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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Name Colin Manson
Date of Birth 10th January 1953
Occupation Draughtsman
Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale.?
Played juvenile football in Aberdeen for Sporting Dynamo’s, Bonnymuir ‘A’, and Deevale before my move to the Vale

Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ?

I was signed by George Christie and played from 1975 to 1978.

I was really keen to play at the higher level and on the far better surfaces than juvenile football provided.
What are your fondest memories of your time with the club?
For being a struggling club at the time I remember being amazed by the local fans. George Christie had introduced several Aberdeen based players to the club and although we copped our share of thrashings throughout the season the Vale fans really got behind us and were always there to cheer us on. I remember getting a real buzz every time I ran onto Princess Royal Park.
What is the most memorable game(s) you played in for Vale, and why?
My family will never let me forget an “end of season” league game against Caley. My brother made a one off trip to Banff to watch me play. Hundreds of fans made the trip from Inverness in the hope that Caley could clinch the league title, and quite a few Peterhead fans were there to see if lowly Vale could sneak a point and secure the league for Peterhead. I scored a second half own goal past Jim George ( he went the wrong way – honest!) and Caley won the league on goal difference. I wasn’t popular with Jim, my brother  sat embarrassed in the stand, but the hundreds of Caley fans loved me – still waiting for a “back hander!"
Who were the characters at the club ?
I remember some great characters at the club during those years, Norrie McBain, Billy Bavidge, Dave Andrews, Syd Imlach, Allan Forbes and Norman Perry to name a few
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale and why?
I knew when he made his debut in a pre-season friendly against Aberdeen reserves that Jim Leighton would go all the way and represent Scotland. Most good goalies dominate their box or last third, Jim controlled our half and he was only 15 or 16 at the time. Also had a lot of respect for strikers Norrie McBain and a young Mike Herbertson.
And who were the best players you played against, and why?
Charlie Duncan of Inverness Thistle was very impressive the way he could take control of games on a regular basis. I was given the task of marking him once (not twice!) and he took me for a run up and down the pitch half a dozen times as an introduction to the Highland League. I thought I had stamina but he was on a different level. Other players that impressed me were Andy Penman (Caley), Ian Wilson (Elgin) and Inverness Thistle winger “Tich” Black
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
Had a couple of seasons off and then played junior football for Formartine United and Inverurie Locos.
Did an SFA level 2 coaching course before I emigrated to Australia in 1988. Coached and played for a team called North Pine United in Brisbane for 6 seasons.
Still manage to compete in the Asian Pacific Masters games every couple of years and still enjoy the odd 5-a-side indoor
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Fishing or golfing if I get the chance, but usually in front of the computer preparing my team for a “fantasy league”. Occasionally get along to watch Queensland Roar in the National League if there is a big match on.