FIRST SEASON 1987/88
Here is a report of the first season from Manager Michael Higgins that first appeared in the Review of the Season publication back in 1988
All the photos from the first season can be found in the Photo Gallery or by clicking here
THE BOSS’ REPORT
Well, what a season that was.
It all started way back on 9th August with a 0-0 draw against Hearts at Queen’s Park Recs, the first ever goalless draw between two Supporters League teams. An inauspicious start if ever there was one. Two days later Gordon Hunter scored the first goal of the season against the Bower Bar with the prolific Own Goal adding a second.
August 30th saw the first League game and it ended in defeat to old rivals Meadowbank A (Team’85) 3-1. Kenny McLellan scored the first of many goals playing at the back with his twin Ronnie Burns.
Into September and our first League win, 3-0 over Alloa. Keeper Templeman keeps the hair out of his eyes and the ball out of the net for a League shut out.
October and we beat St.Johnstone 7-0 with McLellan scoring one of the best goals of the season. “Wilson shyed to McGilp and his lovely flick found McLellan who made finishing look easy with his shot”, as the Daily Record reported on the Monday.
The 25th of the month saw our first day out with a trip to Taynuilt. More folklore and history as John Drennan scored his first hat-trick. Crosshill Goal Machine fan clubs are set up all over the world with the Bombay Branch boasting 3 million members. Women name their children “Goal Machine” after John.
November 1st away to Dundee United turns out to be a big turning point for us. Injuries and suspensions force changes and Martin Harvey volunteers to go in goals while the Treble G (Giffnock Goal Getter) Kenny plays up front for the first time. He fails to score but we win 4-2 with Davie Nisbet scoring twice, the first a superb header.
The 22nd sees a 4-4 draw with Champions Dundee. Captain Campbell appears on the pitch as a sub. Who can forget Ronnie saying to him, “Iain, just don’t push anybody”. Push anyone, he couldn’t see anyone !
One the 29th Crazy Horse Donaldson, the Rutherglen Ram, plays his first game in a 2-1 defeat by Hibs at the Recs. This game is also remembered as the McLellan Nightmare as Kenny misses at least ten chances.
December sees the start of a run of victories starting with a 4-1 win over rivals Meadowbank A at Saughton. On the 13th we beat Dumbarton 6-5 at Toryglen with only 11 players including Campbell who arrived straight from Perth that morning with Davie Nis. Drennan scores another hat-trick and is declared a national hero in India, Brazil, Iraq and the Leeward Islands. His book “Goals Galore Watch Me Score” reaches sales of 100 million worldwide. What’s his reward ? Well he doesn’t play another League game all season. I miss the game through illness, something that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
After the winter break we start off where we left off and beat Raith Rovers 3-1 at the Recs and don’t we just love it. They weren’t dancing in the streets of Raith that night !
The next game see our highest League win, 7-2 v Hearts at Saughton, then it’s back down to earth with a bang as Rangers beat us 9-2 the following week.
In February we play Stirling Albion on the plastic pitch at Annfield. We surrender a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 and in the dying minutes Drennan misses an open goal from two yards. John claims he’s just being diplomatic leaving the score at 3-3. Despite this his statue in Milan is knocked to the ground and Mohammed Sunil Sharma, the Indian Goal Machine Fan Club President, kills himself. Half the team stay the night in Stirling and Alloa. For the first time, but not the last, I end up in the same bed as Reverend Raeburn BA. The bus leaves Stirling at 9am and we arrive at QP Recs in time to beat Dundee United 3-2. Ian Cameron of United tells us all that his team are second only to Rangers in the League.
Into March and our first sending off. The Bad Boy isn’t McAllister but Nisbet as we beat Alloa 1-0 at Tulibody on probably the worst park we’ve played on.
Marching on we beat Meadowbank B in Edinburgh the next day then Crazy Horse scores his first goal for the Club as we go down fighting 3-2 at Kirkcaldy.
We next play Stirling Albion in a friendly at QP Recs. Due to injuries your old Da plays for an hour and we win 2-1, the old skills never leave you.
The 26th of the month sees us lose 5-1 to St.Johnstone at the Recs, hard to believe. Perth exiles in Canada and New Zealand fly home for the celebrations and Gav and Sandy aren’t seen for weeks. Mind you the team that day was so bad that the Captain looked like the Pele of the team.
April sees two games against Hibs in Edinburgh. The first, a League game, ends 2-2 wetting everyone’s appetite for the following week’s League Cup tie. That Saturday night we head to our secret hideaway (any pub in Edinburgh). On the Sunday we lead Hibs 2-1 but somehow lose 3-2, a bitter blow to us all. Drowning our sorrows that night the Sumo Brothers, Harvey and Raeburn, manage to get themselves, and me, banned from the Afton.
The next week it’s back with a bang as we retain the Meadowbank Trophy by beating Team’85 3-2 at the Recs. Ronnie Burns receives the Trophy from local councillor Frank Courtney.
Off to Kirkcaldy in May for the Pentland Trophy. The first week we lose 2-1 to Meadowbank then beat Stirling Albion 3-0. Somehow Rocket Raeburn scores with his head, offers of marriage flood in from girls from Millport. The next week nine brave men lose 7-3 to Rangers. We score first after a minute and hold them to 3-3 at half time. Forty or so players from Cameroon go wild watching Mo Templeman’s goalkeeping.
On May 28th we head to London to play in the Anglo/Scottish Cup against Leyton Orient. We win our two games then beat Keith McAlister’s QP Amateurs in a penalty shoot out. That night we celebrated Stormy’s 21st at a disco laid on by the Leyton guys. After a rare bash in London we polish off the weekend with a day out in Blackpool.
Our last event of the season is the Hampden Trophy in June. We beat Hearts 2-0 then St.Johnstone 5-0 to qualify for the Final against Partick. A 2-1 win gives us the Trophy and Meadowbank win the Games Trophy for the second year in a row. It was another great success and a good way to end the season.
Even though it nearly killed Captain Campbell and I ended up in Leverndale it wasn’t a bad season. On the whole it was most enjoyable and I’d like to thank the players and everyone else, too many to mention, who played a great part in the adventure and I hope you all enjoyed it.
Well I better sign off now as the nurse has just put the lights out. How about some visitors ? No grapes, just vodka. But nurse I am Napoleon. Please nurse not another season. No, no, no not the straight jacket. But nurse, did I ever tell you about my goal at Saughton…………….
MICKY’S MAGIC MOMENTS
The steam coming off Barry Van Der Haniford’s testicles after they had stopped a certain goal against Stirling Albion
Derek Stronach thinking he’s a better player than Tubs Raeburn (well, who isn’t ?)
The Alloa 7’s – we won the Consolation Cup but never received a trophy. “Who put the ball in the Hearts B net ? Machine, Machine !”
Van Basten McLellan’s goals, just superb
Taynuilt, sheep and all
Ian Cameron of Dundee United, always a laugh
Telling Davie Nisbet I was doing pen pictures for the Hampden Trophy and Davie saying, “I didn’t know you could draw”
Martin Harvey diving on a dog’s shit at Saughton
Neil McAlister’s super cool passbacks, only five heart attacks last season, cheers
And Neil saying, “I don’t play offside”, well not from the halfway line anyway
Colin Stewart boxing with a Stirling defender at Annfield. Bring on Tyson !
Raeburn’s fifteen or more nicknames
Drennan’s vast array of silly hats, Isle of Mull tammy etc. Unreal !
Martin Harvey, the best player in the team for taking criticism, no way, no way
STIRLING – always a highlight, including:-
Nisbet grabbing a granny
Foxy trying to get into a night club
Campbell falling down a ditch
Raeburn’s jacket which would be too small for Raymie Martin
Gordon Hunter phoning home drunk from an Alloa pub
The Afton Hotel, the Wheatsheaf and our secret hideaway, Donald Campbell’s hoose
The Patron’s pixie hat and his piano playing
Campbell and Nisbet singing at Haymarket Station
Joe McMonagle lasting all of three minutes then getting pissed. Worse than when he’s sober.
Foxy trying to score, on the pitch
Lucy McGilp (?), just magic that day
Rab Graham doing his Bob Marley impression with the wacky baccy on the bus home
Ronnie Smith asking for milk at a petrol station at three in the morning
Nine of Keith’s team in Dave Knight’s car at the one time
Finally, thanks to Deadly Dickson, Davie Wilson and Hector Cook for annoying and exasperating me all season !
Cheers lads, I wouldn't have missed it for anything