Good old days

Chat about football matters whether or not they relate to Peterhead FC
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popeye
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Good old days

Post by popeye » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:20 am

Due to this SFL barren weekend coming up I seek to stimulate debate and I would guess ruffle a few feathers among those over 50 by offering the following views.
Having at various times watched film (mainly black and white) of the game as played forty/ fifty years ago, I have reluctantly come to the view that football today is of a much higher standard today than at any time since before the 70's (approx)
Old film relating to the early post war year’s shows some terribly ponderous defending and highlighted by very poor goalkeeping. Of course everything is relative to the time era. The training i.e., running for long periods with little attention given to ball work. Tactics? ...”Go out and enjoy yourself” and oh bye the way Geordie that guy Hather is grease lightning. Stop him going outside you and rough him up early on” (The latter still prevalent)
Off course the previously mentioned players on this 'board' Smith, Bauld etc along with Waddell and later Jinky and Willie Henderson and many others were great entertainers. But did they have the athleticism of today’s players? - I think not, such things as weight training and general gymnasium work was not then available to the high degree as today. The genaeration of players then was to unfortunately coincide with the age cigarette smoking, a habit which almost certainlt inhibited fitness levels. That is not now the case and fitness levels have benefitted greatly
The Banister 4 minute mile in 1954 was earth shattering in the world of athletics. Such running times is now commonplace. I mention that to highlight the fact that excellence in all sports has improved greatly -Why not in football?
I will no doubt be told of the great individual dribbling skills perfected with a tennis ball on the streets, and I agree. However how often do you see those skills displayed today? The pace and marking tactics of today’s defenders stifle such entertaining skills. --Yes of course there will be exceptions but generally football today is a pass and move game. All training and tactics are motivated along those lines
Yes!... I do fondly remember the five man forward line, but can the result be imagined if Peterhead went out with such a formation today. Something’s were much better in the old days, but I believe fitness levels are where the big changes have evolved and that in my view is main reason for the game being miles faster today.
If you agree or disagree.. Write the ‘board’ and let us know why.
Please note this is a football opinion - No need for a war

BlackanWhecht
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Re: Good old days

Post by BlackanWhecht » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:13 pm

I agree for the most part.

Fitness levels are much higher today. A lot of the old time defending was ponderous in the extreme giving forwards all the time they needed to control and despatch the ball. Most modern players are athletes. There are also more players now with technical ability than there used to be.

I still think that a genius like Gordon Smith would have flourished.

Having said that, I don’t think the game is more exciting now than it was. There are long stretches of tedium when nothing much happens. Post-war up to mid to late fifties teams did not go out to defend. Sometimes teams were compelled by the superior talent of their opponents to defend in the sense of last ditch tackling and hoofing the ball anywhere but still attempted to go forward rather than kill the game. What naivety! But what excitement!

Three men were responsible for changing the game in Scotland. Stein and Waddell were two of them. Not at the helms of the mighty duo in Glasgow but at Dunfermline and Kilmarnock respectively where they showed that by organisation and by slowing things down more talented sides could be frustrated and suckered into conceding goals rather than being broken down by frenzied attacking.

The third figure in the change of direction was Tommy Walker manager of Hearts, the first to play an obvious 4-2-4 instead of 2-3-5. Pity he hadn’t been even further ahead of his time because at one stage of his Tynecastle career he could have played 4-3-3 with the perfect midfield blend of John Cumming, Alec Young and Dave McKay. I can’t think of a Hibbee midfield three to match that. Greig, McMillan, Baxter for Rangers would be the next best, but of course it was never done.

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:48 pm

Surely not Alex Young in the half-line. Was he not a flaxen haired centre forward who later went to Everton? Was Freddie Glidden not the centre-half between Cumming and McKay?
Your right that Hibs had no wing-half pairing to equall those already mentioned. Finnegan, Aird and Keane was the first I saw 1946, like many others the war years had taken their toll and they were into the veteran stage by that time. Purely as an individual half- back Pat Stanton but that would have been at a later time I would have to rate Rangers Ian McColl but for the klfe of me I can't remember left side colleague of that time. -Bobby Evans and Bertie Peacock at Celtic come to mind on the other side of Glasgow
Re memory.. I was consulting the London based Hearts site yesterday and came across a number of cigarette style player picture cards. I set out to find a player who had played for Nairn County and Caley. Would you believ it? I couldn't remember his name until today - Aye yiv guessed - The late great Davie Johnston

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Re: Good old days

Post by BlackanWhecht » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:40 pm

Alec Young would never play in a half back line as we knew them, popeye. I'm thinking of a modern midfield in a 4-3-3 system. Young started as successor to Bauld, a goal scoring centre, but could also play on the wing and as a creative inside right. Went to Everton to be revered as a God.

Glidden was indeed the centre half in the old style half line of a 2-3-5.

Pat Stanton one of the best wing halfs or midfielders ever - attacking or defending. Powerful, creative, good in the air, goal scorer and ultimately centre back in a four man defence. I was at ER the day he made his debut. Played like a veteran.

Ian McColl's left half was Sammy Cox or when he was injured, Willie Rae.

Davie Johnston. Smashing player. Chic Allen had a lot to do with it at both Nairn and County.

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:42 pm

I thought perhaps you might have been mixed uo Mr Sliding Tackle Alec Young from Aberdeen who was indeed a centre half.
Peter Marinello was another Hibbe who landed down Gorgie way . Once again another of those addicted players suffering from the big smoke bright lights.
Peter Cormack and Alex Edwards gifted players from the Stein stable i think. Before that the high scoring Neil Martin and Motherwell born English international Joe Baker

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Re: Good old days

Post by BlackanWhecht » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:16 pm

I was maybe a bit hard on Hibbee midfielders. Forgot about Cormack - did well at Forest then became a Liverpool hero. He would have been signed by Hugh Shaw or Walter Galbraith.

Edwards came from Dunfermline before Stein followed him.

Joe Baker was lethal, a worthy successor to Reilly. Can't say better than that.

Neil Martin would have been as good with a bit more pace.

Let's not forget the greatest Hibbee of all time - ex Can Can Bobby Kinloch.

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:08 pm

I had forgotten him so i guess you will take from that memory lapse that i shall not be agreeing with you on the Kinloss airman.
Linking a HL player with Hibs might be better highlighted with the name Des Brebner from Deveronvale. However we are digressing from the topic theme. Perhaps other writers might like to offer their views

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Re: Good old days

Post by scotty broon » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:25 pm

I am in the over 50 brigade, sadly. :cry:

My knowledge of football in the fifties is limited to old ---mostly newsreel ------films of internationals & cup finals.
The fitness level is the one major difference in the game today. Boots , kit & indeed the ball itself have all taken big forward steps too, but a real talent can play with any kit.

Goalkeeping is another area where huge advances have been made. Of course nowadays,you are no longer allowed to kick the ball from the goalies hands :shock: :shock:

B&W ...Alex Edwards was signed for Hibs by Eddie Turnbull. Jock was his manager at Dunfermline where he played 16 year old Edwards in a Fairs cup game against Valencia. The pars winning 6-2.
Two years later big Jock led Hibs to a 2-0 win against Real Madrid. It was the first time either of the two Spanish sides had been beaten by a British team.

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:32 pm

Okay! THEe differing standards of today and yesteryear doesn't seem to be generating much interest. So back to players of old
Howz this for the paciest five man forward line ever in Scotland :: Leggat, Yorston, Buckley, Wishart, and Hather. The latter a 'Geordie' who I always wished was a Scot. Half Backs at that time were I think Allistair, Young and Glenn. Would the rest of the side have been Martin in goal with Emery and Hogg at full back ? -I'm dodgy about the last named. Billy Smith later to be player coach to Deveronvale may also have come into the full back roll.
Joe O'Neil came into that side when Yorston quit after winning the pools. He later took a job with the Fish Market Porters which was then very much a closed shop family mafia thing.
Some Dons fans may beable to correct any errors or ommisions

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Re: Good old days

Post by BlackanWhecht » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:43 am

I'm not a Dons fan, but I know a fool who is and he reminds me that the core of Halliday's Championship side was: Martin, Smith, Mitchell, Allister, Young, Glen, Leggatt, Yorston, Buckley, Wishart, Hather.
Hamilton the Internationalist inside right was at the end of his career. Joe O'Neill played a part (even with a fractured skull) Hogg came in as reserve full back but Emery was away to the Broch.

Young retired to the caley and Allister got a step up to the City but couldn't make the grade.

Wishart went to Dundee and I think played left half in their 1961/62 Championship team of Liney, Hamilton, Cox, Seith, Ure, Wishart, Penman, Cousin, Gilzean, Robertson.

That team is one of the best I have seen, easily up with the best Hearts and Hibs, better than the over-rated Celtic Euro team. They smashed Rangers 5 - 1 at Ibrox. Rangers' defence that day included Ritchie, Shearer, Caldow and Davis, no novices at defending.

Cousin went to Hibs and scored in a horrific demolition of the Hearts at Tynecastle. Peman went to Caley via Rangers.

To get back to your original premise with which I agreed, do you not think that for all of the lack of genuine fitness, coaching and structure, the game was more exciting in the haphazard days?

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:10 pm

Yes the game was exciting in those days. Speaking for myself we were in the prime of childhood and approaching pubity, they were sure as hell exciting days and nights. Seriously those were our impressionable years and are always fondly remembered ....the footballers were better and so to the pies and mealie puddins

Halliday was indeed manager at Pittodrie at the time of the players mentioned' He left tp take over at Leicester City and was replaced at Aberdeen by former Hibs favourite Davie Shaw

Don Emery played for East Fife after leaving the Dons. He then hit the skids before landing up in hell

Right Wechter here's one for you -Thinking about Aberdeen and the first time I ever saw them they had South Africans Billy Strauss and Stan Williams playing for them
This started me thinking of other Springboks in the Scottish game and I have come up with the folowing names
Ray Botha Aberdeen..also played cricket for Aberdeenshirer
Bob Preston Aberdeen who also played on loan to Peehead (useless)
Alf Boyd Dundee
Don Kitchenbrand Rangers
Johnny Hubbard Rangers
Pierre van Hooijdonk
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink

The last two are included because their surnames which have a clear South African - Boer linkage

Their is one more who played for Charlton and Scotland and whoes name escaped me last night but has now come back to me -Do you know who it is?

Regarding Halliday's side - I will send another mesage with a rather lengthy piece from Sundat Times July 2005 ...If of little interest to yourself it may arouse some memories amongst Dons supporters

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:14 pm

As promised


From The Sunday Times
July 17, 2005
Caught in Time: Aberdeen’s first championship side, April 1955
Matt Vallance

Fifty years ago the Northern Lights of Aberdeen were indeed shining. In 1955 the Dons won their first league championship, leaving the Old Firm in their slipstream, and they went on to complete a golden calendar year by lifting the League Cup the following October.
“We were ahead of our time,” says Bobby Wishart, the team’s inside forward. “We were playing 3-4-3 back then and we had something the other clubs didn’t — searing pace up front. Jackie Hather was the fastest thing I’ve ever seen on a football field, with Graham Leggat and Paddy Buckley not far behind. Archie Glen was the equal of Willie Miller in defence and we had a fabulous goalkeeper in Fred Martin.
“But the secret ingredient was trainer Davie Shaw. He was the tactical mastermind, while the leadership of skipper Jimmy Mitchell ensured we were a very together team, the spirit in the camp was marvellous. Nobody fancied playing against us, particularly at Pittodrie.”
The team pictured here, lining up against Celtic in the season’s penultimate game, had high hopes of mounting a consistent challenge to the Glasgow hegemony. It would be another 25 years, however, before Alex Ferguson’s great side brought a second league flag to the Granite City. [The numbers refer to a photograph, which is not carried on the website.]
1 Robert Paterson Replaced injured skipper Jimmy Mitchell at right-back in the title run-in. Signed from Queen’s Park in 1948, his senior career lasted until 1959, when he retired as a Dumbarton player. He then worked as an accountant in Aberdeen and was the club’s auditor. Retired and living in Glasgow
2 David Caldwell A ball-playing full-back, he was not a regular because of national service commitments, but after left-back Billy Smith broke a leg, he played a major role in the push to the title. From Clydebank, he subsequently served Rotherham, Morton, Toronto City, Fraserburgh and Keith. He was later a marine engineer, and now lives in retirement in Aberdeen
3 Fred Martin Right up there with Bobby Clark and Jim Leighton in the list of distinguished Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeepers. Confident and commanding, he will perhaps be tainted by being in goal when Scotland were hammered 7-0 by Uruguay in the 1954 World Cup finals and in the 7-2 Wembley defeat by England in 1955. He signed from Carnoustie Panmure in 1946 as an inside forward, but switched to goalkeeper while on national service. Back at Pittodrie, he impressed in his new position and spent 14 years with his only senior club. After football he went into the whisky trade and is now retired in Perth. An inaugural inductee into the Aberdeen Hall of Fame
4 Joe O’Neil Another of the reserves who played his part, standing in for injured right-half Jackie Allister. He followed Dons manager Dave Halliday to Leicester before finishing his football career as player-manager of non-league Bath City and settling in the West Country. He died last year
5 Alec Young A boilermaker in a Govan shipyard, he was snapped up by Aberdeen after starring at centre-half in Blantyre Victoria’s Junior Cup-winning side of 1950. Although just 5ft 8in, his fierce sliding tackles and surprising aerial ability more than made up for any lack of height. He left the club in 1958, aged 33. He was player-manager at Ross County for six years before opening a grocery shop in Fortrose, where he still lives
6 Archie Glen The left-half from Ayrshire was stand-in skipper for the injured Mitchell, and his winning penalty at Clyde clinched the title. He became Dons captain full-time the next season, won two Scotland caps, and remained with the club until he retired in 1961. He then worked for a decorating firm in the northeast. He died in 1997
7 Graham Leggat The flying, goal-scoring winger was a member of the first Scotland under-23 team, going on to win 18 full caps. He marked his international debut, against England at Hampden in 1956, with a memorable goal. A qualified PE teacher, he played for Fulham, Birmingham and Rotherham before, after 248 goals in 500 games, he emigrated to Canada. As a TV presenter he became the face of Canadian soccer and is credited with doing much to make the game popular across that nation. He still lives in Toronto
8 Henry ‘Harry’ Yorston The nephew of pre-war Aberdeen legend Benny Yorston, he was known as ‘The Golden Boy’. A talented inside forward, he suffered from playing for a provincial club and won just one Scotland cap. He quit Aberdeen in 1957, aged 28, to become a fish porter while he played out his career with Buckie Thistle, Fraserburgh, Deveronvale and Lossiemouth. Had a major pools win in the seventies but died 10 years ago
9 Paddy Buckley The bustling centre-forward won three caps, while in competition for a dark blue jersey with Willie Bauld of Hearts and Hibs’ Lawrie Reilly. Injury cost him a place in the 1954 World Cup squad, and a severe knee problem led to his premature retirement in 1957. He returned to his native Leith and now, in frail health, is in a nursing home in Tranent, East Lothian
10 Bobby Wishart A product of the rugby-playing George Heriot’s school in Edinburgh, he signed from Merchiston Thistle. The inside-left then moved to Dundee in 1961, winning a second championship medal in 1962 and keeping Craig Brown out of the team. He ended his career with Airdrie and Raith, and while still playing was taken under the wing of then Hearts chairman Bill Lindsay, succeeding him as secretary of the National Farming Union Scotland. He later joined the Britannia Building Society as its Edinburgh manager, a post he held until retiring in 1993
11 Jackie Hather The long-serving English outside-left, like Leggat on the other flank, combined a goal threat with great pace, which earned him the nickname ‘The Hare’. He died in 1990

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Re: Good old days

Post by BlackanWhecht » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:18 pm

Eddie Firmani was the Charlton guy.

Pierre and Vinegar of Helensburgh are Dutch as are the two de Boers.

The best South African of the lot was Johnnie Hubbard.

The Times Article on the Dons is interesting. Most Aberdeen fans don't have pre-Fergie memories. Leggatt was a beezer of a winger.

popeye
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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:29 pm

It was John Hewie - Firmani never played for Scotland and is not in the time span reffered to Hewie - 6'2" gaunt features and with legs that you would think might snap with the first tackle.

Now Acki - Here's one especialy relevant to yourself from a Buchanie serialisation 2002


There is no disrespect intended by the following, it should be seen as only a little light relief. The titles ‘Cag,’ 'Hort’ and ‘Champ,’ were just the tip of the nickname iceberg. Others were Sawtfish, Sleepy Robbie and brothers Spider and Tiger Youngson among many more.
In a football context the following may lend a nice ring to some imaginary Peterhead half back lines. Bully, Buller and Breezy. Nicol brothers Darko, Owks and Matty. Digger, Brownie and Toto all Donaldsons. Pinkle, Porky and Potts, Sharky, Shikkets and Skate, Kipper, Skipper, and Nipper, Zacker, Zazu and Zung. The players to be captained by the prince of all bye-names ‘Aiberdein eh Morn’ with ‘Soshie his sponge man and able lieutenant and oh yes, the crème de la crème of inside trios Boopie, Wooppie and Toupie and not forgetting the half-time tea hut ladies; Katsy Mamsie, Fykie Slessor and Babbie Scones, all aided by the Donaldson ladies Baba, Bushie and Mekky. Every one of those names along with many more a great memory of day’s gone bye.
Bushie was the mother of the other two Donaldson girls. I knew them all very well, having been brought up ‘ ben eh hoose fae Baba ’ at 13 Port Henry Road. It was not unusual for Bushie and her then younger unmarried daughters Gladys, Ina, Flora and Bunty to visit Baba whose husband Jock Green was in the Navy. I have distinct memory of Baba’s cabinet gramophone full blast playing a few of her records. The four Donaldson girls imitating the Andrews sisters with Vera Lynne’s “White cliffs of Dover. “Followed by “I’ll be with you in Apple blossom time” and finishing with an enthusiastic rendition of “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, how you can love’ Looking back “Oh what a lovely war! They were wonderful people in wonderful times and especially if you were too young to realise the seriousness of it all.
During periods between the air raid warning and the ‘all clear It was common for those living upstairs to gather in the down stair’s flat. On one occasion, I remember the children were put ‘down’ in the boxed-in bed, I think there was six of us packed in head to toe. Being an only child, it was great fun for me to be in such a large group.
We had been making a bit of a noise and the house owner Belle ‘Lootin’ Summers, Keithy’s granny told us “The last een sleepin’s, eh first een merriet.” The girl’s eyes closed immediately. Nowadays my grandchildren tell me they’re bored, there’s nothing to do in Peterhead.

popeye
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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:47 pm

The last two are included because their surnames which have a clear South African - Boer linkage

Yes Whechter, I am aware they are Dutch. The Boer referred to was the strong Afrikans/ Boer connection to South Africa and not the de Boer brothers.

Vinegar - I like it and would add hesselstink. I'm lost as to why Strachan can consider him as Celtic class ...No pace, no great ball skills, Can meet a wing speared cross ok, but can't win a high ball from defence without commiting a foul. Samaras is different class in terms of the skill factor

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Re: Good old days

Post by peteroot » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:18 pm

I remember seeing wartime football at Pittodrie names come to mind goalie G.Johnstone,Willie Cooper,Hutton Bremner, Johnie Patillo, goalies didn't wear gloves then just bare hands,gloves only when wet, cloth cap when sunny. Played against Graham Leggat , Buchan schoolboys v Aberdeen schools beat them 5-3 went on to win the cup,along with fellow pd's BILLY WEIR & WILLEM MORGAN IN 1949.

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:22 pm

Aye eh myn at select fine -game played at the Bellslea. Another ex-Peterhead player Ian Marnoch from New Pitsligo player in that team. Sadly Ian passed on some eight years ago.

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:10 am

C'mon lads don't leave it to the oldies and almost oldies (Scotty)
What about the Weir/Proctor era - The Christie, Summers,Duncan and Thirdy times - Perhaps the McIntyre O'Hara and Sievy years or indeed our last HFL champioship season . Surely their most be views or maybe funny stories out there. Are you living abroad and have fond memories of far off days at the 'Rec'> Let us know of your highs and lows there

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Re: Good old days

Post by BlackanWhecht » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:37 pm

I misread your original spec for Hewie. I just saw Charlton and SA and Firmani came instantly to mind.

I'm not surprised you're not getting many replies. Most young folk at the match these days are so blootered or so "altered in their minds" it's a miracle they can remember the way out let alone what happened on the pitch. :wink:

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Re: Good old days

Post by popeye » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:55 pm

I'm afraid your right 'Wechter' ---We've had our day. Unfortunately there were no such debating outlets during those days.
Subject closed i'm afraid

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