Tayport F.C. Stories

Welcome to Tayport F.C. stories!

Here you can read stories about the club’s history using images and records from the club archive.

We will add new stories to this page every few months. You can scroll down the page to read them, or click on the links below to jump to a particular story.


Great Games and the Paths to Success: The 1978 Gray Trophy Win

Another addition to the Archive is the story of Tayport’s Midlands Amateur FA’s Gray Trophy win in 1978.

Tayport had emerged from the generally disappointing days of the 1960s to become a consistently well placed top division side during the 1970s. Nevertheless, it was very much a case of always the bridesmaid, never the bride, as clubs such as Broughty United and Auchterhouse collected much of the silverware during that decade.

This was never more the case than in the Gray Trophy, the competition for top division sides. It seemed Tayport would always fall at the final hurdle, being losing finalists in 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976 and losing semi-finalists in 1977.

Tayport  reached the final again in 1978 against an all-conquering Auchterhouse side on their way that season to a third successive Midlands championship, a fourth successive North of Tay Cup win and a third successive Bremner Cup win.

Tayport’s preparation for the Gray Trophy final could hardly have been worse.  Six days previously Tayport travelled to Auchterhouse where a win would have given the club a chance of a first ever Division One Championship. On what would be a disastrous Thursday evening, Tayport crashed to their heaviest league defeat for four seasons, losing 6-1.

Manager Bobby Waddell

Team Manager Bobby Waddell, a member of Dundee FC’s title winning squad in 1961/62, shuffled his side for the final, bringing in Bobby McMahon, Ian Brown and Ken Smith to his starting line-up to the exclusion of Doug Henderson, Ron Fleming and Gordon Hughes.  After a 6-1 humbling and four successive Gray Trophy Final defeats, hopes, somewhat understandably, were not high for that Wednesday evening at the NCR Factory Grounds at West Kingsway.

In a superb performance however, Tayport swept their opponents aside, winning 5-0, the highlight of which was a second half hat-trick by substitute Gordon Hughes after Doug Paterson and an own goal had given Tayport a 2-0 interval lead.

Gray Trophy 1st Round – Saturday 18 March 1978

Tayport 3-1 Invergowrie (1-0)             Scorers:- Doug Paterson 2, Gordon Hughes

Team:- Bobby Nicol; Bobby McMahon (Ron Fleming), Ian Mathers, Mike Clerihew, Ian Brown;  Peter Wilson, Doug Paterson, Jim Downie; George Ritchie, Ian Howe (Peter Spink), Gordon Hughes.

Doug Paterson – 2 goals from midfield in R1

2nd Round – Saturday 15th April 1978

Tayport 4-1 Grove Academy (4-0)             Scorers:- Ian Howe 3, Ron Fleming

Team:- Bobby    Nicol; Ian Brown (Bobby McMahon), Mike Clerihew, Ron Fleming, Doug Henderson;  Keith Ritchie, Peter Wilson (Gordon Hughes), Jim Downie; George Ritchie, Ian Howe, Kenny Smith.

Ian Howe – hat trick in 2nd round

Semi Final – Saturday 22nd April 1978

Carnoustie 2-4 Tayport  (1-2)  Scorers:- Peter Wilson, Ian Howe, Ron Fleming, Kenny Smith

Team:- Bobby Nicol, Ian Brown, Ian Mathers, Ron Fleming, Doug Henderson; Keith Ritchie, Peter Wilson, Mike Clerihew, (Jim Downie); George Ritchie, Ian Howe (Gordon Hughes), Kenny Smith.

Ron Fleming –  featured in all ties

Midlands League Match – Thursday 25th May

Auchterhouse 6-1 Tayport (3-0)  Scorer Ian Howe

Team:- Bobby Nicol; Ian Mathers, Mike Clerihew, Peter Wilson, Doug Henderson; Doug Paterson, Ron Fleming, Jim Downie; George Ritchie, Ian Howe, Gordon Hughes; Subs – Bobby McMahon, Ian Brown

George Ritchie – an ever present

Final – Wednesday 31st May 1978

At NCR Gounds, West Kingsway, Dundee

Tayport 5-0 Auchterhouse  (2-0)       Scorers:- Paterson, own goal, Gordon Hughes 3.

Team:- Bobby Nicol; Bobby McMahon, Ian Mathers, Mike Clerihew, Ian Brown; Doug Paterson, Peter Wilson (Ron Fleming), Jim Downie; George Ritchie (Gordon Hughes), Ian Howe, Kenny Smith.

Gordon Hughes – hat trick in final
Tayport FC Gray Trophy Winners (5-0 v Auchterhouse) 1978
Back (l-r) Bobby Waddell (manager) Ian Mathers, Bobby McMahon, Peter Wilson, Bobby Nicol, Mike Clerihew, Ronnie Fleming, Doug Paterson, Doug Henderson. Front- Kenny Smith, Keith Ritchie, Gordon Hughes, Ian Howe, George Ritchie, Jim Downie, Ian Brown.
The 1978 end of season presentation evening in Tayport’s Masonic Hall. Back (l-r) Eddie Stewart, Matthew Lawson, Stuart Davie, Gordon Hughes,  Peter Wilson, Bobby Nicol, Derek White, George Ritchie, Doug Henderson, Ian Dobie, Albert Oswald, Eric Beat, Alastair Oswald. Middle – Davie Hughes, Iain Cougan, Terry Scanlon, Gary Cockburn, Bobby McMahon, Doug Paterson, Ian Brown, Kenny Smith, Allan Harte, Hugh Harte, Robert  ‘Winker‘  Watson. Front – Ian Howe, Ron Fleming, Jim Downie, Mike Clerihew, Bobby Waddell, Ian Mathers, Frank Feechan, David Henderson



Archive 1978/79 Season

Midlands AFA Double Winning Season

As the 1970s drew to a close Tayport FC was emerging as a force in the local amateur game and continued to make its mark in season 1978/79 by winning both the Bremner and the Alliance Cups.

In those days when games were coming thick and fast towards the end of a season, it was fairly common for the Alliance squad to be boosted with players from the first team. Not so with Tayport on this occasion, with no player turning out for both sides.

The Alliance Cup Final success, a 3-2 win over Invergowrie, the club’s third in this competition, was particularly noteworthy in that their Monday evening success was their 4th match in 9 days.


The Midlands (1stXI) team had experienced a tough season, playing 46 competitive games, 26 league fixtures and 20 cup-ties, with their last chance of glory coming down to their 46th and final game and they delivered, beating Timex AFC 3-0 in the Bremner Cup final at Strathmartine Hospital Grounds.

That season the team had played 6 Scottish Amateur Cup-ties, 7 Fife Amateur Cup-ties, 3 Gray Trophy ties and the final was their 4th in the Bremner. There had been trips to Thornton, Guardbridge, Paisley, Balgonie and Ballingry during the season.

Scottish Amateur Cup

The Scottish Amateur Cup campaign was notable in several ways. In the 2nd Round (Tayport received a bye in the 1st round), we were drawn against Kinlochbervie. Fortunately it was a home draw. Kinlochbervie, a fishing village in North West Sutherland, is remote. Indeed it is so remote that the Oxford English Dictionary lists it as a definition for the word! It was a 450 mile round trip for the visitors who were on the wrong end of one of Tayport’s biggest Scottish Cup scorelines, 11-1, with 8 different players finding the net. Word had it that the ’Bervie boys stayed pre-match overnight in Dundee and, whether connected or not, some went missing and they were unable to field their full strength line-up.

Appearances and Goals

34 players were used in the 1st XI that season but only one, Ronnie Fleming, played in all 46 games. 9 players made only a single appearance or a single substitute appearance.

The eleven making most appearances were:

Ronnie Fleming      46

Peter Wilson            43

Ian Howe                  41

Ken Smith                 41

Gordon Hughes       40

Alan Hart                  39

Doug Paterson         39

Ian Lyall                    38

Stuart Davie             33

Doug Henderson     33

Leslie ‘Micky’ Hall  30

Top Marksmen were:

Ian Howe                  25 goals

Gordon Hughes       19

Peter Wilson            16

Kenny Smith            12


The Alliance XI played 30 competitive games that season.


As always was the case with the reserves, a large number of players pulled on a jersey during the season, 57 this season, 25 of whom played in only 3 games or less.

Frank Feechan and Rab Hanlon played most games, 27, with Hanlon (16), George Ritchie (13) and Stuart Davie (10) the top scorers.

The eleven players making most appearances were

Frank Feechan                         27

Rab Hanlon                              27

Sandy Hamilton                      25

Gary Cockburn                        24

Derek White                            23

Jimmy McCafferty                  16

Lindsay Ancell                         15

Ian Brown                                15

George Ritchie                        14

Roddy McCafferty                  13

Doug Henderson                     11

The last named was a busy man, 33 games for 1st XI and 11 games for 2nd XI


Bremner Cup

1st round          bye

2nd round         Arbroath HSFP 2-4 Tayport

3rd round         Tayport 3-2 Kingsway Tech College

Semi final        Tayport 2-0 Harris FP

Final                Tayport 3-0 Timex AFC

Bremner Cup Winners_cropped

Bremner Cup Winners 1978/79: Insets (t-b) Kenny Smith, Ronnie Fleming. Back (l-r) Stuart Davie, Ian Dobie, Ian Lyall, Doug Peterson, Gordon Emslie, Doug Henderson. Front – Micky Hall, Ian Howe, Peter Wilson, Alan Paterson, Gordon Hughes.

Alliance Cup

1st round          Tayport 5-0 Newport

2nd round         Tayport 4-2   6th BB ex-members

3rd round         Tayport 2-1 Kingsway Tech College 1 (aet)

Semi-final        Monifieth 2-3 Tayport

Final                Tayport 3-2 Invergowrie (at Claypotts)

Alliance Cup winners_cropped

Alliance Cup Winners 1979: Insets (t-b) Derek White, Sandy Hamilton, Cammy Milroy. Back (l-r) Matthew Lawson, Jimmy McCafferty, Frank Feechan, Rab Hanlon, Willie Lawson. Front – Rab Downie, Roddy McCafferty, Gary Cockburn, Bobby Wilson, Neil Downie.


Great Games and the Paths to Success

Tayport’s only Midlands AFA Championship 1981/82

Although they had been there or thereabouts for several years, Tayport had never won the Midlands AFA Championship. This would change in season 1981/82 when the club won its solitary top division title by the slimmest of margins, pipping SMT by virtue of a better goal difference.

League Table

As always, the season had been preceded by the club’s Annual General Meeting in June 1981 which had been held in the Small Gregory Hall with an attendance of 20. Apologies for absence had been received from five members of committee , all of whom had expressed a desire to be re-elected.

W Payne

W Payne (pictured above) E Stewart, I Cougan, A J Oswald and R (Bobby) Wilson were unanimously re-elected to posts of Honorary President, Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Elected to the committee were Eric Beat, Alastair Oswald, David Ayre, Kenny Coutts, Fred Bremner, Bobby Waddell, Stewart Ritchie, Jim Herd, Robert Watson, Ross Macmillan, Drew Herd, Alex Dargie, Peter Wilson and Alan Hart.

The Secretary’s Report for the season just finished noted that “disappointment was widespread over the club’s failure to annexe the [Midlands] title, despite leading the table from first game up to their last game.

Tayport had led from first day up to the last day of the season but were pipped by Harris FP on goal difference after drawing their last game at home v Timex FC. Tayport had boasted the best defence in the league but Harris had scored 20 more goals in their 24 games

The Committee decided to dispense with the services of the team manager Mr Harry Pringle. It was also noted that the club were inaugural winners the North East Fife District Council Sports Council’s Super Team competition. The secretary also paid tribute to Messrs Partoncraig Transport for their financial help throughout the season.

The Treasurer reported an end of season credit balance of approx. £400. Main items of expenditure had been the dressing room extension, a new drain and match expenses, the latter being down to running a third team in the East Fife AFA.

The Chairman intimated that subject to the agreement of the meeting, Eric Sinclair, the Dundee FC player, be appointed club trainer for the Monday and Thursday sessions. This was unanimously agreed upon [no surprise there!]

The Chairman also intimated that the position of team manager would be discussed at the first meeting of the new committee.

New Manager

Item 16 at the next committee meeting, after debate on 15 other items, such as appointment of Davie Hughes to the committee to take up the role of ‘social adviser’ [?], re-harling of pavilion, bingo rota, new club badge, club golf tournament, Golden Goals fundraiser, invitation to play in Belgium, Summer Dance, pitches, pitch side barrier, improvement of lighting for training, purchase of aluminium portable goals for £279, condition of pavilion roof, the meeting eventually got round to the vacant manager position.

The chairman explained there were two contenders, Peter Wilson and Drew Herd. “After a full discussion and after a proposal by D Ayre to postpone making a decision had failed, a vote was taken. Kenny Coutts, seconded by Alan Hart, proposed Peter Wilson but it was defeated by Iain Cougan’s proposal, seconded by Fred Bremner, to appoint Drew Herd. Drew Herd was thus appointed to the post of club manager.”

Drew Herd_Eric Sinclair

The Drew Herd / Eric Sinclair partnership (pictured above) was to prove a winner. Into the squad came a number of new faces such as youngsters  Angus Charity, Philip Smith, Gus Malone, Kevin Murphy,   Allan Harte,  Jimmy Bissett and Micky McPherson.

Because of bad weather in December and January and 13 cup-ties prior to March, Tayport were required to play exactly half their league programme, 12 games, and also fit in a visit to Belgium during April and May.

Tayport went into their last game of the season v Dundee YMCA on the Canniepairt on Monday 24th May knowing that, such was their superior goal difference, they could afford to lose the game and still be crowned champions.  And that was exactly what happened, YMCA won 2-0. One of the few times a club would celebrate a defeat!  Venue for said celebrations was the Tayport Arms.

Bobby Wilson

27 players pulled on a shirt for a league game that season with only centre half Bobby Wilson (above) playing in every game. Others playing in  at least half the fixtures were  Phil Smith (23), Ian Howe (23), Gus Malone (22), Ronnie Stewart (22), Angus Charity (20), Alan Hart (20), Kevin Murphy (19),  Jim Bissett (16), Kenny Smith (14), Allan Harte (14), Jim Downie (12)

Gus Malone was top scorer with 12  of the 59 league goals followed by Ian Howe (11), Allan Harte (8) and Kenny Smith (8).

Three go Senior

Phil Smith

Three of the side would  go on to have  successful  Senior careers.  Phil Smith (above) played 197 games for Forfar Athletic,  Gus Malone 197 games for Brechin City and Cowdenbeath  and Bobby Wilson, who also moved to Brechin City, played 60 games for the Glebe Park club.

The Secretary’s Report at the Annual General Meeting in June 1982 noted that it had been the club’s most successful season ever, winning the Midlands Championship for the first  time, the International Trophy in Belgium and reaching the North of Tay Cup semi final for the first time. Manager Drew Herd and Coach Eric Sinclair were singled out for praise for their part in the club’s success.


Early season 1981/82 pic. Back (l-r) Bruce Burnett, Ronnie Stewart, Gus Malone, Alan Gray, Angus Charity, Brian Simpson, Alan Hart, Neil Downie. Front – Drew Herd, Ian Howe, Willie Smith, Bobby Wilson, Phil Smith and Peter Cuthill.


Back (l-r) Bruce Burnett, Rab Downie, Barry Toner, Bobby Wilson,  Angus Charity, Phil Smith, Gus Malone, Alan Hart, Neil Downie. Front – Kevin Murphy, Kenny Smith, Colin Gray, Jimmy Bissett, Ian Howe, Allan Harte.

Phil Smith, Bobby Wilson and Gus Malone may not have got into Europe with Forfar Athletic, Brechin City or Cowdenbeath FC but here they are (above) in Liege in April 1982. with Tayport.

Tayport  won the Ougree International Tournament with three wins against Belgian and Italian opponents. Tayport also picked up the award for the Tournament’s Best Defence while Allan Harte received the Player of the Tournament Award and Phil Smith the Young Player of the Tournament Award.


The team which won the league when losing 1-0 to YMCA on the Canniepairt on Monday 24th May 1982. Back (l-r) Eric Sinclair, Micky McPherson, Bobby Wilson, Gus Malone, Angus Charity, Phil Smith, Jim Downie, Ronnie Stewart, Alan Hart. Front – Rab Downie, Colin Gray, Jim Bissett, Kevin Murphy, Kenny Smith, Allan Harte, Ian Howe, Drew Herd.


Tayport FC – Midlands AFA Champions 1981-1982
Back (l-r) -Eddie Stewart, Alastair Oswald, David Ayre, Jimmy Herd, Ross McMillan, Abby Oswald, Iain Cougan, Eck Beat.
Middle – Kenny Coutts, Brian Simpson, Colin Gray, Jim Downie, Phil Smith, Angus Charity, Bobby Wilson, Ronnie Stewart, Neil Downie, Drew Herd
Front – Allan Harte, Kenny Smith, Gus Malone, Alan Hart, Ian Howe, Jim Bissett, Bruce Burnett, Rab Downie


Angus Charity

Angus Charity. 33 games in season 1981/82



Post-match celebrations in full swing in Ponderosa. I -r Doug Paterson, Ian Howe, Alan Hart, Eric Sinclair and Gordon Fyfe


Ken Smith_Jim Bissett_Dougie Hill_Drew Herd

Ken Smith, Jim Bissett, Dougie Hill and Drew Herd


Angus Charity_Eddie Stewart

Goalie Angus Charity with chairman Eddie Stewart



1981-82 Presentation Evening
Phil Smith receives his Player of the Year Award from Dundee FC’s George McGeachie



1981/82 Presentation Evening
Auld Harty, the skipper , is presented with the League Shield by Dundee FC’s George McGeachie



1981/82 Presentation Evening
Jim Herd, the latest in line for the Toilet Seat Award


Rab Downie_Jim Bissett

Rab Downie and Jim Bissett




Ronnie Stewart

Full back Ronnie Stewart 22 appearances and 1 – vital – goal



Overworked bar staff in Pondy as celebrations continue


Colin Gray

Colin Gray… made debut 1st team start in crucial midweek win over YM Anchorage


Gus Malone

Gus Malone
Topped Tayport’s scoring chart for League goals in 1981-82 before going Senior with Brechin City and Cowdenbeath and then playing with a host of Junior clubs, before turning out again in Tayport colours, playing for the Juniors as late as 25 years later in season 2006/07


Eric Sinclair

Tayport FC coach, Dundee FC legend Eric Sinclair, celebrates the title win in the Tayport Arms aka Ponderosa, with (from left) Ian Howe, Ken Smith, Phil Smith, Drew Herd and Alan Gray.

Committee with League Shield

Committee with League Shield in Pondy bar. l-r  Abby Oswald, Drew Herd, Jim Herd, Iain Cougan, Chas Anderson, David Ayre, Alastair (Hercs) Oswald, Jim Lindsay, Robert ‘Winker’ Watson.


A more formal 1981-82 committee pic
Back – Kenny Coutts, Eddie Stewart,D Ayre, Eck Beat, I Cougan.
Front – A J Oswald, J Herd, A D Oswald, Ross Macmillan.


Team Captain Alan Hart

Team Captain Alan Hart receives the 1981-82 Midlands AFA’s Championship Shield from MAFA General Secretary Russell Powrie


Great Games and the Paths to Success

The Midlands Amateur FA’s ALLIANCE CUP win in 1977

Continuing the Archive series plotting the paths to Tayport FC’s Cup and Championship successes over the years.

The Alliance Cup, first introduced in 1930, is contested by Midlands Clubs’ Reserve XIs.

Tayport’s debut in the competition in 1947/48 saw the club reach the semi final stage.

Seventy years ago in season 1949/50, Tayport FC, the club we know today, would collect its first ever silverware by winning the Alliance Cup…by default.

Tayport qualified for the semi final by virtue of winning their section. Wins over Balgay (7-2), Harris FP (13-1 & 5-4) and YM Anchorage (3-0) and a 1-1 draw with Anchorage saw us pip Balgay by a point.

Tayport then defeated RNAS Arbroath in the semi final (unfortunately no record of the score) to set up a final v Smedleys. Smedleys were disqualified for reasons not recorded, therefore Tayport lifted the club’s first ever silverware by default.
There followed a fallow 27 years for Tayport’s Alliance team.

Things had started to improve however and season 1975/76 saw the Alliance XI pipped for the Alliance 1st Division title by Kingsway Tech on goal average. The following season would see the club get that first taste of silverware with a dramatic 4-3 win over Grove Academy FP in the 1976/77 Alliance Cup Final at NCR Grounds on Saturday 28th May 1977. Frankie Dewar, George Ritchie and Peter Spink were the goalscorers.

Having beaten Tayport 5-0 in a league game only two weeks previously, Grove had been hot favourites but Tayport had kept their best ‘til last.

An Alliance XI lineup 76-77

An Alliance XI line-up from the autumn of the 1976/77 season. Back (l-r)  Matt Lawson, Bruce Ritchie, Frank Feechan, Doug Henderson, Derek White, Jim Scott, Gordon Gray, Alan Davie, Gavin Anderson. Front – Albert Oswald, George Ritchie, Ian Rae, Brian Burchell, Ken Smith, Frankie Dewar.

In the five games played on the way to winning the cup, Tayport fielded an incredible 30 different players. Only one player – Alan Craig – actually played in all five games although Matt Lawson was a substitute in all five. Gordon Gray’s only game was in the final. George Ritchie, Frankie Dewar and Peter Spink were top scorers in the cup run with two goals each.

77 Alliance final

Presentation Evening_76-77

Presentation Evening 1976/77. Back (l-r) Albert Oswald, Matt Lawson, Bobby Waddell (1st XI manager), Bruce Burnett, Frank Feechan, Dickie Dewar, Jim Scott, Doug Henderson, Frankie Dewar, Alan Craig, Derek White

Front (David Henderson (1st XI), Gordon Hughes, Tom McMahon (Tayport Arms), George Ritchie, Tammy Laing (Alliance XI manager)

Apres match celebration was held at the Tayport Arms (aka Ponderosa) beer garden (actually, its back yard as this was before the Tayport Arms had a beer garden!) as guests of mine hosts Eck Dargie and Carol.

Alliance Cup post match celebrations

Alliance Cup Win 1977 Saturday evening celebrations in Tayport Arms beer garden. Among those in the photo in no specific order are Jimmy Lindsay, Alan Craig, Ian Dobie, Terry Scanlon, Bruce Burnett, Doug Henderson, Andy ‘Bunt’ Robertson,  Eck Beat, Gordon Hughes, Frank Feechan, Alastair ‘Hercs’ Oswald, Winker Watson, Jim Herd, Frankie Dewar, Iain Cougan, George Ritchie, Davie Hughes, Abby Walker, Gary Cockburn, Bobby Waddell, Jim Scott, Peter Spink, Matt Lawson, Eck Dargie and Carol

Here are the stats:

Alliance Cup stats 77_001Alliance Cup stats 77_002


Tayport and the Belgian Connection…How it all Kicked Off

Tayport FC first visited Ougree, a suburb of Liege, in 1973 to participate in an Easter football tournament.  Since then hundreds of Tayport footballers and supporters have spent thoroughly enjoyable weekends in Ougree, creating enduring friendships with the organising club AC Ougree.

Credit: OCHA

How did it all start?

In October 1972, Dens Star AFC, a non-affiliated football team from Dundee, had accepted an invitation to play in an international tournament in Belgium from 20th to 23rd April 1973. At the end of January 1973, Dens Star AFC called off and fixed up a works team, Bett Brothers XI FC, to take their place. Bett Brothers also subsequently pulled out and on 1st February at the monthly meeting of the Midlands AFA, pretty much as a closing item and out of the blue, members were asked if any club would be interested in taking up the invitation.

Tayport was the only club which expressed an interest. The possibility of taking part was investigated and when the matter was formally raised at a Tayport FC committee meeting on 4 March 1973, it was agreed to accept the invitation. The rest, as they say, is history.

Extract from Minutes of committee meetings

A meeting was held in the hut on Sunday 4th March [1973] at 11am. Those present were A J Oswald, A Ritchie, D Hughes, J Lindsay, W Kemp and I Mathers. Apologies were heard on behalf of E Simpson and F Bremner both of whom were working.

Item 5

A trip to Liege, Belgium had been offered to the club to play in a three day tournament from April 20th to 23rd. The secretary had rough details and he informed the committee of these, also on the cost of buses. After discussion Alex Ritchie proposed that the Provost [of Tayport] be approached informally to see if the [Town] Council would be willing to help financially.

It was decided that if necessary, the club would subsidise the trip to the extent of £5 per head. Approaches were also to be made to other bodies to see if they would be willing to help.

It was decided that the committee would meet briefly next Sunday, 11th March, at 10 am to see what progress had been made and if it would be possible to make the trip.
A £5 deposit, it was decided, would have to be paid by those who had shown an interest in going on the trip. The money would have to be paid by next Sunday

With seven weeks to kick off, there was no time to waste. Efforts to secure sponsorship assistance for the trip had proved fruitless. All except the request to Tayport Town Council, as the club minutes noted.

A meeting of the Club Committee was held in the hut on Sunday 1st April at 11am. Those present were A J Oswald, F Bremner, D Hughes, E Simpson, W Kemp and I Mathers. Apologies were received on behalf of J Lindsay, A Walker and E Stewart

Item 3

At the last meeting to discuss the Belgian trip the treasurer had pointed out that the majority of those wishing to go on the trip had paid their £5 deposit. It was officially decided to go ahead with tour.

The secretary had contacted the Tayport Town Council via Provost Pow and reported that the Council were willing to assist us in the following manner:- the club would pay the trip themselves and on our return we would submit a list of all expense incurred on the trip and the Town Council would ensure our funds would not suffer. The club would also submit a list of all those in our party, ages and occupations. The Town Council requested that one of their members, Mr W Goodwin, should accompany the club. It was unanimously agreed that Mr Goodwin would be very welcome to travel with the club party. F Bremner hoped that the behaviour of those going on the trip should be such that it would be a credit to the club.

It is to the eternal credit of the Provost, members of the Council and Town Clerk & Chamberlain Harry Wilson that the Town Council agreed to chip in.

List submitted to Town Council

*Lindsay Ancell (22). Player. Environmental Health Officer. Monifieth
Murray Anderson (20) Player. Joiner. Lochside Gardens
Gordon Brankin (18) Player. Trainee technician. Banknowe Drive
George Caldow (15) Player. Schoolboy. Ogilvy Street
Ronald Fleming (20) Player. Sales clerk. Broughty Ferry
Eddie Gilmour (20) Player. Trainee mechanical engineer. Jubilee Buildings
Douglas Henderson (23) Player. Languages teacher. Golf Crecent (working in France and will join party in Calais and act as interpreter)
*James Herd (23) Committee. Student teacher. Banknowe Drive
Alex Houston (28) Player. Research Assistant. Dundee
*David Hughes. Club chairman. Measurer Donaldson’s Sawmill. Banknowe Drive
*Bobby Jackson (23) Accordionist & cheerleader. Slater. West Lights
Andy Johnstone (21) Player. Trainee tax officer. Golf Crescent
Walter Kemp (21). Player & club treasurer. Insurance trainee. Cowgate
Frank Leslie (23) Player. Horticulturist. Cowgate
Ian Mathers (20) Player & committee. Trainee architectural technician. Banknowe Road
*James Mathers (38) Player. Service manager. Whitenhill
Albert Oswald (23) Player & club secretary. Environmental Health Officer.
*Alastair Oswald (20) Supporter. Horticulturist. Lochside Gardens
Ian Rae (19) Player. Student teacher. Lochee
*Andrew Robertson (21) Suppporter. Joiner. Tay Street
*Bruce Ross (20) Supporter. Trainee paper machine assistant. Glebe Gardens
Ian White (27) Player. Senior lab technician. Cupar
Raymond White (20) Player. Trainee technician. Broad Street.
*Edward Stewart (27) Committee. Yard foreman. Greenside Place

Sadly, as at August 2019, 46 years later, nine of the party marked * have passed away as has Councillor Walter Goodwin. The others still live locally, exceptions being Andy Johnstone who is in the Lothians as, we can guess, is George Caldow the youngest member of the party, now Head of SRUC Veterinary Services in Edinburgh.  Alex Houston’s whereabouts are unknown.

Brechin City FC donated a match ball but Dundee United turned down a request saying that ‘it wasn’t club policy to donate footballs to amateur clubs.’

The late Andrew Robertson, one of those making the trip, agreed to construct a wooden first aid box.

The late Jim Herd designed a pennant and two dozen were produced as souvenirs for the Tayport players and for presentation to the other clubs in the eight club tournament from France, Germany and Belgium.

The Pennant
The pennant

A coach and two drivers was hired from Williamson’s of Gauldry (now Moffat & Williamson) at a total cost of £481 including hovercraft fares.

The total cost for each of the 24 members on the trip was £16. With a few exceptions, most of the party were in their early 20s, one of the exceptions being club chairman Davie Hughes. Davie, the veteran of the party, was also a veteran of World War II.  He had waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and had continued on to Belgium and was keen to recapture some memories. In 1947 Davie Hughes was a founder member of the Tayport Football Club we know today.

Letter 1

Making arrangements with the organising club in those days wasn’t particularly easy but AC Ougree provided a contact, Margaret Schillings, a Glaswegian, who was mine host at a bar in Ougree, appropriately named Le Kilt.

The party at War Memorial, Tayport prior to departure. Standing (l-r) Jim Mathers, Ian White, Frank Leslie, Ronnie Fleming, Abby Oswald, Lindsay Ancell, Alastair Oswald, Murray Anderson, Bobby Jackson, Eddie Gilmour, Raymond White, Alex Houston, Ian Mathers, Ian Rae, Walter Kemp, Andy Robertson. Kneeling – Gordon Brankin, Davie Hughes, Eddie Stewart, Jimmy Herd, George Caldow. On bus, drivers Jack Rodger and Campbell Williamson
Missing from pic – Andy Johnstone (picked up en route), Doug Henderson, (meeting party at Calais), Bruce Ross and Councillor Walter Goodwin.

On the Friday morning the intrepid travellers set off from Tayport’s War Memorial on their bus journey into the unknown. Few of the guys had been out of Scotland before, never mind abroad.

Tayport FC thus became the only Scots representatives left in Europe that season! Celtic, Hibs, Aberdeen and Partick Thistle, all having bitten the dust in the early stages of the European Cup, Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup respectively.

Boarding Hovercraft at Dover.

A memorable – and indeed unique experience for all members of the party – crossing the English Channel by hovercraft.  Then through France and into Belgium towards Liege on the banks of the River Meuse, close to Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Border check somewhere in France. Standing (l-r) Gordon Brankin, Bobby Jackson, Alex Houston, Councillor Walter Goodwin, Jimmy Herd, Walter Kemp, Ronnie Fleming. Front – Murray Anderson.


Refreshment stop somewhere in Europe! (l-r) R.White, A Johnstone, I.Rae, A.Houston, G.Brankin, J. Herd, W.Kemp, B. Ross, A.D.Oswald, J.Mathers, R Fleming, L.Ancell, D.Hughes, J.Rodger, A.J.Oswald, I.White.

Ougree a district of Seraing, a suburb of Liege, was at the time, the centre of the Belgian iron & steel industry. With factory chimneys belching out smoke and dust lying on every surface, it wasn’t the tourist trap some of the Tayport lads might have expected.


The team received a warm welcome from the locals and were billeted in a local primary school adjacent to the stadium.

Pitches weren’t the best.


Made the East Common look like the Nou Camp.


Rain turned it into a paddy field.

Tayport FC’s historic first venture in Europe took place on Sunday morning 22nd April 1973 10.30 am kick-off v AC Ougree, the hosts and defending tournament champions.

Line-up for game v AC Ougree. Back Davie Hughes, Ronnie Fleming, Walter Kemp, Gordon Brankin, Lindsay Ancell, Ian Mathers, Jim Mathers, Douglas Henderson, Ian White. Front – Frank Leslie, Raymond White, Abby Oswald, Ian Rae, George Caldow, Eddie Gilmour. Note – Centre forward Andy Johnstone was injured and missed out on all matches.


Bergmans Trophy
Bergmans-Collignon International Challenge Trophy.

73 Ougree prog1

73 Ougree prog3
The programme.

First game – Sunday 22nd April 10.30am

Tayport 2 – 3  A.C. Ougree           Scorers –  R White & Ancell

Gordon Brankin, Walter Kemp, Ronnie Fleming, Ian Mathers, Jim Mathers, Lindsay Ancell, Albert Oswald, Doug Henderson, Raymond White, Ian White, Frank Leslie. Subs were Eddie Gilmour and Ian Rae.

Crowd scene with Bobby Jackson and his accordion providing the off-field entertainment.

Second game – Sunday 22nd April 4.30pm

Tayport 2-1 S.C. Fuchtorf (West Germany)    Scorers – Oswald & Gilmour

Gordon Brankin, Walter Kemp, Ronnie Fleming, Ian Mathers, Jim Mathers, Eddie Gilmour, Albert Oswald, Doug Henderson, Raymond White, Ian White & Frank Leslie. Subs. – Lindsay Ancell and George Caldow

Third game – Monday 23rd April

A.S.O Calais (France) 0-0 Tayport (after 90mins)

Tayport won 5-4 on penalties (Henderson, R.White, Ancell, Oswald, I Mathers)

Outside Le Kilt bar near the ground in Ougree.


Le Kilt owner Margaret Schillings and daughter with the Tayport lads.

At the presentations at the Grand Bal du Tournoi that evening Tayport received three awards to take home. One for finishing in the top half of the competition, the Fair Play Trophy and an individual award for Doug Henderson for being voted the second best player in the tournament.

Long way home

After the Ball it was back on the bus and an overnight journey to Calais where a bleary eyed but happy bunch of players, committee and supporters caught the early morning hovercraft back across the English Channel.

At Calais with the Fair Play Trophy after an overnight journey to the coast.

The Courier & Advertiser of Thursday (below) of that week reported on the club’s successful trip with the Fife News carrying a comprehensive account of the venture.

Courier thurs 26 Apr 73

Adjacent to the Courier report is an advert for Wm Low supermarket (later to be taken over by Tesco) which shows what you got for your money in 1973 but at £16 per head, the trip 46 years ago was good value and voted a great success by all.

Wm Low 73

The visit to Ougree’s annual tournament was to be repeated on many subsequent occasions and was the inspiration for the International Tournaments staged by Tayport FC during the 1980s.

A minute from the club’s AGM in June1973 noted:

The treasurer distributed the annual balance sheet which showed that £83.05 was in the bank and in hand was £30.75. It was noted that £204.44 spent on the Belgian Trip was to be refunded by the Tayport Town Council.

Well, not quite, as the letter below shows, but surely there would be no complaints!

Letter 2


Championship and Cup Successes Through The Years

1968/69 Midlands AFA Div.2

This is the first of a series of articles in which we will follow the club to their various cup and league successes at both amateur and junior level.

In summer 1968, Tayport Amateur F.C. elected a new committee whose aim was to improve the club’s standing both on and off the field. This aim would ultimately be realised to take Tayport Football Club to the peak of Scottish non-league football.

The committee in 1968 was Fred Janssen (chairman), Iain R. Bell (treasurer), Albert J. Oswald (secretary), Doug Henderson, George Redpath and Ron Laing.

During the 70s and 80s Tayport F.C. enjoyed a high profile in the local amateur game, both on and off the pitch.

For fifteen years, from 1990, Tayport F.C. would go on to dominate the local Junior game winning an unprecedented number of honours. Indeed for the early part of the 21st century, Tayport F.C. was the top Junior side in Scotland.

In this period the club would win two Super League titles and two Scottish Junior Cups to add to the club’s first Scottish Junior Cup success in 1996.

There were Midlands AFA cup successes in 1959, the Bremner Cup, which is documented in the Hall of Fame page in Tayport FC’s website, and the Carne Trophy in 1964 and 1967 but regrettably there were no records kept during that period.

This Archive is a record of the 24 matches which took Tayport to a first ever League title to lift the Balnacraig Trophy awarded to the Midlands AFA’s Second Division Champions.

After years in the doldrums it would be a memorable season for the club:
Top scorers in the Midlands AFA – 129 goals in 24 games
Best defence – 34 goals in 24 games
100% home record – 73 goals for – 13 conceded

You can see the club’s records for the season below:







Below you can see the complete Midlands AFA League tables for Season 1968-69:



Doug Henderson was an ever present, turning out in all 24 league fixtures. In total 27 players played some part in the winning campaign. 12 players played in at least 12 games.

Appearances 1968/69

Doug Henderson 24
Ian White 23
Jim Mathers 22
Albert Oswald 22
George Ritchie 22
Richard Redpath 21
Ronnie Laing 20
Raymond White 19
Walter Kemp 16
Jim Scott 14
Derek White 13
Andy Johnstone 12

Jim Scott would have made more appearances but sustained a broken a leg v Wormit FC in October and didn’t return to action until April, making a cameo appearance as a substitute in the last game of the season:

Clipping from Fife News about Tayport F.C. v Wormit, and the injury suffered by Jim Scott. 30/11/1968

The White brothers, Ian and Raymond, were the top marksmen, scoring 28 and 21 goals respectively, throughout the league season.

Others in double figures for league goals were:

Richard Redpath 15
Albert Oswald 13
Doug Henderson 12
Andy Johnstone 12
George Ritchie 11

Player of the Year in 1968/69
Veteran defender Jim Mathers. Jim Mathers had been a Bremner Cup winner with Tayport F.C. ten years previously.

1968/69 Gallery

Ronnie Laing


Raymond White


Albert Oswald


Eddie Stewart


Doug Henderson


Geo Ritchie
Geo Ritchie


Tayport  FC Midlands Amateur FA Champions April 1969. Back from left –  Morris Couper, Eddie Stewart, Walter Kemp, Jim Scott, Derek White, Ronnie Laing, Jim Mathers, Richard Redpath, George Redpath.  Front –  Abby Walker, Albert Oswald, Andy Johnstone, Ian White, George Ritchie, Doug Henderson, ‘Tammy’ Laing


Tayport FC Midlands AFA Alliance (Reserves) XI, eight of whom turned out on occasion for the 1st XI during the club’s Championship season. Back from left Abby Walker, Kevin Harte, Maurice Flynn, Iain Bell, Andy Horan, Ian Mathers, George Bryson, ‘Tammy’ Laing. Front –  Fred Janssen, Dennis Auld, Murray Anderson, Michael Gray (mascot), Raymond White, James Foulis, Stan Cowe.


Action from the opening day of the season v Kingsway Tech College on East Common.


Action from the opening day of the season v Kingsway Tech College on East Common.


Doug Henderson scoring the opening goal of the campaign from the penalty spot on 10 August 1968 in the 9-0 drubbing of Kingsway Technical College F.C.


1968…didn’t have the luxury of showers in those days, so a dip in the River Tay adjacent to the changing hut on the Esplanade often sufficed…in August anyway!