Time Tunnel - Ivor & Betty Mortimer
In the Tunnel today are Ivor and Betty Mortimer who are very special guests in the Tunnel today as where Ivor goes so too does his wife Betty – you see they are grand-parents to Martin Boyle the ex Montrose player and Ginger Boot winner of only a few short years ago. Martin now plays for Dundee so Ivor and Betty now travel to watch Dundee (or Hibs now he’s on loan) play home and away but they both tell me it’s not the same and indeed they still travel to watch Montrose whenever their game does not clash with a Dundee/Hibs one. I bumped into Ivor again at Berwick in the away match earlier this season so persuaded him to come into our Time Tunnel to tell us a bit more.
Had you ever been to Links Park before Martin started to play for Montrose?
I’m maybe mistaken, but I think that the first time we went to Links Park was to watch the Scottish schoolboys (U18’s) play Northern Ireland in March 2010.
Where do you live now and have you always been there?
I’m originally from North Wales, but I have lived in Dunbar for the last 30+ years.
I think your son/Martin’s dad lives in Aberdeen – was Martin born up there?
Martin was born in Edinburgh and lived in Dunbar for a few years until the family moved to Aberdeen.
We know Betty is wheelchair bound but is it ever a problem finding a decent place to watch the game from?
Most of the lower division clubs have an adequately sheltered area to watch the game, the problems occur when the rain is driving into that “sheltered area” and there is no-where else to go e.g. Fraserburgh a couple of years ago.
Do you still get to as many Montrose games as you can?
Yes, if Dundee/Hibs are not playing on a Saturday we always look to see where Montrose are playing.
Coming back to Martin, how do you feel his career is going and do you think he is being wasted out wide on the wing?
Martin is now a regular first team player for Dundee/Hibs. He is doing well in his role as a winger, it lets him use his lightening pace and he’s been putting some great balls in for the strikers.
Is it a lot harder getting to Premier League games, parking etc?
The main difference with attending the Premier League games is that there is not the same personal relationship with the other fans, at Montrose we always felt that we were amongst friends.
Which away grounds do you enjoy going to best?
We liked going to Dingwall for the Ross County game and we used to enjoy the day out to Annan with Montrose. It’s a bit disappointing that more of the fans don’t travel to the away games.
How does Links Park rate as a lower league ground taking into account the facilities inside and around the ground?
We are very fond of Links Park and have always found all of the staff and fellow fans very friendly and helpful. The facilities are fine and the prices and service from the girls in the kiosk are great.
Looking back, which games do you remember best as a Montrose fan?
I think that I’ll always remember the Scottish Cup game at Gayfield in 2010 when Montrose beat Arbroath in extra time after the Smokies had come back after being 0-2 down. Martin of course scored the winning goal.
Which players do you remember stood out, apart from Martin?
“Macca” always stood out for me, I loved his commitment.
Who was the best Manager Montrose that you recall and why?
Ray Farningham has been our favourite manager. He always managed to find time to come over to shake our hands and say hello.
Which other teams’ result is the first you look for after a Montrose or Dundee/Hibs game?
How do you see this season going and why?
I think that this season will be a tough one, but I really hope that the Mo will finish well clear of the bottom of the table and relegation.
Anything else you would like to say or recall about your time watching Montrose FC?
We’ve both enjoyed our time following Montrose and meeting the other Mo fans, and we’re looking forward to the next Montrose game we will be able to attend which will be in early January.
Ivor and Betty are still well known amongst Montrose fans young and old and they will always be very welcome whenever they come to watch Montrose play. I wonder how they would feel if Montrose ever play Martin’s team in a competitive game. I suppose that provided Martin scores a hat-trick they would not mind if Montrose score 4 – come to think of it, neither would we!
Steve Doyle (Sassmo)