award.
Another memorable match for Eddie was a League Cup tie that season, against Dundee United at Tannadice. Eddie had scored to put Montrose in front, a goal that looked like being the winner. Unfortunately any hope of a cup upset was ended when co-manager Doug Rougvie, attempting a pass back, chipped the ball over keeper David Larter for an own goal. The final score was 3- 2 to United.
Having a joint management team could prove something of a problem. Eddie remembers a match against Partick Thistle. The Links Parkers had lost by a single goal scored after Bruce Morrison had failed to clear the ball. Chic McLelland was laying into the unfortunate Morrison, saying that he had had at least three opportunities to get the ball up the park. Poor Bruce was trying to defend himself and eventually Chic told him, "Well, stand up and tell us about it."
At that moment, Doug Rougvie ordered him to "Sit down and listen." Eddie says there was much biting of lips as players tried to stifle their laughter at the confusion.
But when it comes to stories probably Eddie's best one features, surprise, surprise, Les Barr. It is amazing? just how many player's memories feature some sort of jape involving the 'Legend'.
Montrose were playing a Forfarshire cup-tie at Gayfield and Les had been drafted into the team. Eddie had the ball in midfield when he heard Les, who was about 15 yards behind him, calling for the ball. Responding to the shout, Eddie played the ball into the space for the 'Legend' to run onto.
As Les took the ball up to an opponent he shouted, "Here comes a Barrser double shuffle," and he proceeded to carry out his trademark move. Eddie says he has never known anyone announce his intentions quite as clearly during a game.
© Forbes Inglis 2005