Lochgelly - the pride of Fife!
Tom Dryburgh, Junior Internationalist
Tom Dryburgh was born in Kirkcaldy on 23 April 1923. He played ice hockey for Kirkcaldy Flyers before starting his football career with Lochgelly Albert. A talented outside left, Tom earned two junior international caps.
He left the Albert for Aldershot in 1947 before joining Rochdale in 1948. He then joined Leicester in August 1950. He played 99 times for the Foxes scoring 30 goals. The photographs show Tom with the Leicester squad 1950-51 and 1951-52.
Tom joined Hull City in 1954 and latterly represented King’s Lynn, Oldham Athletic and Lancaster City. He also played a single match as a trialist for Aberdeen in 1947. Tom Dryburgh died in Rochdale in 2008.
Lochgelly Albert Win Fife Cup, 1935
Lochgelly Albert won their first trophy as a Junior club on 25 May 1935, defeating Rosslyn 2-0 in the final of the Fife Cup. Both goals were scored by the Albert’s prolific centre-forward, Andrew Harley.
The game was played at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy, and watched by a lare crowd that included Rangers manager, Bill Struth. East Fife, Leith Athletic, St Bernards and Hamilton Academicals were the other senior clubs represented.
The Albert’s team was Donnachie, Miller, Graham (Capt.), Taylor, McGuinness, Whyte, Stewart, Sneddon, Harley, Hamilton and Christie. There were no players with a Lochgelly address in the Albert line-up.
With both clubs having the same colours, black and gold, Rosslyn appeared in blue and white, with Albert in maroon jerseys.
The following week the Club completed a double, securing the West Fife Cup after defeating Hearts of Beath 3-0 in a replay. Harley (two) and Christie scored Lochgelly’s goals.
The Wilson Trophy
On 18 June 1938 Lochgelly Albert defeated local rivals Lochgelly Violet to win the Sunnyside (or Wilson) Charity Cup for the first time.
The trophy was donated by Provost Wilson in 1937 and holders Violet had won the inaugural competition with a 7-5 victory across two legs.
The Albert, League Champions and runners-up in the Fife, West Fife, and Cowdenbeath Cups, were quickly two behind before Allan reduced the leeway. Penman scored his second to increase Violet’s lead and despite a goal from Albert striker Harley, Violet comfortably won the first leg 4-2. The game was played at Stewart’s Park, Lochgelly, in front of a crowd of almost 2,000.
In the return leg the game was level at half-time but two Albert goals in quick succession levelled the score at 5-5.
The match went to extra time with both sides scoring to make the score 6-6. Corners were counted to determine the winner, the Albert securing victory by 4 corners to 1. Scorers in the second leg were Clarke, McDonald, Harley and Reid.
Gate receipts across both legs amounted to £50 with proceeds going to charity.
In June 1938 annual membership of the Lochgelly Albert Supporters Club was fixed at 1/- with a reduced fee of 6d for ladies.
The photograph shows prolific Albert forwards Harley and Allan.
VIOLET LEAD IN LOCHGELLY “DERBY”. Lochgelly Violet built up a useful lead at Stewart’s Park, Lochgelly, last night in the first of their two games with Albert for the Wilson Charity trophy.
Violet, the holders, played several of their newly-signed players and the recruits gave a convincing display against the Albert regulars.
Violet were the more enterprising side, and Liddle and Penman scored early on. Allan reduced the leeway, Penman restored the Violet’s two-goal lead, but once more the leeway was reduced, this time by Harley.
In the second half Violet’s superiority was marked, and for long periods they confined play to the Albert’s half. Penman gave them a fourth.
The game was watched by nearly 2000.
The second game will be played at Stewart’s Park on Saturday.
LOCHGELLY VIOLET. – Gianandrea; Pringle and Mullan; Stenhouse, Fleming and Russell; Liddle, Turner and Penman, Hunter, and Byrne.
LOCHGELLY ALBERT. – Donnachie; Taylor and Graham; Barnes, Cranston, and Stewart; Clark, Reid, Harley, Whyte, and Allan.
Referee – J. Thomson, Lumphinnans. The Courier and Advertiser, Thursday, 16 June 1938, 9.
CORNERS COUNT. Corners were counted in the Wilson Charity Cup final between Lochgelly rivals. Play is on the home and home principle. After being down 4-2 in the first game the Albert made a good recovery against the holders. Violet were held to a draw of one goal each in the first half, but their opponents scored twice in quick succession.
Extra time was necessary. Albert won by one goal 4 corners to one goal 1 corner.
Goal-scorers were: – Albert – Clarke, M’Donald, Harley, and Reid. Violet – Liddell and Turner. Gate for the two games was £50. The Courier and Advertiser, Monday, 20 June 1938, 10.
Andrew Harley ... Prolific Goalscorer
On 24 August 1935, Lochgelly Albert beat Denbeath Star, 4-1, in a Fife Junior League match, with prolific striker, Andrew Harley, scoring 3 of the Albert’s goals. Harley had finished the previous season as Fife’s top scorer with 64 in all competitions.
Later that season, on 19 October, Harley scored all 8 goals as the Albert defeated Crossgates Primrose, 8-0, at Gardiners Park.
Falkirk had tried to sign the centre-forward, who also played as a trialist with Alloa, in September.
Despite a disappointing league campaign which saw that Albert end the season in fifth place, by April 1936, Harley had scored an impressive 71 goals.
Lochgelly Albert, thanks to a Harley “hat-trick,” accounted for Denbeath Star by 4-1.
The Star had team difficulties. Scott and Bell were unavailable, and J. Condie and R. Salmond failed to turn up.
Willie Nicholson, of Methilhill, kept goal. “Diddler” Ritchie, a former Star player, now with Methilhill Amateurs, was the outside-left. They were still a player short when they reached Lochgelly, and a local, “Bunny” Calder, turned out at left back. Dunsire, of Kennoway Amateurs, was tried in centre.
The Star had a good share of the game but Calder was below form.
The Albert had a newcomer in Crawford, from Tillicoultry, at left-half, and he played a “blinder.” Taylor, Whyte, and Harley were also prominent. The Evening Telegraph, Tuesday, 27 August 1935, 8.
Rowdy Scenes, 5 December 1936
On 5 December 1936, The Fife Free Press reported on the Albert’s third round Scottish Cup replay with Musselburgh Athletic at Stark’s Park, Kirkcaldy. The game was notable for a pitch invasion involving several hundred Lochgelly supporters, which resulted in the match being delayed for some minutes, and the police having to call for reinforcements. With around ten minutes played Lochgelly were denied a clear penalty and dozens of Albert supporters invaded the pitch. Within ‘a few seconds two or three hundred of them were chasing the referee, who had commenced to run upfield to follow play’. Musselburgh opened the scoring through Sinclair, the ex-Hearts left winger, before Barnes levelled from the spot. A second-half goal from Musselburgh’s right winger, Moore, was enough to secure victory. However, the Albert lodged a successful protest on the grounds that Musselburgh’s Alexander Sharp had provisionally signed for Hearts and was ineligible to play.
The Scottish Cup tie was finally settled on 26 December 1936, after four replays, Musselburgh winning 3-1.
ROWDY SCENES AT STARK’S PARK. SUPPORTERS RUSH FIELD. Amazing scenes were witnessed at Stark’s Park on Saturday afternoon when Musselburgh Athletic and Lochgelly Albert met in their second replay of their third round Scottish Junior Cup tie. Two special trains had brought the Lothian supporters to Kirkcaldy, and over a thousand people had travelled from Lochgelly district to see the match. The game had only been in progress about ten minutes when the incident occurred which, at one time, looked as if it would cause the game to be abandoned.
Lochgelly were pressing hard. A forward shot for goal from a melee. Armstrong got down to the ball and it rebounded out. Wilson fastened on and drove a high shot for the roof of the net. The ‘keeper was prostrate and a defender palmed the ball out. The player seemed to be behind the goal line, but at any rate it was a penalty. Referee Benyon, however, who was standing within a few yards of the goal, refused the Lochgelly claims. When the crowd saw this, hot-headed Lochgelly supporters poured over the barricades and within a few seconds two or three hundred of them were chasing the referee, who had commenced to run upfield to follow play. They surrounded the official and the game came to a sudden stop. The two police officers who were on duty rushed to the referee’s assistance, but they were outnumbered. Assisted by players, however, they ultimately managed to persuade the crowd to return to the terracing. Meantime, an emergency call had been sent to police headquarters and within a few minutes a patrol car arrived with Inspector Paterson Fyfe in charge of a number of officers, who immediately patrolled the ground and continued to do so until the end of the game.
It is many years since there was a break-in at Stark’s Park. No arrests were made as the two officers had too many persons to deal with.
The Fife side never recovered from the disallowed penalty, but despite that they were value for a draw. It was a very hard tussle, with many hard knocks, but, on the whole, was remarkably free from dirty tactics.
The opening exchanges were fairly quiet, but Lochgelly provided some excitement when White sent to Allan and the winger’s cross was just scraped clear. This was followed by a Wilson lob, which just went over. Musselburgh retaliated and Donnachie found it difficult to clear a clever Moore cross. A great run by Huskie saw the Lochgelly defence in difficulties, and Taylor just managed to beat Moore to the ball. Then came a nasty incident. Lochgelly made a raid and in a melee Wilson shot hard for goal. Armstrong was beaten, and Waddell appeared to punch the ball out. The referee refused to give a penalty, and immediately dozens of Lochgelly supporters dashed on to the field and rushed at the referee. The position looked ominous when the police went to the rescue, and several hot-headed supporters had to be escorted off the field by players and police. The game was interrupted for five minutes.
Musselburgh unexpectedly took the lead through Sinclair, who headed home a Moore cross. The score was against the run of play, for Armstrong had been constantly in action. In the closing minutes of the half, Musselburgh played much better, and fine inter-passing moves gave them several openings, but the shots by Sherrett and Huskie were blocked. Westwood, at the other end, had a good try which was just off the mark.
The crowd had reached 3000 when the game restarted. Musselburgh made headway, but weak finishing kept them from augmenting their lead. After six minutes Westwood got a pass down the centre from Barns, and he dashed towards Armstrong. As he was about to shoot he was grassed, and the referee awarded a penalty, which Barns converted. This made the game keener than ever, and injuries were fairly frequent. Twice Allan severely tested Armstrong with strong drives. Armstrong was again in action when he scooped clear two dangerous lobs from White. A tense moment came at the other end, when Donnachie stopped a Sinclair shot and the ball rebounded to Reid, who shot past from five yards. Next minute a free kick on the goal line saved Musselburgh from going into arrears. Musselburgh went ahead following a melee, Moore scoring with a brilliant shot. Donnachie was injured and had to retire. Musselburgh showed the brighter touches, but the persistence of Lochgelly made them value for a draw. They never recovered from the disallowed penalty.
Lochgelly Albert – Donnachie; Taylor and Graham; Barns, Malcolm and White; Harley, Wilson, Westwood, Reid and Allan.
Musselburgh Athletic – Armstrong; Greig and Waddell; Sharp, Gordon and Sneddon; Moore, Reid, Sherritt, Huskie and Sinclair.
Referee – J. Benyon, Overtown. The Fife Free Press, Saturday, 5 December 1936, 13.
Fife and Lothians Cup Champions, 1937
On 5 June 1937 Lochgelly Albert won the Fife and Lothians Cup defeating Tranent Juniors 6-2 at Central Park, Cowdenbeath.
The kick-off was delayed until four o’clock to allow Tranent’s supporters to reach Cowdenbeath, with gate receipts amounting to some £120 (approximately £6,000 by current standards).
Playing against the wind Allan opened the Albert’s account in the sixth minute. Tranent equalised but Albert centre-forward, Harley, put the Fifers ahead at half-time. Harley scored his second early in the second half but Tranent reduced the deficit making it 3-2. However, goals by Allan, Wilson and Harley secured victory for the Albert.
In its first three years the Fife and Lothians Cup competition was won by three Fife teams with Kirkford, Bowhill Rovers and Lochgelly Albert lifting the cup, three clubs all within a radius of six miles of each other.
ALBERT COMPLETE TREBLE. TRANENT OUTPLAYED. £120 “GATE” AT COWDENBEATH. LOCHGELLY ALBERT, by defeating Tranent Juniors in the final of the Fife and Lothian Cup, completed a treble by Fife clubs in this competition. Kirkford were the first to win the trophy, beating West Calder, and Bowhill Rovers disposed of Dunbar United in last season’s final.
The popularity of the competition was emphasised in the “gate,” which realised £120 at Cowdenbeath, figures which may cause Lothian clubs to alter their minds on the question that the event should be scrapped.
Albert were minus the “B” in their name against Tranent. Half-backs Barnes, Malcolm, and White were on their toes all the time. White was the outstanding player afield and had much to do with the success of left-winger Allan.
The Albert ‘keeper Donnachie, was injured in the second half, but carried on in plucky fashion.
Allan’s opening score for Albert was of the unsaveable order. Forbes’ equaliser was also a bonny effort. Harley gave Albert the lead before the interval.
Harley raised Albert’s total early in the second half, and soon after Tranent had reduced the leeway the Fifers ran riot, scoring three times through Allan, Wilson and Harley. The Courier and Advertiser, Monday, 7 June 1937, 4.
On 30 November 1937, 21 year old Lochgelly Albert inside-right, John Wilson, signed for Celtic. Scouts from several senior clubs, believed to include Arsenal and Manchester United, had watched the former Blairhall Colliery forward, who, before signing for Celtic had rejected an ‘attractive offer’ from an unnamed English side. That forenoon he had taken part in a trial game at Parkhead and his ‘form was so good that Manager Willie Maley lost no time in signing him’.
Wilson was a member of the Celtic reserve side that won the Alliance League in 1938.
Wilson signed for Chesterfield on 17 May 1939. Chelsea were also interested in his signature but manager, Willie Birrell, was too late in making an offer. Instead, Wilson became Chesterfield’s fourth new signing of the 1939-40 season. Described as ‘22 years of age and stand[ing] 5ft. 8in. He is a native of Blairhall, Fifeshire, and at one time played for the Scottish junior team Lochgelly Albert … He has plenty of that type of skill peculiar to the Scots with a fair turn of speed as well’.
During the war years he played for Blantyre Victoria and was a member of the side which lost to Glasgow Perthshire in the 1944 Scottish Junior Cup final. He also guested for Dunfermline, Hamilton, Berwick Rangers, Dundee United, and captained Cowdenbeath in 1945-46.
Following the war, he returned to Chesterfield before transferring to Oldham and Accrington Stanley. He later managed Blairhall Juniors for some twenty years. Johnnie Wilson died on 2 November 2010, aged 94.
. On 6 January 1954, Raith Rovers re-signed veteran outside-left Davie Duncan from East Fife. Davie had been a regular at Bayview for the best part of a decade but had lost his place to Andy Matthew and spent most of that season with the reserves where he had scored ten goals. This persuaded the Rovers’ manager, Bert Herdman to approach East Fife and secure his services. Davie was immediately pitched into a relegation battle making his debut in a vital match against Airdie where his accurate crosses led to two goals and an important Raith victory.
Davie Duncan was born in Milton of Balgonie on 21 November 1921. He first represented Lochgelly Albert before joining Raith Rovers in 1939. The Albert outside-left had attracted the attention of a number of senior clubs, and with inside-right, William Bain, was expected to move to either Aberdeen or Wolverhampton Wanderers, who Davie represented in a trial match. At the Albert’s 4-1 Fife and Lothians Cup win over Winchburgh Juniors in January 1939, scouts from Dunfermline, Airdrie, Newcastle, Leicester and Wolves were all in attendance at Gardiners Park with Lochgelly’s Duncan, Bain and Murray potential signing targets. However, the young winger made the switch to Stark’s Park. For whatever reason the move was unsuccessful and Davie was loaned to Hearts before joining Celtic on 17 December 1942.
He made a scoring Celtic debut a couple of day later in a 3-2 Regional League victory over Motherwell at Parkhead. He had what was described as ‘a terror of a left foot’ and it was a surprise to many that he was never given more of an opportunity at the Glasgow club. He made 10 Regional League and 4 Regional League Cup appeareances between 1942-44 in a struggling Celtic side, scoring three goals. One of these came in the New Year’s Day Old Firm derby which Rangers won 8-1.
He was released in the autum of 1944 and signed for East Fife. ‘While with East Fife, Duncan, the man with dynamite in his left foot, developed into one of the nost dangerous wingers in the country’. He was instrumental in East Fife’s promotion to the top flight and scored a hat-trick in the club’s 4-1 League Cup final victory against Falkirk on 1 November 1947 watched by a crowd of 31,000 at Hampden Park. The East Fife team was managed by the legendary Scot Symon who would enjoy further success with Rangers. Davie lifted the Legue Cup trophy again in October 1949 scoring in East Fife’s 3-0 final win against Dunfermline. In total Duncan made 260 appearances for East Fife scoring 107 goals.
He became the second East Fife player, and the first ‘B’ Division footballer, to represent Scotland. He earned three international caps and also represented a Scottish League XI in a match against England at Newcastle in 1948. He made a scoring international debut in a 2-0 win against Belgium at Hampden on 28 April 1948 in front of a home a crowd of some 70,000. The press described him as an ‘an admirable winger, able to snap up a scoring chance’. His other caps came against Switzerland in Berne and France in Paris.
His last East Fife appearance came in a reserve match against Raith Rovers on 26 December 1953, scoring two goals in a 3-0 victory. Joining Rovers a few days later, ‘the outside-left with the thunderbolt shot’, helped them avoid relegation before moving to Crewe Alexandra in 1955, and finishing his career with Brechin City 1956-59.
David Millar Duncan, the onetime Lochgelly Albert Junior, who, at the height of his powers would be described as ‘one of the most dangerous wingers in the country’, earning three full international caps, died on 11 January 1991, aged 69 years. From Gardiners Park to Hampden and cup and international glory, Davie Duncan’s incredible story singles him out as one the Albert’s most successful graduates.
1949 FA Cup Final
Former Lochgelly Albert inside-left Alec Scott in action for Leicester City in the 1949 FA Cup Final against Wolverhampton Wanderers, 30 April 1949.