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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Name Gordon McKay
Date of Birth 16.10.63
Occupation Maintenance Engineer
Which years did you play for Deveronvale ?
1979 -1985.
Who signed you for the Vale and what attracted you to sign for the club ?
Billy Anderson signed me. At the time Jim Pirie, Davie Wilson, and James Alexander were at the club, and we had all come through the school team together. We all got on really well, so the Vale seemed to be a good option.
What are your fondest memories of playing for Vale ?
I always liked playing home games, as the fans were always very supportive towards me. We also had a great after-match social life !
I remember carrying out an annual sponsored swim, done so that I could purchase my goalies gloves for the season (true story !)
What is the most memorable game you played in for Vale ?
The day we played Keith at Banff. Joe Harper had not long signed for Keith, and they were chasing the league title with Caley. We won 2-1, I saved a penalty from Harper, and I had one of my better games !
I won't mention the 9-3 drubbing we got at Clach in 1982 !
Who were the characters in the team?
Denis D'Arcy - I still remember the first day he walked into the home dressing room before the game. He was as wide as he was tall, and had the biggest thighs I'd ever seen ! None of the shorts would fit him, so Billy Anderson sent someone up to Jaytee Sports for a new pair of shorts…they came back with the biggest pair in the shop…size 52 !!! He was a scary guy !
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale ?
Denis D'Arcy has to be one of the best, as not a lot got past the big man ! But I would have to say Davie Wilson. He was fast and very reliable.
And who were the best players you played against ?
Charlie Barbour (Peterhead) - He was one of the most dangerous strikers we came up against. He was superb in the air, and just seemed to hang there when going up for headers.
Graham Masson (Elgin City) - He was one of the strongest and hardest midfielders in the game…I was glad I played in goals when he was around !
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
I played a few games for Elgin City shortly after leaving the Vale ( due to work commitments ). I also had a spell at Turriff United when work permitted.
Up until last year I was assistant manager for my eldest son's team Deveronvale under 14s, and had been coaching for several years till then. I recently signed for Macduff United. Played one game, cracked a rib, and haven't played since, again due to work commitments. (I've got to get it into my head …I'm not 18 anymore !!!)
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
The wife would tell this one better than I can ! Normally it would be spent knocking a little ball around the golf course (in the summer obviously.) In the winter my eldest plays for Deveronvale Under 16s, so I would normally go and cheer him on.