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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
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Name James ‘Champ’ Milne  
Date of Birth 24/09/1979
Occupation Maintenance Technician @ Schlumberger
Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale.
 Played for Aberdeen Lads Club in my younger years before leaving to join all conquering Albion Rangers BC. Played there for 3 seasons. During that time was on Schoolboy forms with Dundee United after my old man told me to turn down Rangers!! Good or bad decision ill never know! Also played for Scotland U-15 Schoolboys and had the joy of beating Brazil at Hampden but also the despair of losing to England at St James Park. A certain Michael Owen scored his best ever goal that night. Left Dundee United and had trials with Hearts, Aberdeen & Bolton Wanderers. Looked like I was heading to Bolton to turn pro but things went sour somehow and I ended up joining the Vale.
Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ?
I think start of 1996/1997 season and left for Buckie Thistle is 2000. Might be wrong. Getting old and grey!! The late Alan Scott signed me for the Vale. Had played at PRP before and thought it was one of the best pitches in North Football at any level. The chance to make the step from Juveniles to Highland League was also a big chance to make an impression at a higher level.
What are your fondest memories of your time with the club?
Do I have to do this! Ah well most will remember my famous corner flag kick at Lossie. Went to take a corner and Nige came bombing fae the back for a short corner only for me to wipe oot the corner flag and for the ball to move about a foot! Corner flag about killed half the team in the box!! Embarassed? Aye just a tad! Also in my first season I remember making the Highland League Team of the Year in the Highland League magazine. Was quite an honour when you saw the rest of the team and the names that were in it!
What is the most memorable game(s) you played in for Vale, and why?
The one game that stands out has to be the 6-5 at Rothes. 5-1 down with 13 minutes left with the fans screaming for Brian Stewart to be sacked and all of a sudden we came roaring back and won 6-5. Fans suddenly thought Brian was a hero!!.
Who were the characters at the club ?
Too many of them! Nige, Dippy, Ratts, Heggie probably the most daft but whole team had their moments. Always remember the lads holiday in the Algarve! One of the funniest 2 weeks ive experienced. Cant remember who was all there but Nige, Dippy, myself, Willie Waddell I remember. Duker trying to make his way back to hotel after night oot on his hands and knees. Nige spending a day in local hospital splitting his hand open bleezing drunk trying to get out the pool. Duker nearly drowning having a game o Pigs at about 11am!!
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale and why?
Easy one really. Nigel Montgomery one of the best players ive ever played alongside. Unbelievable passer of the ball with a phenomenal strike on him. Dippy also one of the most talented skillful players ive seen in Highland League. Hendo was a quality player at the back but also a top guy off the park.
And who were the best players you played against, and why?
Had the unfortunate joy of playing against Michael Owen, Wes Brown, Michael Ball playing schoolboys. Unbelievable players back then. Highland terms id say Mike Stephen fae the Broch has to be the best ive played against. Awesome left foot!
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale?
Left the Vale and moved to Buckie for 3 seasons. Joined Banks O Dee in 2003/2004. Played 2 season there before a spell playing in Australia. Came back from Oz and joined Lewis United for remainder of 05/06 season. Left Lewis United and joined Glentanar before joining Parkvale in 2008. Just recently left Parkvale and joined a new project at Sunnybank trying to help put them back in the top league where they should be. Probably be my last club I hope before retiring!! 
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Still playing junior football. I had stopped playing 2 seasons ago and played golf every weekend. Was club champion at Oldmeldrum last year but missed the fitba too much and went back to it. If no game usually spend the time with my 2 kids, Lachlan 3 and Hollie 1.

Hollie                            Lachlan                       Catriona (the mrs !)