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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Name George Murray
Date of Birth 4 June 1942
Occupation Retired
Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale
Always played football at school and then joined St Marnans F.C. Played for League Select against Orkney Select. St Marnans opponents in those days were the same as they are now i.e. Banff Rovers, Portsoy but also included Doune Rovers ( Macduff ), Auchterless, King Edward and Cuminestown..
Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ??
Joined the Vale in 1961-62. Sandy Barclay watched me playing for Foggie and asked me to join the Vale. Being the Highland League club I had no hesitation in joining.
What are your fondest memories of playing for Vale ?
"February 11th 1961 when we played Aberdeen at Pittodrie in 2nd round of Scottish Cup having beaten Stirling Albion in 1st round at Princess Royal.
Over 14,000 people at Pittodrie. Aberdeen having a young Charlie Cooke in their team, what a feeling for a Foggie Loon. Day only got better when I blasted home the equalizer ( well that's my story and I am sticking to it).
Players were very friendly and that year was a great one to be involved with the Vale. Funny story has to be when Billy Smith who was Coach at the time and centre half/captain told us that on the Thursday night training session we were to run to Ladysbridge and back. We all turned up on the Thursday apart from you have guessed it Charlie Cormack. We duly run the 6 miles and came back to Princess Royal and Billy asked Dattums Cormack if he had seen Charlie. Dattums said yes he went away after you about 10 minutes behind. Billy seemed surprised at this but gave Charlie the benefit of the doubt. Whilst we were all having our shower Charlie arrived covered in sweat. Billy could not believe that Charlie had done the run but unwillingly accepted the fact that it appeared he had.
Training finished and we all went on to Bridge Street to get our lifts home. On the way to Bridge Street we asked Charlie if he had really run the 6 miles. "What do you think" he replied. I went to the Shoemaker half way up Bridge Street and waited till you passed on the way back to Princess Royal. Then I asked him to pour water over my head so it looked like sweat and I duly jogged into Princess Royal!
" .
What is the most memorable game you played in for Vale ?
Aberdeen game above but debut at Boroughbriggs, Elgin will always have a fond memory. Elgin were a class team then and facing them was a fantastic feeling for someone used to playing at MacRobert Park, Foggie
Who were the characters at the club ?
Players -Charlie Cormack. Coaches - Billy Smith who was outstanding as a player and person. Committee: Sandy Barclay, Ward Blackwood, Choutie (tea lady).
Fans - The one and only Maurice Gordon(I hear he is still vocally backing the Vale!!!!!!), Jimmy Delaney
And who were the best players you played with ?
Billy Smith - ability to read a game and a 1st class captain who led by example.
George Beattie - Outside right from Aberdeen and Jackie Allister.
And who were the best players you played against ?
Johnny Dutch and Bunny McColl. Both centre halfs from Buckie and Elgin respectively. Both excellent readers of the game who gave me a harsh but fair baptism to Highland League football.
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
Moved to Dundee and played amateur league football where I scored 46 goals in 1st season. Invited to Tannadice for trials but did not go due to work commitments. Moved back North and played for various teams in Banff & District League (including A D Walker team when we went to away games in the workers dormobile- what fun, enjoyment and craic ). .
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Watching Jeff Stelling on Gillette Soccer Saturday and waiting for updates from son David re how Vale are doing