East Fife v Hearts

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This game happened two seasons before I thought it had but thanks due to Davy's font of knowledge I can inform you that this game took place on Saturday 4 March 1972. The game was East Fife v Hearts and the score was 2-2. For codgers and officiados the team was Garland, Sneddon, Brown, Wood, T Murray Thomson, Jefferies, Anderson, Kinnear, Lynch, Ford, Carruthers. The crowd was 6,000 but to an impressionable 13 going on 14 next again week it appeared to be three times that at least.

It started off in a Triumph Herald when four of us got a lift to Methil from my mate's dad and his sister who had a pair of attributes that girls our own age did not have in such abundance and was considered by all to be a bit of a shag (these were politically incorrect times remember whereupon today most 13/14 year old boys would simply remark upon her attributes such as her wonderful personality etc.)

For those of you not of an age to remember the Herald is little bigger than a mini. Then like now, I was the wee'est one and I was shoe-horned in the back of this cool car. When we arrived the other three jumped out but I just fell out flat onto my face. The car sped off, they ran off to the nearest programme seller and I found that I had a severe attack of cramp in both legs. I just couldn't stand up. 'Ya wee drunken bastard' was one of the kinder words I heard as I groped for a wall to pull myself up. Luckily, the other three spotted me and dragged me off to the turnstile. I still remember trying to protest as I wanted a programme but they were having none of it. Luckily, I recovered as I managed to get one which I still have to this day. It was signed by Harry Kinnear, one of the scorers and Roy Carruthers - more about later.

This was the early 70's and bootboys were the rage. The police didn't like the Hearts support as they had a fearsome reputation and as a result we were subject to some rough treatment and searches that could amount to a physical assault in other circumstances. We were a bit too early as the Methil Boot Boys had the shed and despite the size of their support, had a name for causing trouble. My daft mate wanted to go where the clinically insane were gathering, of course right next to the Methil Boys.

In these days there was usually a bit singing, shoving, the odd bottle (filled with piss if it was from the Old Firm) and enough coins to buy a fish supper after with. In between the two gangs would be the thin blue line which apart from the Old Firm, faced towards the Gorgie Jungle. What a sodding job. Covered in gob, pushed and jostled but not allowed to break the link with your colleagues on either side of you. What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon, employed as an Aunt Sally to keep drunken yobs amused. One of the problems with everyone drinking was that few bothered to go to the designated wall that served as the official toilet. Usually, it was a shout from someone who had little warning other than a sudden hot damp trouser leg, as the drunk on the terracing directly behind decided to relieve himself on the spot. It was worse where the terracing was made out of railway sleepers and cinders. The devastation caused with a jet of pee was truly awesome. Your ox blood Docs and sky blue Stay Press ended up looking like a school uniform; grey and black.

The Gorgie took the shed after a couple of charges, by this time of course the drunken hordes from the buses had managed to stagger out of the pub having supplemented the carry out taken on board the bus and straight into the pagger. The game started and do you know I can hardly remember what happened apart from a few incidents. Quinton Young who was a former Rangers player said something to the Hearts supporters and someone gobbed right in his face. He was rather annoyed and tried to resolve the matter with the offender. Quinton was certainly nothing like his namesake Mr Crisp. He was a total bam and took no prisoners. He was almost in the terracing and luckily for the Hearts supporter, the referee was having none of it. Well aware that if a riot ensued he would have to run (something he had not done since the egg and spoon race at school) he told Young to get one with it.

I bought this pie that was just filled with hot grease and it was just inedible. Fortunately, the East Fife goalie who I think was Gorman, was running up to take a goal kick. Never one to miss an opportunity, I launched the pie and BINGO! it hit him right down the back of his neck and put him off his kick. (Children if you are reading this article can I just say this took place in a different time and on what seams to be another planet, do not attempt this nowadays). I was a hero for all of a minute until the police spotted the direction of the missile and sent in a couple of angry looking bobbies to catch the assailant. Ducking out of it, we moved to another part of the terracing where it was just that wee bit quieter.

I can't remember much of the goals but Harry Kinnear was our new signing I think and we stayed on to get some autographs. Apart from Harry and someone's' squiggle, I managed to get ERIC CARRUTHERS' autograph. At the time of 70's Glam, he was Hearts' answer to Peter Marinello except that he couldn't play football. Oh yes and I did get this present for my 40th last year, a Hearts top with Carruthers' name on the back. It was a revenge present as we had got an old radge a similar one with Winchester printed on the back. I think I ended up the with the worse one hands down.