Forfar Athletic v Montrose
Ladbrokes SPFL League 1
Station Park, Forfar
Saturday 21st September 2019
Kick Off: 3.00m
League 1 Table 2019/20
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.
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?
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?
Who was Montrose’s best ever player in your time?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
What do you think are the main reasons why attendances have dropped?
Looking back, which period in time do you remember best?
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?
Who was the most outstanding Manager Montrose ever had?
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?
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.