The term legend can sometimes be misused but today's featured player was (and still is) a big man in every sense of the word. It was during the 1970-71 season that Montrose called up a young provisional signing called Dennis D'Arcy from Aberdeen junior side Banks o Dee.
Dennis played his first game for Montrose at Firhill against Partick Thistle and recalls that Thistle were a fair side with players such as Benny Rooney, Frank Coulston, managed by the cigar smoking Bertie Auld. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Dennis cannot recall the score that day.
A statistic that Dennis can remember was the score at Kilmarnock one cold winter's night. Having won the toss Montrose elected to play with the wind and went in at half time with the score 1-0 in their favour. When they emerged for the second half they found themselves facing a blizzard and eventually lost 5-1. Conditions were so bad that Les Barr was taken off suffering from hypothermia.
Worse was to follow when their bus driver lost his way and they found themselves heading along the dual carriageway in the wrong direction. It was about 10.00 pm by this time and the road was quiet. One illegal driving manoeuvre later and they were heading home.
An away game at Stranraer also figures in Dennis's memories. Before the game Dennis was speaking to Stranraer's centre half John Heep, who asked about Brian Third, the Montrose centre forward who was beginning to make a name for himself as a goal scorer. Dennis pointed out Brian, who, he says, did not look a particularly imposing figure dressed in his suit. Heep commented, "He doesn't look like much."
At the end of the game, after Brian Third had scored all six of Montrose's goals in a 6-3 victory, the centre half could only shake his head when Dennis inquired what he thought of the centre forward then.
Another game which stands out in Dennis's memory was the cup replay against Hamilton Accies in 1973. When the Hamilton officials announced that the kick off would be delayed because of the size of the crowd Montrose manager Alex Stuart felt sure that they were playing mind games. The fact was that around 10,000 spectators were in Douglas Park that evening to see Montrose win through a late goal from Harry Johnston.
But probably the most memorable moment of the match was when a 'sawn off' golf club was thrown at Gordon Cramond. Despite the fact that the club could have caused him serious injury if it had struck him, Gordon had joked, "If I stay around here I might get a full set."
Dennis starred in many of the Gable Endies finest moments, particularly the games against Hibs, Hearts and Rangers, as well as being the backbone of the side in the more bread and butter matches. He has, to this day, a great reputation among the fans who recall the heady days of the 1970's when Montrose were more than a match for most teams.
When kids played in the parks with jerseys for goal posts it was often the goal scoring forwards that were their heroes. Suffice to say that in Montrose during the 70's many of them wanted to be Dennis D'Arcy
© Forbes Inglis 2004