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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Name Billy Sutherland
Date of Birth 28th March 1965
Occupation Operations Manager
Which years did you play for Deveronvale ?
I played from 1992 until 1994.
Who signed you for the Vale and what attracted you to sign for the club ?
Joe Harper was the manager. It was my last game for Cove on trial when the Vale came to Allan Park. I now had a taste for the Highland League and was very keen to continue to play at a higher level. The way Joe approached me following the match and the camaraderie between the guys, convinced me it was where to go. It turned out my first impressions were right.
What are your fondest memories of playing for Vale ?
The way the fans, staff and players always made you feel really welcome. There always seemed to be a happy, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of banter in the dressing room.
Playing Joe Harper for a quid at penalties on my first trip to Princess Royal and beating him, never received the quid yet.
Receiving players player of the year for season 93/94.
Ricko Masson trying to look trendy in the red fluffy thermal bottoms
What is the most memorable game you played in for Vale ?
Its difficult to pick between two games for different reasons. The second game I played for the Vale was at Keith In the first round of the Aberdeenshire Cup 92/93 where we won 3-2 and I scored my first goal.
The other game was the 4-2 win over Elgin in the 1st round of the Qualifying Cup 93/94. They were looking to have a good run in the Scottish Cup that year and were fancied to do well. Not that year they didn't. An enjoyable evening was had by all red and white supporters following that game.
Who were the characters at the club ?
I played for 4 different managerial characters in my short time at the Vale, JoeHarper, 'some guy from Dundee', Neil McLennan and Kevin Bremner, and seen the comings and goings of quite a few players. The Vale was always full of characters during this time, Rico, Mairy (cuv), Dinky, Clarkie, Toosh, Granda Masson, Dippy, Bradley, Macbeth, Strachan, Ivor, and of course Mr Banff himself to name but a few.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale ?
All the players who turned out for the Vale during my time gave their best but most technically gifted I would have to pick out Bradley Kerr, Nigel Montgommery and Paul Bridgeford and in addition to ability, Steve Dolan's workrate was second to none.
And who were the best players you played against ?
Andy Paterson and Dave Whyte ( both Cove), Johnston Bellshaw & Chris Sommerville (Ross County), Kev Walker and Doug Rougvie (Huntly) only because he was a lot bigger than me. Doug that is !
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
Played for Bon Accord juniors until they ceased to exist and then went back to Kincorth Amateurs until I broke my cheek bone, required an operation and haven't played since.
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
These days I spend most of my Saturdays climbing hills all over Scotland. I have climbed 160 of the 3000 feet plus mountains and my aim is to climb them all.