Links Park Legends - Jimmy Kemp
Towards the end of 1959 Montrose signed a young man called Jimmy Kemp from junior side Forfar West End.
At the time the Gable Endies were in the doldrums and the new player's friends were quick to suggest that signing on at Links Park had not been a good career move.
Time and new manager Norman Christie were to prove them wrong. Under Christie Montrose quickly joined the teams seeking promotion from the Second Division, with Jimmy's goal scoring prowess playing an integral part in the team's new found success.
As well as leading the League goal scoring charts for a time there were other high points in Jimmy's first spell at Links Park.
In 1961, the Gable Endies knocked Albion Rovers out of the Cup by a three goal to one scoreline, with Bobby Kemp netting two and Jimmy one. The team's reward was a trip to Glasgow to face Celtic.
Montrose got off to the worst possible start when they conceded a goal after only 30 seconds. In fact they lost four goals in total during the first thirty minutes, eventually losing six goals without reply. Nevertheless, Jimmy recalls that the Gable Endies missed a few good chances themselves but, on a heavy pitch, the opposition's full time status proved too much.
On a happier note the team went on to capture the Forfarshire Cup the following season, beating Arbroath at Gayfield by two goals to one. J Kemp got both the Montrose goals.
Jimmy spent three seasons at Links Park before he and play maker Frank Sandeman were transferred to East Stirling. The Falkirk Club had been taken over by the Steedman brothers with a view to transferring the Shire operation to Clydebank. Jimmy's new club won promotion and shortly afterwards the two ex-Montrose players found themselves plying their trade in the First Division in the colours of ES Clydebank.
Eventually manager Christie brought Jimmy back to Links Park in a swap deal, with Montrose winger Bobby Jones joining the Clydebank side.
During his second spell at the Club Jimmy found himself playing against Hearts in the Scottish Cup. If his previous experience of the cup with the Gable Endies had been embarrassing this time glory almost came Montrose's way.
Bobby Livingstone put the Links Parkers ahead in the 49th minute and they held out until the 89th minute when Hearts finally got an undeserved equaliser. The replay at Tynecastle did not go to form either, with the Jambos able to breach the Montrose defence only once to go through to the next round.
Shortly afterwards Jimmy signed for neighbours Brechin City.
But one story still makes Jimmy chortle even today. In a game against Morton the Greenock side had been awarded a penalty. As Morton player Doug Cowie came forward to take the kick he passed Gable Endies centre half Willie Nicoll. The big defender was unable to resist tripping Cowie up, an action which earned him the proverbial 'early bath'.
© Forbes Inglis 2005