Fanzone Number Ten

This week we spoke to Linlithgow Rose fan Colin Boyle

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When did you first start watching your club?

I couldn’t say for certain but it must’ve been before I started school. Many moons ago.

Why did you start supporting the club?

My mum worked on a Saturday so I always went to the games with my old man and my granda. My granda used to to be neighbours with Davy Roy and the pair of them were part of the establishing of the social club when it opened. He was also kit man at one point and his love for the club was never going to bypass me.

What’s the greatest game you have been too?

The game where we won the league at Bo’ness when all looked lost and we ended up winning 3-2. I’ve never seen anything like it. One minute we’re looking at a defeat from our near neighbours and them winning the league to it all being reversed in a matter of minutes. It definitely is a funny old game.

Best moment as a fan?

Winning the Scottish Junior Cup in 2002. After all the early exits for years, it was a day I never thought we’d see.

Worst moment as a fan?

The current situation at the club is probably right up there.

Best away trip and why?

The trip to Vale of Leven in 2002 was brilliant. We went through in the back of my mate’s van. Me and two of my best buddies in amongst his work gear and tools with a big rucksack filled with cans of cider. Who knows what the local folk were thinking when we stopped at traffic lights and they could hear the singing coming from the back of the van. I reckon the game that day was the pivotal point in the season where it all became so real that a Scottish Cup win was ours. My mate vowed that day that the scarf I gave him wasn’t getting washed until we got beat in the Scottish. It survived as a Bovril, broon sauce, lager stained rag until the final against Tayport the next again season.

Favourite Junior ground?

Prestonfield. Not much imagination in that answer but I’ve had some belters of times there, that it would be impossible for it not to be my answer.

Favourite all time player and why?

I’m sneaking two here. As a bairn. Davie Blaikie. Scored hundreds of goals and that’s what you loved as a boy – the baw hitting the net. As a big bairn. Danny Smith. Epitomised everything you wanted in a player. He broke bones for the club and would’ve gave his last breath on the park in a maroon jersey. A top lad and a pity how his tenure as manager at the club he loved turned out.

Best pie in the juniors?

I don’t eat pies as I’m an athlete.

Are you in favour of the pyramid system?

I’m undecided. I always viewed junior football as a community thing and to be honest, I’ve not really paid too much attention to the pros and cons of the whole thing. In a lot of ways, junior football is stuck in the dark ages so it’s possible that it could only be a good thing.

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

It’s something I would like to see. When the three regions were brought together for the East Superleague, the teams had to up their games big time.

Any rule changes you would like to see?

Get rid of that current offside rule. If you’re offside, you’re offside. I can see where they were coming from though with the interfering with play side of things but the linesmen can’t get it right.

Since you started watching football what has changed?

Positively?

The availability of viewing games. Sportscene and Scotsport were as good as it got when we were young. Now, you can watch a game every night if you want.

Negatively?

Petty things that were brought in. Bookings for taking your shirt off after scoring. Tape for your socks having to be the same colour as the socks. Come on. What was wrong with green and yellow earth tape wrapped round them? My main thing is the way players conduct themselves. Refs take a lot of abuse from players. Rugby has it nailed when it comes to respect for the refs.

Who will be key for you this season?

There are a lot of boys who are due us something this season. Tommy Coyne has delivered consistently every year and when you’re getting a boy scoring that many goals, it takes a bit of pressure off the rest of the team. If he’s firing on all cylinders, then we’ll win more than we’ll lose. He’s been there a few years now so he is expected to lead from the front.

The best goal you have ever seen?

Stevie Muir’s 30 yarder in the Scottish against Whitburn a few years back. Hit first time and flew like a rocket in the top corner the ball came back out the net as the keeper was diving for it. He would’ve needed a radar to have seen it.

What do you enjoy most about Junior football?

The banter is second to none. There is always moments of comedy at almost every game.

What would further enhance the junior experience?

Safety being improved within some grounds. I’ve cringed a few times when a bairn runs past and falls their length over a sleeper that has sunk in to stairs or an older person just about does the same – without the running part though.

Funniest thing you have seen at a football match?

When the east vs west select for Junior Scotland selection was on one Sunday afternoon. It was a holiday weekend so I decided to go out with another Rose supporter to watch the game and then have one or two light refreshments afterwards. Marc Corcoran was flying for the Rose at that time so he was playing that day. Our well known supporter Coach was roaring some words of encouragement at Corky and proceeded to walk along the stairs when he was tanking it up the wing. Next thing Coach takes a heeder down the steps right in front of the pie hut. He was like a stuntman.

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

I think the club have made massive strides with ground improvements due to the SFA licence deal. I would like to see terracing behind the goals at the school end with a cover over it. In fact, cancel the cover so that the Bo’ness boys get wet. Just kidding. If this ever happened, it would take away the bit where all the bairns kick a ball about throughout the game so leave my terracing out of the equation as the kids are who are going to be around telling their tales about junior football in years to come. They would get fed up and stop going if they didn’t have that bit to kick about on.

Tell us about those toilets at the School End?

Put a clothes peg on your nose when entering. I went in there when I was a bairn around the age when you went for a pee, you pulled your trousers all the way down. Somebody mis hit a shot which conveniently went over the wall and the ball proceeded to bounce around the toilet walls like a pinball with me inside. I got that much of a fright I came running out of the toilet greeting with my troosers round my ankles, pants covered in pee. There was another time somebody shat on the floor in there in the summer and an auld boy stood in in with his sandals on.

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

In a better state than the current moment. There are a lot of issues that need to be ironed out just now so I’m looking to that just now.

Your best eleven of all time?

Buzz Lamont, Kevin Gibson, Ian Gallagher, John Ward, Stevie Swift, Mark Whyte, Danny Smith, Ian McLaughlin, Marc Corcoran, Davie Blaike, Brian Carrigan.

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