Season 2018/19 In Pictures

Look Back Over Our League 1 Season

Season 18/19 Photos

Playing & Coaching Staff

Montrose FC People

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Montrose v Formartine United

Match Details

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Next Match


Montrose v Formartine United
Pre-Season Friendly
Links Park Stadium, Montrose
Kick Off: 3.00pm

Final League 1 Table 2018/19

Team   P 
Pts
Arbroath
36 70
Forfar Athletic
36 63
Raith Rovers
36 60
MONTROSE
36 51
Airdrieonians
36
48
Dumbarton 36 46
East Fife
36 46
Stranraer
36 42
Stenhousemuir
36 37
Brechin City
36 36

 

Time Tunnel - Robert Ogg

TIME TUNNEL …… In the tunnel today is  Robert Ogg.

Robert Ogg will be well known to most Mo fans as he seems to be all over the place during home games. One minute you can see him scurrying along the touchline to the club shop delivering and collecting things. Then he’s off somewhere else, maybe down the touchline again – a corner flag isn’t straight maybe, anyway whatever it is it’ll be important and somebody has to do it. That somebody is Robert Ogg. When everything seems to be in order we can get started and Robert who I’ve never seen wearing anything other than his Mo tracksuit, stands in the tunnel entrance with kitman Ron Marquis – you see Robert is the assistant kitman as well. For those of us who go to away games he’s there too. Not so much scurrying around but never far from the dugout and/or the dressing room entrance.

So what does he really do at LP on matchdays and how did he become such a Mo nutcase like the rest of us. Time Tunnel caught up with him and managed to get his story one question at a time each time he rushed past.


The first thing we want to know is what exactly do you do on matchdays at LP?

Deep intake of breath – where to start he says. Collect the pies etc then put out supplies of programmes upstairs. Ensure enough are in the shop and that they have a small supply of teamsheets – which is one of the rushing down the touchline jobs. Then make sure the pitch is ready for the game. Most of that pitch work done earlier but have to last minute check.


The timing of things leading up to kick off must be tight – tell us how it works.

Well, most of the kit is set up first thing on a Saturday morning, the outside things are done after the kids have all gone. Then the players arrive by 1.30pm, that’s the busy time right through to 3.00pm


Have you always lived in the area and how did you start supporting Montrose?

Have lived in Laurencekirk all my life. Supporting the Mo comes from other family members and I’ve always done it – it’s normal. (Ed: That’s what I think as well, except I don’t live in Laurencekirk – but I still regard it as normal after all this time).


The supporters club seems to be thriving a bit better nowadays. How important do you think that is?

I think it’s very important that the Football club and the supporters club get on well together.


Do you keep a record of all the Mo games you go to or keep programmes or whatever?

For home games a programme and teamsheet. Try to do the same for away games too plus a badge if I can get one.


Tell us about your day job (if you have time for one).

Waste operative for Aberdeenshire Council.


I know you go to lots of away games, which are your favourite days out?

Favourite away trip has to be Berwick Rangers. Some great people there.


Pick a highlight or two from your past Mo watching days.

Promotion twice at Dumfries and Cowdenbeath.


Is there a ‘lowlight’ you care to mention?

Tommy Campbell being at the club was a lowlight for me.


Which other teams’ result is the first you look out for?

Notts County. My mother’s side of the family come from Nottingham. My brother is a Forest fan but we won’t say too much about that (Ed: Dearie me!)


How would you like to see the SPL/SFL re-structured or are you happy the way it is?

I think it should stay the way it is, things happen in football and the small teams don’t get much say in what the SPL do.


Finally, who in your opinion was the greatest ever servant of Montrose FC – name more than one if you wish.

David Larter – great servant to Montrose FC. Gary Murray and Les Barr as well.


And very finally, just to say that this is not the first time Robert Ogg has been featured in a Montrose programme. After I’d interviewed him I came across an old one from the 1990’s. His favourite player then believe it or not was David Larter closely followed by Gary Murray. His favourite other team though was maybe Man Utd as he said he would pay extra to watch any of their players. His least favourite stadium was Cliftonhill (Albion Rovers). His best (up to the mid 1990’s) Montrose team was Larter, Morrison, Fleming, King, M. Craib, Allan, Den Bieman, Maver, McDonald, Murray and Grant. His comments on the programme – want more info and less adverts. Anything you would like to change – yes, make player sponsorship cheaper so more ordinary fans can afford it. Maybe a thought nowadays as well – partial sponsorship maybe?

Thanks Robert, keep up the good work, see you soon.

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Bob Mutch

In the Tunnel today is Bob Mutch who you must have seen in Links Park even if you are not sure who he really is.

Well, this feature is here amongst other things to tell you more about lads like Bob who can be seen around the stadium on a matchday. He is quite literally in the Tunnel at times but then he could be in the corridors, outside the lounges or supervising the main stand seating area. When he’s not doing that, which is usually when the match is in progress, he might be seen wandering around the ground or the surrounding streets to fulfil another role he has. That other role is to go looking for footballs which have been kicked out of sight or into trees or even into the gardens of nearby houses or the streets outside. Well, somebody has to do it as those balls cost upwards of £100 these days, so that’s why Bob can be out knocking on doors during a game. I well remember him coming back in one day, ball in hand as another whistled past him and out from whence he’d just come. So, I thought the Tunnel should find out a bit more about Bob Mutch. A man of few words but here’s what he had to say :-


Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I’m married and retired from work several years ago.  I like to play golf and bowls but enjoy gardening as well. Oh, and I spend a lot of time at Links Park as well – you might have noticed.


Where do you stand or sit during a game? (Ed: bit of a daft question I know but I wanted to hear what he said!)

I start my day at the stadium by standing at the back door of the main stand checking people in for the lounges or re-directing them. During the game I usually stand at the top of the Tunnel to watch – if there is nothing else which needs to be done. But, there usually is something else like going to knock on doors to retrieve footballs which have been kicked out of the ground. At half time I check guests into the lounges again to make sure nobody slips past who shouldn’t.


How long have you been coming to Links Park and how did it all start?

I’ve been coming for 50 years now. I’m local so the football club is ‘my’ team. I then started to volunteer for things and it went on from there.


Our record has not been good in the last few years, why are you still a loyal fan?

Because Montrose is my local team.


Do you go to any away games?

Yes, if I can and those not so far away.


What would you do on a Saturday if you did not come to football?

Play golf and bowls.


What should we do to increase attendances?

Drop admission prices. Win games.


Do you think it’s important to have a Supporters’ Club?

Yes, definitely.


Would you if you could, volunteer to do any more?

I am already the caretaker and key holder at Links Park and attend most pitch hires to ensure all is in order.


Do you think there is enough interaction between the football club, the fans and the town?

The Directors are constantly trying to encourage fans into the stadium. Local media can help.


Pick a highlight from your time watching Montrose.

Beating Hibs in the League Cup in the 1970’s


Who is your favourite current player?

Sandy Wood. He’s just a great guy.


Which other result do you next look for?

Manchester United.


Who was Montrose’s best ever player in your time?

Bobby Livingstone.


Anything else you would like to say about Montrose FC?

Would love to see them have a very good season and reach the play-offs, maybe this season.


Thanks Bob, yet another who beavers away behind the scenes to ensure all goes smoothly. Most of what Bob does goes unseen by fans but it’s lads like him which can make the difference between looking professional and actually being professional – I think our efforts and organisation during the last home game against Rangers showed the outside world just how good we are at organisation. One of the ESPN lads I spoke to on the way out complimented Montrose on both their on field and off field performances on the day and even the local police girls were complimentary as I chatted them up whilst walking with them on the way back to my car. Hang on, maybe they were just checking me out of town!

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Anne Kenny

TIME TUNNEL …… in the tunnel today is Anne Kenny.

Now I know you all know who Anne Kenny is, yes she is the smiling face who greets you usually in the club shop on match days. Too often recently though she has been spirited away to serve in the Bon Accord lounge thus depriving the rest of us of her warm welcome as we pass into LP via the plebs entrance. That left people like me to wander off to the pie hut to give the lasses in there a bit of banter. Whilst mentioning them I’m going to include them in this feature as well – as soon as they let me have the questionnaire back that is!

Anyway, here’s what Anne Kenny has to say about her Mo match day experiences.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m married to Alan who helps me with the club shop and around the club. We have two children Alj age 23 and Amie age 17. I work in a local school Southesk Primary as a PSA and I love my job. In my spare time I work with youth football throughout Angus.


Tell us about your duties at Links Park on match days – we want to know everything.

On match days I run the shop and if our hospitality is busy Alan will run the shop and I will help in the bar, make sandwiches or really just anything that is needed. During the week Bob and I do all the pitch hires so anyone wanting to hire the pitch just call 07923673775 and we’ll assist.


One of the things you do is ‘man’ the club shop. Do you order the stock or can you tell us who does what in that respect.

This season I’m ordering the stock.


Where do you usually stand or sit to watch the game.

On the steps beside the shop.


Have you always lived in the area.

35 years total. (Ed: must be all of her life so far then eh?)


How long have you been coming to Links Park and how did it all start.

Many years, my husband always supported them as did his dad.


You might get the impression that Anne is made of the stuff that clubs like ours thrive on i.e. a first class volunteer – and you’d be correct. All football clubs have full time or part time staff but all clubs, even the biggest of them also have volunteers and supporters clubs’ members beavering away doing things behind the scenes. At clubs like Montrose those people are more visible but more importantly they are essential and one could go as far as saying they club might not exist but for them. Anne Kenny fills one (or two) of those essential roles so next time you see her in that club shop or behind the bar give her a big smile back again.

Lastly for this week, a personal thanks from me. I get to as many games as I can from a fair distance away but pay for my match programmes in advance and leave a supply of SAE’s with her. Whenever I’m not at a game she sends me a programme and so far over the years it has never failed to arrive by Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanks a bunch Anne – see you next on 6/October.

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Kenny Cameron

Time Tunnel... memory lane visited by Kenny Cameron.

Kenny has been described as one of the ‘Montrose Greats’ or as a ‘Legend.’ Those who remember Kenny as a player and latterly as a Manager will immediately agree with one or both of those statements. His son Dougie plays left back for us this season so ‘dad’ Cameron is a regular visitor to Links Park and Flashback caught up with him to turn the clock back a good few years.

Before we start though it is worth remembering how it all started. The Mo were at the start of a ‘crest of the wave’ era in the mid 70’s but leading scorer Brian Third had just been sold to St Mirren. How could anybody replace that goal scoring machine? Enter Kenny Cameron from Dundee United – a fantastic signing for manager Alec Stuart. Kenny quickly struck up a formidable partnership up front with Bobby Livingstone as he scored 30 goals at an average of more than 1 every 3 games. At a mere 5’9’’ he was not the biggest of centre forwards but as our present Martin Boyle will tell you it’s not size that counts but pace and positional sense as well. Kenny went on to replace Alec Stuart as manager when the latter moved on to Ayr United, then a top flight club.

Here’s how Kenny handled a few questions fired at his memory banks (and a remaining mystery).


Briefly summarise your career in senior football.

Dundee, Kilmarnock, Dundee United and then Montrose in playing/coaching/management roles.


Tell us about a highlight from your days at Montrose.

Taking Hearts to three games in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup before finally losing out late on in the third game at Muirton Park. It was the only time Hearts actually led in the long running tie.


The League Cup Semi-final tie against Rangers at Hampden – tell us about it and what manager Alec Stuart said at half time as we led 1-0.

This is the mystery. Kenny replied by saying he was not involved. That surprised me as he is featured in the match programme even a picture of him and I have a match report somewhere. I was certain he played a part but I did not labour the point. It will remain a mystery.


Any Montrose cringe moments you care to recall?

Down 0-3 to Raith Rovers after the first leg of a League Cup tie – we were awful. That though turned out to be another highlight however as we turned it around and won the second leg at Links Park 5-1 to go through 5-4 on aggregate.


Who were the jokers in the dressing room?

Les Barr, Dennis D’Arcy.


Who were the nightmares in the dressing room?

Nobody. There was a great team spirit. Fantastic lads.


Tell us about a couple of players who could and should have played at a higher level.

Bobby Livingstone – exceptional ability. Dennis D’Arcy – totally reliable.


Who looked after his appearance best?

Dave McNicholl – a real poser!


And the worst?

Bertie Miller – typical Fifer!


Which was your favourite away ground and why?

Hampden Park – fantastic playing surface.


Do you still get to watch Montrose these days?

My son Douglas plays for Montrose so I go to most home games with my wife Jean.


What do you think is best, small divisions as now or bigger divisions playing each other twice only?

Under the present economic climate I would like to see leagues in areas/regions with more local travelling.


What are you most proud of in your total football career?

Scoring a goal for Dundee FC against Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final in front of 120,000 in 1964.


Any regrets?

No, none. I was fortunate to be involved in senior football for 45 years.


Anything else you would like to mention about your time at Montrose?

Great time at Montrose. Wonderful players and characters, Dave Gorman, Dennis D’Arcy, Bobby Livingstone, Les Barr, Malcolm Lowe – wonderful team to work with – all winners.

The great thing for me personally is that I can remember all of that era and can vouch for everything Kenny says – it was a truly wonderful time for Montrose FC and us fans. Those of us old enough to remember will forever be indebted to Kenny and all those he mentions for giving us so much pleasure, yet, it somehow does not seem like 30 odd years ago.

Thanks for the memories Kenny and best wishes to you and your family as life goes on.

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Lex Law

Time Tunnel see’s it from an opponent’s point of view.

So far this season we’ve had and will continue to have opinions from Montrose fans, ex-players, ex-managers, club volunteers and backroom staff. This week however we’re featuring some ‘blasts from the past’ as seen by an ex-player who never played for the MO but who played against us on several occasions back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Lex Law was a one club man in senior football and signed for Queen of the South in 1964 and remained loyal to Queens until his final season there in 1975/6. He was what we would then have called an inside forward  and scored 68 goals for Queens but I dare not ask him how many were against the Mo – I fear the answer! Playing for Queens was very much a family thing. To begin with his father Jacky Law played for them from 1937 to 1949. Lex’s brother Jacky Law Jnr also played for Queens from 1962 to 1967 so also played against the Mo. Lex  had admirers in the football world, indeed there were I’m told, numerous transfer enquiries but he had a good job as a PE teacher in the area and to give all that up for a jump into the unknown must have been a torment going on in his mind more than once. I bet he still wonders, what if? Lex says ‘ I retired from football in 1976 and then devoted more time to teaching PE at the same school for 35 years in Carlisle.  I am proud of the fact that we produced lots of good professional footballers who played for big clubs – and even one manager!  These days I rarely miss a Hearts game at Tynecastle as despite my Queens connections Hearts were always my boyhood team.

HIS MEMORIES OF GAMES AGAINST MONTROSE

This is how Lex recalls his playing days and against Montrose in particular:-
Despite the odd freak result, games against Montrose were always difficult. As a team they were well organised and over the years they had some very good footballers. As a result they were always a hard team to beat. I always remember playing at Links Park. The ground was nice and compact and despite small crowds there was a good atmosphere. On one occasion I remember taking a throw in when just before I released the ball, one of the spectators tapped me on the shoulder and wished me luck! (Ed: Ok who was it, about time you owned up!).  Queen of the South had many good players in my time. Three that I consider to be the best were Alan Ball (goalkeeper), John Murphy a tough tackling midfielder and my brother Jacky Law, a superb winger. Alan Ball would undoubtedly have played for Scotland if he’d been Scottish and ranked alongside Ray Henderson who played for Queens in the 1950’s and who was widely acclaimed as one of the best uncapped keepers of his time.  I enjoyed playing in the 60’s and 70’s and have fond memories of that period and yes, I do also have a soft spot for Montrose. We were always made very welcome and were always given a hard match there and as a result we treated the Mo with a healthy respect. I played against Montrose many times and played against and read about many of their players. My memory fades but I’m sure me and my brother had a hand in two sixes and a seven against the Mo but they were freak results as Montrose had many great players themselves. Dennis D’Arcy as I recollect was a very dominant central defender who never gave an inch. Solid as a rock and built like one. Bobby Livingstone was very similar to myself in that he only ever played for one senior club. He was a terrific goalscorer and we always found it hard to shut him out of a game. Gordon Crammond was another who springs to mind. Small in stature like myself and very left sided but he had one attribute I didn’t have, the ability to tackle hard. The list could go on.’

I played for Scotland in the Junior World Cup in Germany and it was a tremendous feeling to pull on the Scottish jersey and to have played alongside the great Willie Johnstone and Peter McCloy of Rangers. Johan Cruyff was in the Dutch junior side that year.

Looking at the Scottish game today I think it would be better to go back to the old system with larger leagues playing each other twice only.

Recently Lex re-visited every ground in the 4 divisions in one season. A trip down memory lane but the Montrose trip was an amazing one. Lex arrived at Links Park in beautiful sunshine and a clear blue sky, watched the warm up, got a pie, sat down and then heard at 2.55pm the game was off as it was too windy (Ed: it was QP last season, I was there as well!). Eventually Lex intends to write a book on his experience down memory lane and promises me that Montrose will get a favourable mention.

A lovely fella and a proud grandfather now but Lex, I don’t ever want to know how many goals you and your brother netted against us. That might just make me not like you any more!

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Brem Bruce

Time Tunnel persuades Brem Bruce to search his memories.

Even if you seldom or never come into the main stand at Links Park you will probably know or certainly have heard of ‘Brem.’  He is a fan with Mo blood flowing through his veins if ever there was one. He seems to spend a large part of his life in and around the stadium and getting stuck in behind the scenes on a match day from start to finish. These days he spends his time organising things ‘upstairs’ in the Willie Johnstone lounge before, during and after a home game. The names of those attending via the lounge are recorded. Have they paid or are they sneaking in? Got to have names on a list so that enough pies, sarnies, cups and saucers are there and ready for half time. These days you get a half time voucher as well in case of sneakers in – quite right too. When all is under control in the WJ, Brem ventures out into the seating area to distribute team sheets to the media people (and people like me who cadge one off him) before going back inside to make sure those in the WJ are behaving themselves – and have signed in! These are probably only a few of the things he does but the point is, clubs like ours need lads like Brem Bruce and younger volunteers like Chris Smith who work tirelessly for the cause.

In amongst his numbers for pies and cups and saucers lists, team sheets and so on I caught up with him and asked him a few of my usual questions. Here are some of his thoughts given briefly – well he had his signing in list to attend to, then the pies and those possible sneakers in.


How long have you been coming to Links Park?

Over 50 years.


What are your duties at Links Park?

Steward in the Willie Johnstone lounge.


Do you go to any away games these days?

No.


What do you think are the main reasons why attendances have dropped?

Poor results.


Looking back, which period in time do you remember best?

The 1950’s

Which players do you remember stood out?

Bobby Livingstone, Gordon Crammond, Frank Sandeman, David Larter.


Which players irrespective of their ability do you think were the real characters?

Denis D’Arcy.


Who was the most outstanding Manager Montrose ever had?

Alex Stuart.


Pick a highlight, one which immediately springs to mind, something you will never forget.

The epic cup games against Hearts and Hibs.


Is there a particular game or moment you will never forget but for all the wrong reasons?

Brem missed out on this question, he just loves the club so much.


Which other team’s result is the first you look out for?

Hearts.


Do you think we should stick with 10 team divisions or go back to bigger divisions?

Bigger divisions playing each other twice only.


Who was Montrose’s best ever player in your time?

The Kemp brothers, Bobby and Jimmy.


Any other snippets you want to share with us?


Almost got a game for Queen of the South against Montrose when they were short of players.

I earned £20.

(Ed; I still think that’s a wind up but I have my ‘mole’ at QoS checking it out and an article in this series will follow shortly from an ex QoS player from the 1960’swho will recall his encounters against the Mighty Mo).

Thanks Brem, keep up the good work and keep the pies coming, the place would never be the same without you.

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Ian Hair

Time Tunnel talks to former Mo player Ian Hair.

If you followed MFC about 30 years ago you will undoubtedly remember midfielder Ian Hair and probably for more than one reason. He played for us from 1976 until 1981 which included two classic cup games against Celtic. Another reason for remembering Ian is for his, well how should we put it – his, errr his, well shall we say his erratic hairstyle? A bit like a bushy wrap around I suppose but Ian insists it was the style those days! Well…… Ok. Anyway it was a pleasure to catch up with him and here is what he told us :-


Briefly summarise your career in senior football.

Played for Scotland schoolboys at Wembley then signed for Aberdeen in July 1971 age 16, broke into the first team in 1974 and went on to play 100 first team games scoring 6 goals. Played in the UEFA cup in 1974 against Finn Harps and then Tottenham who beat us and went on to the final. Fell out with the manager Ally McLeod and asked for a transfer. Signed for Montrose in 1976 for £7,000 having turned down an offer from Bertie Auld at Partick Thistle. Played at Links Park until 1981 when a knee injury and business commitments forced me to retire.


What are you doing these days?

I was involved in newspaper distribution and then bought the Four Mile Inn at Bucksburn, Aberdeen where I was mine host for 11 years but sold it 8 years ago and I’m fully retired now.


What were the highlights of your days at Montrose?

Probably playing Celtic in the quarter final of the League Cup in 1981. We drew 1-1 at Links Park, I scored the goal (ours that is!) and should have scored another. We lost the second leg 3-1 at Parkhead.


Any cringe moments you care to recall?

A 1-1 draw at Arbroath when I scored both goals, The own goal was a cracker!


Who was the joker in the dressing room?

Ian Stewart. He once threw a bucket of freezing water over Bobby Street in the showers and, knowing Bobby would get his own back, Ian put Bobby’s clothes on. Needless to say Bobby threw a bucket of water over his own clothes.


Which was your favourite away ground?

Ibrox where I remember when playing for Aberdeen we beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup.


Who apart from you do you think were the best Montrose players in your day?

Les Barr, big Dennis D’Arcy, Bobby Livingstone, Gary Murray, Malcolm Lowe, Dougie Robb, Streety, we had a good squad in those days.


What are you most proud of in your football career?

Proudest moment is being able to say I played at Wembley and Hampden even though the latter was only against Queens Park. Also I scored against both Rangers and Celtic.

Anything else come to mind?

Whenever I played for Aberdeen against Celtic my job was to man mark Kenny Dalglish and kick him if I could get near him, a task that was near impossible.
The 5 or so years I spent at Montrose though were magnificent, probably the most enjoyable years in my football career.


Any regrets?

Although Ian didn’t specifically mention it, in conversation he said that at one time he had been tipped for Scotland under 23 honours and a move to Tottenham but neither happened. That must have been a huge disappointment for such a talented and committed player.

Ian hopes to be at the Peterhead game on 1st October. It will be great to see him again and he can always be assured of a warm welcome back at Links Park. And, get your hair cut before you come Ian!!

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Bobby Livingstone

Time Tunnel gets a bit of feedback from Bobby Livingstone.

Over the years much has been said about Bobby Livingstone and more than one fan I’ve spoken to from the same era refer to him as ‘The king.’ Fellow players I’ve spoken to say he was the consummate professional and there can be no better accolade than such praise from your fellow professionals. Bob, as he calls himself now, we always called him Bobby, played 319 times, scoring 126 goals and creating many more for The Mo after his signing from Aberdeen Sunnybank in 1967 by then Manager Norman Christie.

In year 2000 Montrose football historian David Smith wrote ‘Regarded by many as the finest player ever to wear a Montrose jersey, Bobby was The King of the Dynamo.’ Who could argue with that? For those of us old enough to remember his playing days he was truly immense and when he wanted to he could glide past the opposition with ease and pick out his final ball well. My recollection is that he was by no means fast but he had the ability to put his foot on the ball, look up and send it where he wanted it to go. He was the outlet for big Dennis D’Arcy and his defence – hoof it out to Bobby on the left and he’ll hold it until the rest of us re-group. That  Montrose was the only senior club Bobby ever played for is beyond belief but having said that, in his playing days Montrose were a force to be reckoned with. They finished third top of the second tier of Scottish football, they reached a Hampden semi-final and took Hearts to three titanic games in the Scottish Cup. These days a player of Bobby’s calibre would undoubtedly play at a higher level and leave behind a tidy sum in the Montrose bank balance.

Bobby came back to Links Park as Manager in 1979 when he took over from Kenny Cameron who himself was another of the 1970’s greats in a Mo shirt.

You will no doubt have heard of even more great stories about Bobby Livingstone but my purpose in catching up with him was to tap into his memory of that famous League Cup semi-final game at Hampden against Rangers. It was on Wednesday 8th October 1975 kick off 7.30pm. The programme cost 10p, Rangers were hot favourites and we were there to make the numbers up – or so everyone else thought. Manager Alex Stuart and his troops had other ideas having already dumped Raith,
St Mirren, East Fife and Hibernian out in earlier rounds with Bobby having scored 5 times in that run.
Montrose started at a high pace and outplayed Rangers in the first half going in at half time 1-0 up virtue of Les Barr’s spot kick. As I recall Bobby Livingstone then hit the post which is when a ‘Gers fan behind me bellowed ‘ For f---- sake Rangers we’ll never win if that wee team get another one.’  

So what can Bob Livingstone recall of that game? In a recent e-mail he says @My brain cells are dying at a helluva rate but I remember the first half well and them not being able to get the ball of us. We were having a great 45 minutes and leading them 1-0 at half time and then getting a great opportunity to cut one back to Kenny Cameron with McCloy (the Rangers keeper)  out of the picture but Millar managed to get in a challenge and put the ball out for a Montrose corner. The thing about the second half was that they equalised more or less from our corner kick at the other end. We had a great chance again to make it 2-0 as it fell I think to Stuart Markland (Mo defender)up for the corner and that great muckle lanky ******!!  Anyway, McCloy saved it with some part of his anatomy and they broke away up the right and that wee ***** McLean crossed it perfectly for Parlane to net the equaliser. Instead of 2-0 to us it was 1-1 all within a few seconds. The rest as they say, is history. Bob goes on to say @ I was friendly with Colin Jackson the Rangers centre half and he said that Jock Wallace, the Rangers manager, gave them one of the biggest roastings ever at half time, saying that some of the Montrose players had just finished work that afternoon and then had a long trip on a bus to Hampden. They (we) were competing with them all over the park – and to think if that second goal had gone in we would have played Celtic in the final and qualified for Europe as the Buoys had already qualified for the European Cup.’

 Not long after in Bobby’s playing days, in March 1976 in fact the Mo almost made it into Europe again as they were within seconds of beating Hearts in the Scottish Cup. Had they won they would have played Dumbarton in the semi-final and had already won the league game 6-0 at Dumbarton just a few weeks earlier. As it happened Hearts played Rangers in the final and qualified for Europe as Rangers had already qualified for the European Cup.

As I said earlier, who could argue with those who still refer to Bob Livingstone as ‘The king.’ Today he is Sales and Marketing manager for a Company near Aberdeen but I bet his mind still wanders back to his days playing for the Mo. Thanks for the memories Bob.Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Andrew Stephen

In the tunnel today is Andrew Stephen

Andrew is nowadays a director at Montrose FC as well as being the matchday programme editor. If you sit in the main stand at Links Park you will also get the idea that he does a heck of a lot more at the club as he is usually seen scurrying around all the game as if he can’t sit still for long! So, I thought it would be a good idea to put Andrew in the Time Tunnel today to find out a bit more about him.

Andrew, I understand you started to edit the Montrose matchday programme when you were just 14 years old. Is that right and how did it come about?

It all started I suppose when I was at Southesk Primary School and the deputy head teacher at the school was Bill Coull. He was Montrose FC club secretary at the time and that’s what got me started with the Montrose FC bug! I went along one summer to Links Park in 1981 and helped tidy up the ground with the junior supporters club with commercial manager Jim Webster. He then got me to put together a hand written programme for the match against Albion Rovers in September 1981 and programmes continued until Jim left. I got together with a few school friends in 1983/84 to get the programme started again and I have edited every issue since!

Did you go straight into the printing business when you left school, if not what else did you do?

I started as an apprentice in Forfar before then going back to college in Dundee and Perth. After leaving college with an HND in computing in 1994 I started work at a printers in Brechin. After the owner retired in 1999 I set up my own business City Press Printers with a work colleague and we haven’t looked back.

Your business prints programmes for other football clubs, can you tell us which ones?

At the moment we print for Alloa Athletic and Dumbarton and have done so for a number of years. We also print for local junior sides Montrose Roselea and Carnoustie Panmure. In the past we have printed for Hamilton Accies, Brechin City, Forfar West End and Lochee United.

Apart from being a Director and editing and producing the programme what else do you do at the club and particularly when I see you scurrying around during a game?

I am in charge of the club office on a match days doing the teamlines for the referee etc as well as teamlines for the lounges and boardroom. It also involves keeping in touch with the referee, playing the music and announcing the teams etc. I am also the person who signs all the players for the club first team and youth sides. So it does take up a bit of time.

Have you kept a personal collection of every programme you have produced and does the club have an ‘official’ collection?

I have kept a copy of every programme I have produced. I suppose the club doesn’t have an official collection but I know myself and kitman Robert Ogg do have a lot of Montrose programmes between us. (added by Sassmo – my wife says I do as well, and she’s right!)

Have you always lived in the Montrose area and how did you start supporting Montrose?

Yes I have always lived in Montrose. I suppose my first answer explains why Montrose FC. I went along to my first match in April 1979 against Stirling Albion (2 – 0 Stirling, two goals from Kerr McGibbon) and haven’t stopped coming. Went a spell between March 1988 and September 1997 (when my cousin got married) without missing a match. Not so easy to go to all the matches now with having a family but I do try my best!

I know you go to lots of away games, which are your favourite trips out?

Favourite trips would probably be the local derbies as you get home quickly. I do also like trips to Elgin City, Ross County and Inverness.

You’ll remember the days when crowds of 2000+ were common at LP but now with much lower crowds, how difficult is it to get voluntary help with things now?

I don’t really remember crowds that big personally but it would be great if crowds like that happened again. We have a lot of good volunteers at Montrose  but the more the merrier.

Is there anything in particular that more volunteer support could do during the week or on matchdays?

Man the turnstiles, help sell Montrose Lucky Numbers, sell match programmes, basically anything to help the club raise more money.

Pick a highlight or two from your past Mo watching.

Winning the league in 1984/85. I was still at school and I still remember it to this day. It was such a brilliant season. Seven 1 – 0 wins in a row and just such a good set of players who loved the club and where managed superbly by Ian Stewart. I didn’t think I would have to wait so long to see another championship win!
The victory over Hearts at Tynecastle in August 2006 was also an amazing night. School the next day was just a great feeling.
Winning promotion to the first division in May 1991 was also brilliant at Dumfries, what a day. The following season we beat Dundee at Dens 2 – 1 on the final day of the season after they were crowned champions in front of 8,000 fans that was good.
Beating Arbroath 5 – 0 at Links Park a few years back was also a great way to start the year.
More recently the 8 – 1 win against Clyde was a highlight!

Is there a ‘lowlight’ you care to mention – can understand if you prefer to skip this one.

The seasons when we have finished bottom of the pile. The heavy derby defeats. The untimely death of Allan Kennedy these have all been low points.

Which other teams’ result is the first one you look out for?

Nottingham Forest, Montrose Roselea and Fort William.

With the benefit of hindsight is there anything you might have done differently in your time at MFC?

Not gone to so many away games when I have missed weddings, family functions etc!

Finally, who in your opinion was the greatest ever servant of Montrose FC – name more than one if you wish?

Les Barr – a true legend. With Gary Murray, John Sheran, Mark Craib and Ian Stewart not far behind.

Anything else you want to mention?

Please come and support your LOCAL team and please bring a friend or two.

I’ve deliberately not asked Andrew for his thoughts and aspirations for the coming season as he will be just as optimistic as the rest of us fans and even if he wasn’t it would be unwise to tell us. Clubs like ours need lads like Andrew and time will no doubt record him as one of the clubs greatest servants.

Sassmo

 

Time Tunnel - Les Barr

In the Tunnel today is Les Barr - The One and Only, the 75 yarder King of Links Park!
                    
If you followed MFC in the 1970’s you will undoubtedly remember Les Barr. Even if you were not around in those days you will no doubt have heard about Les who is more frequently, even nowadays simply referred to as ‘The Legend.’ He first came to Links Park as a player in early 1971 and made 214 first team appearances before moving to his home town club Dundee FC. He made 103 appearances for them before finishing his senior football career again with Montrose with a further 213 appearances. He was a right full back, not that you would have known it though as he scored 62 goals in his senior career and though some of his goals were scored from the penalty spot he equally lashed in quite a few from every distance and angle of the pitch.

The Tunnel caught up with Les when he visited LP for the game against Rangers in December. I can tell you – he’s not changed much in the years he’s been away ! It is a privilege to catch up with Les and put him in the The Tunnel today to get his recollections of those goings on in one of our halcyon periods.

I think I got it right above but maybe you can briefly summarise your career in senior football.

Yes, I joined Montrose in 1971 from Stobswell Juniors and stayed at Links Park until 1978 when I was transferred to Dundee. I moved back to Montrose in 1982 and saw out my playing days there. That was not the end of me at LP however as I went back in 1989 for Jim Leishman and Cammy Fraser to coach the reserve team for 2 years.

Where are you based now and what are you doing these days?

I stay in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. I’m not involved in football now as music is my hobby. I don’t work either as I had a bad accident at work when I broke my leg but I still get about Ok now.

So, lets settle it – just talk us through that goal against Hibs and was it 30, 40, 50, 60 or more yards out?

I feel we could settle this once and for all because it stands vividly in my mind. It was just outside the 18 yard box at the mighty Mo shed end. A fluke it might have been, hurricane assisted it could have been, but Hibs keeper Jim McArthur came out of his goal with all reasons best known to himself. The ball bounced before him and then bounced about 5 times into the net. Kenny Cameron could have put it in but decided to let me have a moment of glory which will stay with me for the rest of my days. I think there was a bit of exaggeration to say Concorde did a loop the loop over Glaxo and that grown men wept and that the Chilvers factory came out to celebrate.

Another goal I recall was the penalty against Rangers in the Hampden semi-final. Tell us what you recall of that game.

The goal against Rangers in 1975 was special. I can remember changing my mind 3 or 4 times as I was going up to take the penalty. It seemed Peter McCloy’s hands were touching both posts so I just smashed the ball to his right. He got a hand to it but could not stop it. The most memorable incident in that game was when I clashed with John Greig on the halfway line. I was a bit dazed (he was a big lad) and when my focus came back he was standing over me with a vicious look on his face and saying ‘don’t come back son.’ I was only a young lad but I can remember that look on his face as if it was yesterday.

In your second spell with The Mo you collected a Champions medal as I think an ever present in the team. Tell us a bit about that season.

My second spell with MFC was very special under Ian Stewart and John Smith. They are the best coaching team I have ever been under, getting the best out of the players available. I don’t think I would have played as long as I did if it was not for their motivation and organisation. That was the main ingredient for the success we had in that spell. It was down to their management skills and their approach to games tactically. Awareness was top of the list, they made you feel as if you were a top player and they had us playing to our strength which was a solid back four. We had six 1-0 wins in a row and going to places like Stenhousemuir and Stranraer on a Wednesday night and digging out results was amazing.

Any other particular highlights come to mind from your days at Montrose, e.g. the Hearts games?

I remember the Hearts games alright. I can remember the first game against them as their fans were throwing their scarves on the pitch in disgust with only a minute to go. They were about to take a throw in which led to the equalising goal. He was about to take the throw in but there were scarves in the way so he stopped to move them, took the throw in and  Shaw snatched the equaliser. I wonder if that pause to move the scarves resulted in us momentarily losing our concentration. Another highlight was that Hibs game of course as their side was full of internationals.  Yet another great game was against Raith Rovers when the Mo overturned a deficit to win 5-4 – that was special. But although I played in those special eras my favourite memory was not on the pitch, it was after the Hibs game when we went into the British Legion after the game and this supporter asked me to sign his scarf with a black pen. He said he was going to put the scarf around the gravestone of his granddad who had passed away 6 weeks before and he had been an avid Mo fan.
In all the time I played I never saw him again and had never seen him before that night. Even now when I see Dave Smith and his mates they still speak about these two special eras with great passion and I have always said yes it’s great to be a footballer. But you ask any fan about games from the past and they will tell you things that happen during a game that you could never remember yourself. I love that enthusiasm.

Any cringe moments you care to recall?

No, none at all.

I guess it was a happy ‘dressing room’ in those days but tell us about some of the banter you recall and the nightmares in there, apart from you that is?

It was a very happy dressing room and that gave us the togetherness a team needs to be successful. The banter was great at that time and you would turn up with your toilet bag with bottles of shampoo, deodorant and by the time you left your bag was empty, players just helped themselves to your stuff. If big Dennis D’Arcy took your shampoo there was no way you were going to do anything about it. I used to put deep heat cream into 2 or 3 of the players underwear and as they were on their way out you could see them starting to scratch – great times.
I remember one really cold night we were training, I went back early to the changing room and made the tea for the boys. As they were coming in I was handing them their teas, they were sitting down cold hands around the cups and I said ‘how’s the tea lads.’ They were all praising me saying it was great when I pulled my muddy socks out of the teapot. They were spitting tea out all over the place. Those were some of the things that went on although others can’t be put in writing. (Ed: sounds like a few pints are going to be necessary!)

Who was the best player in the squad, apart from you?

It’s a team game but wee Gordon Crammond and big Bob Livingstone were blessed with real talent. Then there was big Dennis D’Arcy who let you know if you were not pulling your weight – a born leader. The fans loved those guys and it was a great team to be part of.

Who, apart from you, looked  after their appearance best?

We had a goalie called Davie Gollan, a Dundee lad in the early 70’s always immaculately dressed even at training. Right out of Burtons window he was. The worst was probably myself. I would turn up for training after coming straight off a removal van after shifting pianos all day and still in my working gear. In fact where I stayed the pigeons were throwing bread at us! Thieves broke in once and re-decorated the place.

Which was your favourite away ground and why?

I loved going to Starks Park but my favourite ground was Rugby Park. It was always like a bowling green and seemed very wide which suited me.

Do you still get to watch Montrose these days?

Love to see the mighty Mo doing well. When you are with a team for 15 years you feel a bond with the club, the place, and the fans. I get up now and again but as I play music it’s hard to get up regularly.

 
What do you think is best, small divisions playing each other four times or larger ones playing each other twice?

Larger leagues playing each other twice only. Maybe I’m being unfair but I think if you have larger divisions you have more chance of more derby games and I just loved playing in those. I know a lot disagree but I think they should go back to sharing the gate as well home and away so we could all get a fair crack of the whip – just my opinion.


What are you most proud of in your total football career?

I was lucky to play in a league cup final, win the first division and play three times for the Scottish League Select but the thing that I’m most proud of is when I received the Player of the Decade award from the Montrose Supporters. I think if you are remembered by the fans who pay their money theirs is the greatest accolade you could wish for. Mo fans really are that special to me.

Any regrets?

None with Montrose but with Dundee when I left I had the chance to go to Chicago to train a football team in USA – but no other regrets.

Anything else you would like to mention about your time at Montrose?

Yes, lots. I would like to pay homage and respect to all the backroom staff over the years at Montrose. The 70.’ Charlie Whyte, John Hannah, Carol and Sandra the tea girls. In the 80’s Brian Leiper, George Ferris and a young Montrose legend Andrew Stephen. Those people who are never in the spotlight are the backbone of the club. More important than anything else though are the fans.

Thank you for allowing me to give you an insight into my career, much appreciated. Les.

Ed: I’ve conducted some interviews in my time but this one with Les Barr is up there and in the words of that famous song ‘Simply the best, better than all the rest.’ Those words could also easily be said about Les himself. That’s not to take anything away from any other but I could feel the Montrose ‘thing’ oozing out of him. For people of the same vintage like me who watched many Mo games in his time with us I re-lived all those moments he described. A wonderful interview with a very special person (Les that is – not me!) Thanks Les, see you again at LP soon hopefully. Home is where the heart is.

Sassmo

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