Tuesday 17 September 2013

Cowdenbeath - past times

It is not widely known but the first ever match at Douglas Park under floodlights was against Cowdenbeath - in January 1973, which we won 3-0. The stanchions were placed along the front of the terracing, and what with the existing pillars, the spectating experience for the next 14 years was like watching a match at Checkpoint Charlie ( one for the teenagers !).

There had in fact been feverish speculation for some time  before this, when holes were cut in the shed roof. Unfortunately the only visible result of all this activity was rain sweeping in on top of the already disgruntled  punters below.

Cowdenbeath unusually at the time wore a sort of pinstripey shirt, a foretaste of the kit monstrosities to come in the 1990s. And they weren't a bad team either, having been in the top league only 2 years earlier.

Equally there was a definite respect for  the standing of Cowdenbeath and the other Fife clubs. All of them had  their unique history, and were welded into the fabric of their local community. For all that Cowdenbeath are now known as "The Blue Brazil", this is a relatively recent moniker. For most of their history they were known as "The Miners", a nickname which is now sadly obsolete.

Central Park is also a venue where Newcastle-like post match breakdowns are not practicable. No sooner have  the tears started to  flow than the whole ground is shuddering with an ear bursting cacophany as the stock car racing literally gears up for its start.

The most famous encounter between us occurred in August 2002, when the opening day fixture took place only as a result of public subscription, in the form of wages contributions- a far cry but yet not so long before the days of McCarthy million pound transfers. The outcome was a 3-1 win for Accies, and a Marouane Fellaini like performance from.................big Ally Graham, who marked his debut with two headed goals and an assist.

 Big Ally was no shrinking violet either as a player or as a man, and at a previous club had confronted its fanzine writer about poor "notices", the tone of  which was immediately transformed into something approaching  sycophancy - no doubt purely by coincidence.

In conclusion, Cowdenbeath is an exceptionally well run club. Under the stewardship of the colourful and unapologetic Donald Findlay is a team of talented and well connected directors- even if most of them happen to be solicitors! The progress in the boardroom predictably has been matched by achievement on the field with various promotions in recent years for which Danny Lennon and current manager Colin Cameron take great credit. Having been turned over by them in May, a difficult fixture is anticipated this Saturday.


  1. Last season was my first visit to Cowdenbeath since a solitary one in the seventies. I think I was so scarred by this trip that it took me all this time to recover. It was wet, cold, miserable and I just remember the ground as being the worst I had ever visited. At that time the terracing was accessible all the way round . I think we must have won as i remember a group of Cowdenbeath fans threatening us!! Couldn't get out of town quick enough.

  2. Ahhh, the Douglas Park floodlights! I must have been at the Cowdenbeath game referenced by Alan, but I can't remember anything about it. I do recall the then Club Sec (who would that have been? - not Scott or Alan, anyway!) or perhaps it was an official in another position, who proudly announced that the lighting was of the standard required by UEFA (was it called UEFA then?) for European games! We were on the up, and I had dreams of Accies playing in the Fairs Cities Cup in the years to come. Whatever has impeded our progress? Oh, and the floodlights were crap! :-)