. 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.