I’ve always felt that Fifers get a hard time. Consider this blog post by Angry Steve:
“It taks a lang spoon tae sup wi a Fifer!
The BBC reports that last year 7 out of 72 samples taken by weights and measures in Fife pubs were accurate… And that they are giving notice that another survey will be happening pretty soon… Nothing like giving the mean bastards a heads up so they know you’re coming and can clean up your acts for a month or two before going back to their old ways then, eh?”
Steve was put in his place by LisaRob, who replies:
“What a load of shite! As a Fifer I can assure you that the meaning of that quote is we don’t trust easy, that we have to get to know folk before we allow them to sup with us…..hence the word of lang spoon! Folk have to stand afar till they are accepted! what an arse you are!”
Now I love the place. And the people are friendly too, neebur. Even though faither took us on caravan holidays in Kinghorn (before the Forth Road Bridge opened), where we spent 2 weeks at a time listening to the foghorn… and graduated on to Anstruther after the FRB opened and the roads improved (but the fog didn’t).
Incidentally my dad worked on the FRB construction and I, at 9 years old, was chosen by my primary school to attend the official opening, along with my wee girlfriend Julie. The only time I’ve ever been within a chuckie-stane distance of the queen as she zipped by with her wee gloved hand waving.
Now I’m older and we don’t need to go round by Kincardine any longer, I often pop over for the day, say to walk the coast, or visit a bird reserve, or go to St Andrews, or Anstruther, or the Isle of May, or just to watch a game.
When I was looking at the results in the “Pink News” on a Saturday night, I was always struck by the sheer number of teams over there, 4 senior teams in the Kingdom, and loads of Junior sides with exotic names, like Dundonald Bluebell and Crossgates Primrose.
Midlothian, where I lived, had no League teams (not even Heart of Midlothian) and about 5 Junior sides. Fife at present has 14 Junior clubs. On the map below, I’ve listed the current ones with yellow dots.
1- Dundonald Bluebell 2- Glenrothes 3- Hill of Beath Hawthorn 4- Kelty Hearts
5- Kennoway Star Hearts 6- Kirkcaldy YM 7- Lochgelly Albert 8- Lochore Welfare
9- Newburgh 10- Oakley United 11- Rosyth 12- St. Andrews United 13- Tayport
14- Thornton Hibs
I’m intending to blog these clubs sooner or later. But it’s the 5 with RED dots I want to write about this week. These are five clubs who have disappeared during the time I’ve been watching the game. Unfortunately I only ever got to see one of them – Crossgates.
1- Crossgates Primrose
The club’s biggest claim to fame is probably that James Curran Baxter once wore the jersey. They were originally formed in 1926 but folded in 1960 with the club re-forming in 1983. They unfortunately folded once again in November 2015 due to a lack of committee members, with their 8–0 thrashing at the hands of Easthouses Lily on 7 November 2015 being their final match. Officially, the club has “gone into abeyance” which is relatively common in the Juniors, and means they can reappear if circumstances change.
Their home ground is Humbug Park, its unusual name deriving from a disused pit of the former Cuttlehill Colliery on which site the ground is located. Humbug Park once held 6500 (and some even say 7600) against Auchinleck Talbot in 1953.
The Vics played at Woodside Park in the village of Steelend. An original Steelend Victoria side ran from 1946 until 1963 before changing their name to Comrie Colliery F.C. after accepting assistance from the National Coal Board. This side lasted until 1988 before the current club was revived in 1995.
Steelend could not continue to put a team on the park due to financial difficulties, and folded in October 2013. Their last game, on 28 sept, was an away match at Haddington Athletic, which the Hi-Hi won 4-2. Thanks to Tom Thornton for correcting my original date which was a week early.
The photos below are very recent. I got a ‘guided tour’ from a wee lad on a bike. Said he only went to school 3 mornings a week. He was nearly 13 though I thought he was about 8. Showed me where he used to break into the park and said he had a criminal record 🙂
3-Ballingry Rovers Played at Ore Park, Glencraig from 2004 – October 2014
Great efforts were made to keep the Rovers running but a tax bill was the final straw. The poignant message left on the club’s homepage was “It is with deep sorrow and regret that I inform you my beloved team Ballingry Rovers has folded”.
Some action from Ore Park – Ballingry Rovers 0-3 Linlithgow Rose
4- Tulliallan Thistle
Very little seems to be known about Tulliallan. I seem to remember hearing that they were the police team. They played between 1962 and 2003 in Kincardine and apparently local apathy made their existence a struggle. As far as I can see they played at Burnside Park on the east side of the Feregait from 1975 although last time I looked it was beginning to be swallowed up by new houses. Before that they played up the road at West End Park.
5-Benarty made an appearance for one season, and played at Dallas Doyle Memorial Park in Ballingry, which is still there, in 1998-99, before merging with Lochore Welfare.