Ex- Player Memories

Memories From Lord MacFarlane
While looking through some papers the other day I came across one or two interesting items (at least to me) which I thought you might like to see copies of.

The first is the letter which I received from the Club in 1944 asking if I would play a trial game – it does seem a long time ago. I am also enclosing a copy of the Hampden XI Cup Tie Match, in which I played at Inside Forward when David Letham came home on leave and I had the great good fortune of playing in front of him.

I am also enclosing a copy of the Strollers XI match against Third Lanark Reserves. This was a very good Strollers side in which Billy McPhail of Celtic fame and Walter Waddell, younger brother of Willie Waddell of Rangers played. Walter is still alive and living in North Berwick.

A copy of the Hamilton Accies match in which I managed to be a Reserve for the First XI but never actually, in the relatively short time I played, managed to make the First Team.

I remember receiving a letter from Jackie Gardiner suggesting that if I was playing rugby for the School in the morning I should not play football in the afternoon, which I presume was sound advice.

I went into the Army in August 1945 and unfortunately broke my neck in a swimming accident in Palestine in 1947, and obviously I did not play again for the Club after that.

As far as people I played with or trained with at that time you probably know of who are still alive, so I am not able to help from a historical point of view other than the above. Do let me know if there is anything further I might be able to do to help by way of contacting Queensparkers.


23 Responses to Ex- Player Memories

  1. Ron Jack says:

    This is a comment to prove that if someone as technically non gifted as myself can add to the Queensparkers Blog, then anyone can! I look forward to reading the memories of all our Queensparkers.

  2. jim nicholson says:

    Good to see familiar and new faces at the game on Saturday, the ball is firmly in our court to drive this forward. Does anyone have Jimmy Rooney’s contact details?

  3. Bill (Willie) McBride 1956/65 says:

    When the club decided to install floodlights at Hampden in 1961 they were under threat of losing mid-week International and Cup tie matches to Ibrox.
    The SFA wished to switch game kick-offs to the evening from the afternoon.

    Queen’s invited Rangers and Eintracht to provide the entertainment for the inaugural match.

    The Club Committee, under the guidance of President Jackie Gardiner, wished to
    ensure the first team to be seen play under the lights would be Queen’s Park. So
    two Queen’s teams took the field the week before the the Rangers match, with the TV cameras from BBC and STV there to record the historic moment.

    Jackie also wanted the first goal under the lights to be scored by a Queen’s Parker. Defenders were asked to “allow an opponent a crack at goal” to achieve this.
    Remember, this request is coming from one of the most competetive, “in your face” players ever to play in the “Hoops”.

    To Jackie’s chagrin, we all followed his playing philosophy, rather than acquiescing to his request and the game finished 0-0.

    Jackie was a recruit from John St. School, as was David Letham, David Holt, Eddie Hunter and yours truly, among others.

  4. Bill Pinkerton 1951/1961 says:

    In 1951 I was fortunate to sign for the Club, having come from BB Football and a Rugby playing school. In my early days I played in the Hampden XI and won a Scottish Amateur Cup Medal. The Secretary of the Hampden XI was one Tommy Hall and what a character he was. Hastie Weir and Morton Ramsay were the established keepers. However Hastie broke his arm at training and I found myself replacing him against Dundee United, not a good day!
    Training in those days under Willie Gibson was “2 laps of the track and 10 sprints”. All done under the bulkhead lights of the main stand.
    On light nights he had us running up and down the terracing. Those of us who trained under him will no doubt remember his “injury kit” comprising a bottle of liniment oil, bottle of iodine (for jock strap rash-ouch!) and a tin of poultice, which he took delight in making as hot as possible. Wonderful man.
    Prior to taking the Queen’s Shilling I had the good fortune to take part in the epic 3 match Glasgow Cup tie against Partick Thistle, losing out in the end to the toss of the coin going against us.
    I have some wonderful memories and cannot thank the Club enough for the chances and honours I received during my time at Hampden apart from my 2 years in the Army where I played along side Junior Omand in the Army Amateur XI. In fact while we were both stationed in England the Club flew us both home at weekends so that we could turn out for the Spiders.
    The icing on the cake was when I received my 3 Amateur Caps.
    It is indeed a privilege and a pleasure to still be connected to The Club.
    PS When I met Willie McBride recently he reminded me of the wonderful goal he scored. Unfortuately it was an “own goal” which went like a rocket past me.

    • John MacNeill says:

      Am I correct in recalling that the Queen’s Park programme once recorded that Bill Pinkerton had scored from 110 yards in a match at Lesser Hampden?

  5. Brian Herriot says:

    I would like to thank PG Buchanan for the recent invite to the Queens Park V Elgin City game. I had a thoroughly enjoyable day and it was a privilege to be in the company of such renowned footballers. Thanks also to Ann Buchanan. Long may the Queensparkers continue.


  6. Ron Jack says:

    Can I wish all Queensparkers a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year? Lets hope for lots of goals, points and a successful conclusion to the season!

  7. Donny McLean says:

    Donny McLean :Having been introduced to the Queensparkers’ blog by Willie McBride from his home in Canada and having read the contributions so far, I decided to share a few of my memories from my days at Hampden.Like Lord MacFarlane, I played in a team with one of my boyhood heroes – David Letham. I was 16 or 17, playing in my first season for the Hampden XI at Eaglesham and Davie was recovering from a long term injury and approaching the end of his career. It was an honour to be in the same side and a highlight of my football life. I’d been invited to train at Hampden after playing representative games for Glasgow Schoolboys and frequently played for the school, Rutherglen Academy, with my classmate and close pal, Niall Hopper, on a Saturday morning and then for the Hampden XI in the afternoon – no wonder I’m “knackered” now!!Like Willie and Bill, with both of whom I regularly played, my time at Hampden left a huge impression. I recall the training regime to which Bill referred. We used to joke that we could beat anyone at running up and down terracing steps – if not at football! I’ll never forget lapping the old Hampden running track and getting to the unlit North side where we could cut across the pitch and “complete” the circuit in record time: I wonder if Willie Gibson ever sussed us. He probably did when he saw the results on a Saturday!!I’m sometimes asked to name the best players I played with or against. The names usually surprise: my all time favourite opponent was Willie Fernie of Celtic, closely run by John White, then of Alloa before he moved to Tottenham. So far as teammates were concerned, I admired all of them!! I played in Niall’s first match at Hampden, against Brechin, I think. He was outstanding – a real Scottish winger, who could beat a couple of opponents and set up chances for colleagues. As I recall it, he had a standing ovation at the end. I was pleased to bask in the reflected glory!!I also remember playing in a less salubrious environment at Clyde Paper playing for the Hampden XI when Jimmy Robb played his first match in a QP jersey. It was obvious from his first touch that another exceptional talent had been uncovered. I was privileged to play with so many really good players and to be a member of a team which had in it another couple of my heroes – Bert Cromar and, above all, Willie Hastie. Willie was our skipper and was like a father figure to me, although he couldn’t have been more than 10 years or so older. When I reflect back to 50 odd years ago, I find it hard to separate fact from fantasy. Did Willie really tell us to “retaliate first” before we went out to the park? Of one thing I’m sure and that is the rollicking he’d deliver to me for not getting back quickly enough to defend after I’d lost the ball trying to be too clever somewhere upfield! Which happened rather too frequently! However, maybe another surprise, the best QP player of my time was Andy McEwan. Andy was a centre forward, converted from wing half. He left us to turn pro with Rangers and was never seen or heard of again after entering the marble entrance hall at Ibrox. What a loss.I could go on and on, but I sense my readers will be getting tired of an old man’s ramblings and will be turning off their laptops. Oh well, let’s hear from the rest of you. I might come back again to tell you about Bobby Dalziel teaching me to tackle : of Willie Black, to shoot : of….there I go again. After I read YOUR memories, if you’re lucky, I’ll tell you a story of an incident at Rugby Park (is it still there?): or maybe about cold pies in the Billiard Room : or maybe about Jim Cruikshank, aged about 12, keeping goal at Lesser: or maybe about a dust up between Jimmy Hewlett and Alex Ferguson: or maybe tell you why I turned down overtures from other clubs – no not because I was too slow or too lazy : or maybe about Adidas boots….but firstly let’s hear from YOU.Finally, here’s wishing you a happy Christmas and a guid new year.

  8. Dougie Orr 1955/63 says:

    Having met up with Willie McBride at a Queensparkers event last year, he E-Mailed from Canada asking whether some of us were suffering from amnesia as at that stage there had not been much input into “The Blog” Having just read Donny McLean’s recent contribution I look forward to his next instalment.His comments about Willie Hastie really rang a bell. As a new young player at Hampden Willie took me under his wing dropping me off where I lived near The Kelvin Way on his way home to Jordanhill after each training night.
    Junior Omand even recruited me for his unit of The Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery where I carried out my National Service.
    I remember vividly Donny’s reference to Jimmy Hewlett & Alex Ferguson. The practice match at Lesser was stopped by Eddie Turnbull who sent both players to the gym to put on the boxing gloves & settle their differences that way. Back they came 20 mins later arms around each other & got on with the game. Sorry Donny!!
    A lingering memory I have is in the 60s persuading some of my family to come along to Hampden to watch me play. I was having a slightly worse than mediocre game playing on the left wingin front of the main stand .I was somewhat encouraged by a shout from the crowd “COME ON ORR- GIVE US SOME OF YOUR OLD MAGIC” . This was quickly followed by a second voice “AYE BLOODY WELL DISAPPEAR”

  9. Bill (Willie) McBride 1956/65 says:

    Perpetuation of a Myth.
    How many times have you been confronted by the loudmouth telling
    everyone within ear-shot that Queen’s Park players are paid “under
    the table”?
    The scene; The Home Dressing Room, Hampden Park, the game kit laid
    out in the usual manner prior to kick off. Strollers vs. Queen of the South reserves.
    A young left-winger on trial for the Strollers sits nervously on the edge
    of the bench, noticably over-awed to be in the spot where so many of the
    great players must have sat, before playing in Cup Final or International matches.

    In comes Donny McLean. With a wink to some observers, he proceeds to
    his boots under the bench and , closely watched by the young trialist, pulls out
    a Five Pound Note! ( A fair amount of money in the early 60’s, and about the size
    of half the front page of The Record).
    Donny threw down his boot, and in mock anger, said something to the effect that a Fiver was not enough for him and he was off to protest to ‘someone’.

    As Donny disappeared out the door, the the young trialist’s eyes were like saucers and his mouth opened wide. SO IT IS TRUE, he must have been thinking!!

    No one thought to inform this young man that it was a prank. So there is someone out there who will testify on a stack of Bibles that, YES, Queen’s Parkers are indeed paid…….
    He witnessed it!

    Footnote: Whenever I submitted a ‘Chit’ for expences, claiming 5s 11d I was not paid 6s. Hamish Logan’s books had to balance!

    Or maybe it is not a myth and, all that time, I had a hole in my boot?!?

  10. Bill Pinkerton 1951/1961 says:

    Cash in the boot myth.
    Upon reading Donny and Willie’s tales about the “cash in the boot myth”, it brought back a memory of the time I guested with Salisbury Town, prior to going overseas with the Army. After my first match with them I was handed the “wee brown envelope” by the secretary and on asking him what it was for, knowing full well what his reply would be, I informed him I could not accept it. He then expressed surprise at my refusal and the fact that I said it would compromise my amateur status. He then told me that at least 3 members of the team were full English Amateur Caps and there was no problem with them accepting payment.
    It was obvious then, and it is still the case now, that Queen’s carry on the true
    amateur tradition which alas is missing in many other sports.

  11. john taylor says:

    MayI take this opportunity of thanking everybody connected to the QUEENSPARKERS for the courtesy extended to me during the course of my visit to HAMPDEN last Saturday 3rd April.
    It was great to meet up with “old” friends and ex teammates loke Peter Buchanan, Malky MCKay Miller Hay, Ian Campbell Colin Emery, John McGlaughlin and of course my old pal Tam Gardiner.
    Having spent 10 seasons with the Queens it was wonderful to bring back a lot of happy memories. JohnTaylor qpfc 1964-1973
    Long may it flourish

  12. Ron Jack says:

    I would wish all Queensparkers a Happy and Relaxing Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Let’s hope for more goals and points in the second half of the season!

  13. Bill (Willie) McBride says:

    The present cold and snowy weather brings back memories of the 1959 Ne’erday game at Hampden against Dumbarton.
    We kicked off in decent conditions and had no indication of what lay ahead!
    It started to rain and the wind got up…then the temperature quickly dropped. Most of the second half was played in blinding rain and now freezing temperature. The pitch was by now like a quagemire and any attempt at football was almost impossible.
    I recall a photo in a newspaper of Celtic ‘keeper Dick Beattie hanging on to a goalpost, bedraggled, pleading with the referee to stop the ‘Old Firm’ game….it was that bad!
    That night a freeze set-in and Hampden was left with rutted footprints about 4″ deep and totally unplayable. Although Queen’s played a game in Brechin on the 3rd of January, the whole Scottish Football schedule was disrupted for weeks, Queen’s finally restarting on Jan. 24th.

    Not the end of the story!!
    January 1st. was the Club’s New Year Party held at a hotel on Bath St.
    As we thankfully dragged our weary bones into the warmth of the dressing-room, Dick Baxter, the long time loyal club servant, informed us that the water boiler was on the ‘fritz’…so no hot bath tonight boys!
    What a journey home to get cleaned up for the evening “Do”.

    All this misery did not deter us from enjoying the customary entertainment served up at the party by the likes of Alex West giving us his rendition of “Cockles and Mussels Alive, Alive O”, or Davie Holt’s “Daddy’s Little Girl”.

    Also, for the Historian and Records Keeper, the team records for this game show Ian Drainer at Right Back and “A.N. Other” at Left Back. In fact Ian was a late call-off and I played at RB and the LB position was filled by Jim McLeod.
    I had few enough 1st team appearances without being robbed of one.
    Any chance of a correction?
    It’s now 16:30 on New Year’s Eve in Canada, so here’s wishing all the readers the Very Best in 2011 and may the team start bringing home the points and providing the
    supporters with happy memories!!

    Best Wishes Willie McBride

  14. Richard Budniak says:

    I recently started researching my family tree and discovered that Eddie Stanley Garvie played centre forward for Queens Park fc before ww1. Eddie was my great uncle and was brought up at Terregles Avenue Pollockshields.
    He played between 1909 and 1914 and was mentioned in a very interesting story about George Frew a famous Scottish International Rugby Player who jointly owned a dye works in Larkhall.
    In the article a mention is made regarding those lost in WW1 including Eddie Garvie
    who was in the same regiment as George Frew; the 5th Queens Own Cameron Highlanders. Many sportsmen were killed in that war and George took a hit at the Battle of Loos. Amongst those killed says George was Eddie Garvie, well known to the football-loving public of Scotland as the Queens Park centre half.
    Eddie S Garvie was a Lance Corporal in the Cameron Highlanders and he was killed on the 15th October 1915. He was 23 years old and is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetry. He was the son of John Donaldson Garvie my Great Grandfather and Mary Douglas Shaw Haddow whose father owned the Cloch Hotel in Gourock.
    His brother Ernest Leonard Garvie who was a second Lieutenant in the Highland Light Infantry was killed at Esquelbecq on 15th June 1918 and is buried in the Military Cemetry there. He was awarded the Military Cross.
    I would love to know more about this family if anyone can help with my research please contact me at richardbudniak@hotmail.com

    • Hugh Barrow says:

      My interest in all things Hampden not from football directly but from athletics having raced there in many occasions
      However I note the reference to George Frew who was capped out of Glasgow HSFP and strangely played in the historic Rugby international at Hampden in 1906 when Scotland beat the Springboks and still have not repeated the feat 112 years later

  15. Donny McLean says:

    It was great to catch up with some OLD pals on Saturday – and the match result was a bonus. I thought the team played well and thoroughly deserved their victory with two really good goals, despite having gone one down to a well worked strike from Rovers. It was good to see QP trying to play the right way with good passing and movement – well done! If I lived closer, I could be tempted to become a regular fan, although I’m a rotten spectator, always thinking that I could do it better!
    The delicious pies at half time brought back memories of their far off cousins , which we had after (or before!) training every Tuesday and Thursday evening long ago. Except that the ones we had then were cold and full of grease! All laid out in the Billiard Room and taken alongside the tasteless rolls, it’s no wonder that we lost a few matches. We should have stuck to snooker.
    What a hero is Willie McBride. Coming all the way from Canada, to play in a six-a-sde against Albion Rovers over 40s on Lesser, he must have given our oldest opponent 30 years and yet he was the star of the show. A poor decision by our coach, saw Willie come off at half time and led to our defeat to a superior team. I’m sorry to say that my flight up from London was delayed which meant that I missed the contest and Willie’s great display, but he told me all about it and thus enabled me to share it here with you! Rumour has it that Willie came over not for the Queensparkers, but for a golf match with Davie Holt and Jim McQueen, Needless to say he reported that he won it, but had to injure Jim before the end , which left him to face up to Davie over the closing holes.
    Whilst reminiscing with Jimmy Robb, I was reminded of the time we met Bob Hope, during one of our QP golf trips to Turnberry. (Do they still take place?) Anyway, Mr Hope was staying at Turnberry and was performing in a charity show at the Glasgow Empire. Somehow he got to know that we were also guests at the hotel and he sent an aide to find some of us to go and have a drink and chat with him. I don’t remember much about the meeting, other than his parting remark, along the lines of “don’t forget, boys, if you’d like to come to the show, just go to the theatre’s stage door and tell the attendant who you are and that we met here. I know if you slip him a tenner (a large amount at the time) he’ll find a way to let you in!”.
    In a previous blog, I said that I’d share some other memories once I’d read some from YOU. Only Willie, Dougie and Bill have made the effort so far, so I know you’ll forgive me if I restict this piece to just one story, which is similar to the one Dougie told us about his magical powers, involving as it does, a spectator. We were playing at Rugby Park against a good Kilmarnock side. I don’t know what Rugby Park is like now, or even if it’s still there, but back in the late 50s the spectators were right on top of the players on the touchline. I had drifted out to the left to find space – no, not to take a breather – and was thus vey close to the crowd. Yes, we did get crowds at that time! At last Bert Cromar saw my ploy and heard my plaintiff cries for the ball. He swung a great crossfield pass and as I was thinking of my move, I took my eye off the ball and it slipped under my boot and ran out of play. I’m ashamed to say that I did a Wayne Rooney and uttered a phrase that seldom crossed my lips “oh, J—- C—–” The response was loud and immediate from the Killie fans and one quick witted soul earned himself the cheer of the day at my expense, by shouting out “he’s no there tae help ye, son”.
    Come on guys, you’re supposed to be the men with the educated feet, so let’s hear from YOU on the blog.
    Thanks to all the Queensparkers’ committee and Janice and Christine for organising these events and for helping us to keep in touch with friends of our youth.

  16. Jimmy Rooney says:

    Had a great day out before the Albion Rvs game managed to last the 6 a-side game and met great old pals in Jamie Paton, Jimmy Nicholson, Bobby Dickson, Lex Grant, Derek Atkins, Matt Mc Coll Gary Moore and Jimmy Gilmour. It was also nice to see my ex St. Mirren buddy Gardner Spiers. Still a fantastic club and proud to be a Queensparker. So sad to hear about my old team mate John McLaughlin. He was a great player and will be sadly missed. Great idea to keep in touch with good friends and ex players and stalwart fans like Keith.

  17. geoff linn says:

    Any info on my old P;e teacher david letham who coached at John st. great guy but nitghtmare training sessions (diving headers on red ash) still have the scars.
    is it true that he ran with both arms at his side?

  18. Brian McCue says:

    was lucky to have played with queens park fc for a few seasons when i left dunfermline
    coaching staff were great as were everyone behind the scenes with work commitments and a bit of bad luck, it just didnt work out, but loved it at queens and still look out every week for there scores

    all the best Brian McCue

  19. Ron Jack says:

    A very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year to all Queensparkers

  20. Barry Gardiner says:

    Now I’m not a Queen’s Parker myself… but my father Jackie Gardiner captained the club in the 1930s and played with other Queen’s Parkers for the British Team in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He went on to become club president in the 1960s. Although he died when I was eight in 1965 and certainly did not pass his footballing genes on to me ( I played with the oval ball), I have always followed the club from afar. Happily his grandson Jacob appears to have inherited his grandfather’s footballing abilities and is now playing at a high level (aged 15) for various clubs in the London area. We would love to hear from anyone who remembers Jackie Gardiner and particularly of any stories they know from his playing days. Given that a cruciate ligament injury meant that he played his last game for the club over 70 years ago, I suspect few will be left who can recall him as a player, but the stories of him as a hard — some would say — ruthless force in midfield may still be logged in some Queen’s Parkers memories. If so Jacob and I would love to hear them.
    Barry Gardiner

  21. Stuart Patterson says:

    I am not a QueensParker but have read all the foregoing memories with fascination whilst in the hope of finding a reference to an old pal of mine Alan (Grizzle) Gray.
    Alan and I became friends in the late 50’s when his family came “doon” the Costa Clyde to Girvan on holiday. As I recall his father was a detective (?) in Glasgow. Anyway, unbeknown to each other we both ended up on an SFA coaching course in Helensborough and,coincidentally, were paired with each other on one to one training exercises. I still remember the lumps he took out of me!
    I believe Alan stayed at Hamden until quite late in his footballing life before moving to St. Mirren at Love Street.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the memories posted and if anyone can tell me anything about Alan let me say thankyou in advance.

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