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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Name Neil Morrison
Date of Birth 02.05.61
Occupation Technical Clerk
Which years did you play for Deveronvale ?
1986-1988, 1989-1990.
Who signed you for the Vale and what attracted you to sign for the club ?
My dad Julius Morrison signed me from Sunnybank Juniors. I played the first few games as a trialist, and nobody knew Julius was my dad. He sold the club to me by his ambitions to stop the Vale being the whipping boys of the Highland League and build a team Banff could be proud of, and I think he did.
What are your fondest memories of playing for Vale ?
Playing football with a great bunch of lads at the brilliant Princess Royal Park with a support who in my time always got behind you whether we were winning or not. They were the best supporters in the League.
The camaradarie of the squad in 1986-88 was the best dressing room atmosphere I have ever experienced because when we won, we won as a team, when we lost, we lost as a team and when we socialised, we socialised as a team. I think any team, whether it be juvenile through to senior would love to have the spirit our squad had.

There are two other people who helped make this a one off team, and they are the manager Julius Morrison for installing confidence in everyone of us, for his tactics and his enthusiasm, and there was Stewart McPherson, Mr Deveronvale, as he is affectionately known. He made sure we were well looked after both on and off the pitch. He also joined the supporters on the terracing singing etc, but like Julius his enthusiasm for the club was unbelievable.
What is the most memorable game you played in for Vale ?
There are actually two games that I will never forget, the first game was against the then mighty Inverness Caley with all their stars. We played superbly well and beat them a convincing 4-1 with goals from Bob Summers og, Gary "Painter" Morrison and two from myself. The other game was a home derby with Buckie Thistle who were going along with Caley for the title. We played well and won the game 1-0 and it was a big boost for me as my dad was manager of the Vale and my brother, Bruce, was one of the Buckie stars. I scored the only goal of the game and got booked for a scuffle with my brother.
The crowd that day were the best I have ever witnessed in the Highland League and I will never forget that either.
8. Who were the characters at the club ?
Too many to mention really. There was Trevor "Strawberry Blonde" Beagrie, Gary "Painter" Morrison, and Colin "Fingers" Clark. But really everyone of the squad were great characters in their own right.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale ?
I would say the entire squad I had the pleasure of playing alongside would be my choice of the best players I played with at the Vale from 1986-88.
From my second spell I would have to say Graham Lawrie, Nigel Montgomery, and Ian Cormack.
And who were the best players you played against ?
There were a lot of great players I played against in my time at the Vale, but I have chosen seven players who would grace any Highland League team:
Steve Paterson - Elgin City
Billy Urquhart - Inverness Caley
Bruce Morrison - Buckie Thistle
Mickey McPherson - Buckie Thistle
Dave Milroy - Inverness Thistle
Charlie Christie - Inverness Thistle
And an old favourite - Ian Thain - Deveronvale
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
I have played for Cove Rangers, Buckie Thistle, Sunnybank, Bon-Accord and Parkvale Juniors.
I have also been in management with Inverurie Juniors , Aberdeen Lads Club and Lewis United, but have not been involved in football in the last 18 months.
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
I help my fiance, Fiona, with some of the housework and look after her 2 great kids, Ryan and Nicole, but I always have the radio tuned into Radio Scotland for the football.
I also listen to Northsound to get the Vale result and Keith score as my brother, Bruce, still plays for them. Hopefully I will get back into the game in some capacity soon as I do miss the involvement of being in football.