50 years of football history in the town
Some of Glenrothes’ sporting legends gathered at the town’s Heritage Centre this week to view a new exhibition covering 50 years of footballing history.
Former players, including those who represented the town at the hallowed Hampden Park stadium in national cup finals, were there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Glenrothes Juniors.
Heritage staff have amassed a wealth of club memorabilia, photographs, trophies, players’ shirts and other interesting items which have been put on public display for the next month.
A large proportion of the exhibits relate to the halcyon days of the Glens through the 1960s, 70s and 80s and include the match ball from the club’s famous 1975 Scottish Junior Cup triumph, winners’ medals and the prestigious and historic Cowdenbeath Amateur Trophy, first contested in 1895, which now sits permanently in the club’s trophy cabinet.
Memories of sporting glories came flooding back for players as they were given exclusive access to the collection, much of which is being put on public display for the first time.
James ‘Jimmy’ Johnstone, who played and scored for the 1968 side that narrowly missed out on the Scottish Junior Cup after a replay, said the exhibition was an important one for the town.
“It’s fantastic to see stuff like this, it was a great experience as a youngster and many people around the town still talk about those days,” he told the Gazette.
“To see photos from that day in 1968, playing in front of 20,000 fans brings it all back.”
Stuart McKenzie and Dennis McInnes were both members of the triumphant 1975 side that defeated Rutherglen Glencairn one-nil to win the Scottish Junior Cup.
“I think it’s a brilliant exhibition,” said Stuart.
“As a Woodside boy, to be involved in the side that won the cup is more than I could ever have wished for. Football was massive in the town then and we’d often play in front of thousands of fans at Warout Stadium - this exhibition will appeal to a lot of people in Glenrothes.”
Dennis remembered: “They were some days, if I could live them again I would.
“The club was more like an extended family, we had so many great times, winning the cup was a huge achievement for the club and all those who were involved in it.”
The quality of the football played by the Glens is confirmed by the number of players who were selected to represent Scotland at junior level.
Ian Patterson, the last Glens player to be capped by his country, has donated his Scotland shirt and cap to the exhibition.
“It’s fitting that the people behind the scenes, not just us as players, have been given the recognition they deserve, without them there would be no Glens,” he said.
The exhibition runs until July 31, and the centre are hosting a number of fundraising activities in aid of the Glens including a weekly ‘spot the ball’ competition.