Albion Rovers – Cause for Concern in Coatbridge

You cannot really dislike c. Living in that town of Coatbridge which more or less 100% supports Celtic, you really have to have some sort of sympathy for them, even though they have just recently appointed as their Manager a fellow called Sandy Clark (remember him? He played for Airdrie, Hearts and Rangers, commentated for the BBC and was not exactly famous for his Celtic-mindedness.)

Yesterday, Albion were at Station Park, Forfar, and being a lifelong supporter of Forfar, I was there. Although delighted by my second team’s narrow and somewhat scratchy 2-1 victory – well it was the fourth tier after all! – I felt a wee bit of pity for the lovers of Albion Rovers who were there in commendable numbers.

They were a decent, well behaved lot with no unpleasant chants about bridies or sheep, but it would appear that they are now heading for the Lowland League.

Being bottom of the Scottish Second Division entails draconian punishment these days and already Berwick Rangers (younger readers may care to read up about what they did in January 1967), East Stirlingshire, Cowdenbeath and Brechin City have vanished and may never reappear.

One would hate to think that the Celtic-minded inhabitants of Coatbridge would lose their own wee team who have done quite a lot for Scottish football.

Did you know for example that they were in the final of the Scottish Cup of 1920? In the semi final they beat Rangers in a replay at Celtic Park! And that was after Rangers had beaten Celtic in the quarter final, so there was a bit of revenge. And then in 1942 they gave a debut to a man who wasn’t a bad contributer to Scottish football. Stein, or something, his name was, I believe.

And then there was Tony Green (the name gives a clue to his sympathies!) who graduated from Cliftonhill to play brilliantly for Newcastle and Scotland in the 1960s and 1970s.

So come away the wee Bhoys! And for the first time in our lives we can wish for success for Sandy Clark!

Oh, and another thing. Albion Rovers’ goal yesterday was scored by a man called Bevan. Bevan? There was once another Bevan who founded the National Health Service and said that all Tories were lower than vermin. So there’s another for reason for cheering on the wee Rovers.

David Potter

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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