Fanzone number 11

whitburn

This week we caught up with Whitburn fan Ross Gallacher

When did you first start watching your club?

I attended my first match at five or six, it was a testimonial for long serving goalkeeper Larry Meade against Patrick Thistle.

Why did you start supporting the club?

As a young boy you could hear the crowd at Central Park from my uncles house, the crowds seemed huge back then I was hooked quite young by the age of ten and I never missed a home game. As I got older I joined the supporters club, great memories.

What’s the greatest game you have been too?

The league decider in 1996 v Linlithgow having been in a relegation place a few months earlier we went on an incredible run which gave us a last game league decider. It was winner takes all or if it was a draw the longtime leaders Arniston Rangers would have won the title, we won 3-1 but the outcome was in doubt right to the last minutes.

Best moment as a fan?

Winning the Scottish Cup v Johnstone Burgh in 2000, many times I thought we had squads capable of winning the big one but always fell short. We had a few shaky moments on route to the final, the semi final v Benburb we scored early then got dominated the rest of the game ended up winning on penalties. In the final we conceded early but fought back, ended up winning on penalties after a terrific 2-2 draw after extra time, the celebrations in Whitburn that night will stay with many forever.

Worst moment as a fan?

The back to back relegations from the super league down to the south league really hit the club hard.

Best away trip and why?

I always enjoyed going to Lochee Utd, good trip on the supporters bus, good people involved at Lochee, always made you feel welcome.

Favourite Junior ground?

Linlithgow Rose, outstanding facilities the benchmark for many and a pitch that always allows good football to be played on it.

Favourite all time player and why?

Lots come to mind, but I’d say Calum Milne when he was at Whitburn. He just oozed class, terrific defender at either full back or centre half, superb penalty taker as well.

Best food in the juniors?

The stovies at Armadale take some beating.

Are you in favour of the pyramid system?

I am in favour of it though it’s unfortunate that some of the big junior sides won’t be part of it anytime soon.

Are you in favour of a combined East/West super league?

Maybe in a few years but just now I think the super leagues are good as they are.

What about Junior clubs in the Scottish Cup?

I think it’s a great incentive for teams if they win the super league or Scottish cup, Bo’ness, Auchinleck Linlithgow and Irvine meadow have all done the junior game proud.

Any rule changes you would like to change ?

Stop all the tinkering with the offside rule.

Since you started watching football what has changed?

Positively?

Most clubs have better facilities and more information for the fans through social media and websites.

Negatively?

More clubs going into abeyance or going out of the game, seems to be more every season and more teams are struggling.

The best goal you have ever seen?

I could mention about 10 but will go for Stuart ‘stig’ Gilmour a 30 yard rocket two keepers wouldn’t have saved.

After storm damage to the ground you had to play at the local school, how did affect the club?

Financially having to pay for pitch at the school, plus loss of earnings from the home games from lower crowds, no food facilities at the school.

How do you think the club will do this season?

After a bad start losing the first 3 league games unless we hit form soon it will be a hard season. We have the nucleus of a good side by South league standards, it’s a very competitive league.

Who do you really look forward to playing and why?

I don’t manage to make every game now with other commitments so I just enjoy every match I attend, though can’t wait to attend Central Park when it’s ready.

Grass pitches or artificial and why?

Grass all day long, you always see a better game on grass though I can understand why clubs go artificial.

What do you enjoy most about Junior football?

Great value for money plus the banter with other teams fans, I’ve met many good people through watching junior football.

What would further enhance the junior experience?

I like junior football the way it is, every club has there own unique grounds, better toilet facilities at some would be good.

Funniest thing you have seen at a football match?

Apart from a dog invading the pitch and chasing the ball I can’t think of many.

If you could make improvements at the ground what would they be?

Once our new pavilion is finished I’ll just be glad Whitburn are back playing at home, the committee deserve great credit for the job they have done.

Where would you like the club to be in ten years time?

Hopefully back in the super league by then and challenging for honours.

Your best eleven of all time?

This was very difficult to choose

gk Robert burns rb Bruce clouston lb Calum Milne cb Steve prior cb Stephen Richardson rm Kenny Hannah cm Iain ramage cm Keith Ferguson lm Paul Taylor cf lee Bullen Colin Campbell

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