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58
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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Name Gary 'The Painter' Morrison
Date of Birth 30/09/61
Occupation (Retired Painter) Postman
Which years did you play for Deveronvale ?
1987-1991.
Who signed you for the Vale and what attracted you to sign for the club ?
At primary school a mate of mine said his brother played for the Vale and from that day on I always looked for the Vale's score on TV.
Unknown to me, my uncle Julius took over as Vale manager in 1986 and was looking for players to add to the squad. I was asked to play against Buckie in a cup game, I think we lost 1 - 0 but loved every minute of my second half appearance, and that was it, you weren't getting rid of me ! I played a few more games and signed the following season.
What are your fondest memories of playing for Vale ?
"All of them, even the defeats. I loved playing for the Vale, we had a great unrivalled bond in the dressing room, they were all great guys.
Like any team we had fall outs but we played for each other, if you didn't give 100% you were letting your mates down.
We also had quite a good social scene to which I must confess to being quite a major part of, and might have led a few of the lads slightly astray, but as you may have read in other player profiles I think they had a good time too.
Apart from playing against Rangers with the likes of McCoist,Woods and the late great Davie Cooper in their line-ups, the sight of Trevor Beagrie in a safari suit in the Fusion night club is a memory I will never forget !!!
" .
What is the most memorable game you played in for Vale ?
The day I led the Vale out as captain against Ross County in Dingwall, I was so proud, albeit because Dinky Wilson was injured.
I revelled in my spell as captain for those few games.
Also the day we beat the mighty Caley 4 - 1 (and another big night out !) This was the same team who were on TV knocking Scottish League teams out of the Scottish Cup.
8. Who were the characters at the club ?
Old Mimie the tea lady who french kissed me on the bus on the way back from Brora ! She was a lovely woman.
Rico (The Shellsuit), Scott Glenday (fae Dunday), the only man I know who could burn a frozen pizza !
Chubber and Nigel Montgomery, what a pair! (Remember the fake tan in Inverness when they both turned out more orange than Chubber's hair !)
Wullie Shaw - there was never a queue to get the first rub fae Wullie, with the brickies hands being so rough and chapped. With the mixture of wintergreen, sweat, and cigar ash being driven into yer legs, who needed steroids or lucozade ? A good rub fae the 'low flyer' was enough to pump ye up !!!
Everyone had their own charisma, there were always plenty of laughs, and of course the old Valley Crew, boys like Crocky, Fobie, Pyth, Sonny etc. who were die hard Vale fans who not only supported the Vale, they were the Vale and without them there wouldn't be a Vale today.
Along with wee Davie, Biz, Bingo and all the others on the committee who worked so hard to make funds available for us to play on a Saturday.
Thank you all.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale ?
Joe McAllan, what a player. He taught me to play real football, he obviously had great patience too!
Allan (Babyface) Duguid, a superb user of the ball. Dinky Wilson, his great timing in the tackle.
Neil Morrison, the best one-on-one finisher I know. Nigel Montgomery, my best mate, a brilliant passer, tackler, and capable of scoring a few screamers too !
And who were the best players you played against ?
Apart from in goal I played everywhere for the Vale, so there were a few.
Forward - Billy Urquhart (Caley), he used all his experience from his time at Rangers to make it difficult for you to get any joy against him.
Midfielder - Martin Lisle (Caley), a strong tough tackling midfielder with a great engine who loved to get forward which made it hard to do battle with.
Defender - Bob Christie (Inv Thistle), not only was he huge, but he was fit, hard and a great tackler too. He was also in the police force so not to be messed with !
Goalkeeper - Well it has to be Thainer, recently retired due to another broken leg. He was No. 1, well respected by everyone who played, either with or against him. A great shot stopper, comfortable at corners, always talking to his defence…and also throws a mean party !!!
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
I had a spell in junior football for a couple of seasons before moving to the Highlands to run my own pub.
I managed to get the Vale to come up and play the local team in Lairg at the opening of our new changing rooms (another good night !).
Kevin Bremner was in charge at Brora at the time and wanted me to play there. I player once but signed for Golspie Sutherland instead and had great success there. Enjoyed playing and beating several Highland League teams in the Qualifying Cup.
I also turned out for the Vale on several occasions against Wick Academy and also made my Scottish Cup debut for the Vale against Keith in season 1995/96.
I also had a stint as assistant to Rod Houston at Brora and gained valuable experience there on the coaching side.
.
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
I'm back in Aberdeen now and have been playing in the Sunday morning league. I'm scoring freely and my contract is up in June if you're listening Mr Carrol !
My old team mate Rico has taken over the reins of a Saturday amateur team and wants me to play there, so I think I'll take him up on that one, there must be a few I can lead astray in that team too!
It's always a pleasure to go back to Princess Royal, there's always a warm welcome from committee and fans and maybe in the future I'll be there watching my son play too.