. 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.
Sandy Scott, FA Cup Finalist
Signatures of the Leicester City FA Cup Final squad, 29 April 1949, including former Albert man, Sandy Scott.
In February 1947, following a Scottish Cup loss to Irvine Meadow, Lochgelly Albert’s 25-year-old inside-left, Alexander McNaughton ‘Sandy’ Scott, joined Leicester City. Heavy snow had jeopardised the match, but supporters had worked through the night, by the light of lorry headlamps, to clear the pitch. Over 5,000 attended the match with spectators entering Gardiners Park through passages cut through five-foot drifts.
Scott had been watched by a number of clubs and in January legendary Manchester United manager, Matt Busby, attended the Lochgelly Albert vs. Forth Wanderers cup match to watch the Albert’s Scott and Whyte. Busby complimented the Albert officials on ‘their ground and enclosure and … afterwards travelled with them to the tie’. A native of Boarhills, Alec Scott joined Leicester who were managed by Lochgelly man, Johnny Duncan. The link between Leicester and Lochgelly was strengthened the following season when the Albert’s outside-left, Thomas Paterson, joined Scott at Filbert Street. Scott made his debut against Fulham on 3 January 1948. Starting season 1948-49 as an inside-left he was converted to left-back due to an injury sustained by established defender, Jim Harrison.
He started eight of Leicester’s FA Cup matches as the club reached the final for the first time in its history. Leicester defeated Birmingham City in the 3rd Round, although it took two replays to decide the winner. Preston North End were beaten in the 4th Round, Luton dispatched, after a replay, in the 5th, and Brentford knocked out in the 6th Round. The Semi-Final saw Leicester face high-flying Portsmouth at Highbury on 16 March 1949.
Portsmouth were to be crowned league champions that season (and the next) and were favourites to lift the FA Cup. Leicester were then 20th in the old Second Division and in a desperate fight to avoid relegation. Johnny Duncan’s Leicester were a young side with an average age of 24 and reckoned 400/1 outsiders. Alec Scott only received word that he would start that match about an hour and a half before the semi-final kicked-off. In front of a crowd of 62,000 Leicester created what was described as ‘one of the biggest sensations of the modern times’ defeating Portsmouth 3-1.
Don Revie scored after five minutes before an Alec Scott own-goal levelled the match. Describing the incident, he recalled that ‘Harris and I were racing for it. I tried to hook it back to McGraw (the Leicester goalkeeper), but I hit it too hard’. However, a goal for fellow Scotsman Ken Chisholm and another from Revie in the first nine minutes of the second half was enough to secure a famous victory.
One reporter wrote: ‘The City achieved a balance that was never shown by Pompey. Revie stood unrivalled as a constructive artist and positioning expert, Chisholm worked like a fury, his goal being the result of sheer persistency. Scott justified his choice to the hilt and cleared with certainty, Jelly really pinned down Froggatt, and Plummer recovered admirably from a troubled spell in the first half’. The Leicester players were ‘chaired’ off the field at the finish. A huge welcome ‘that would have done justice to a king’ awaited the players in Leicester.
Billy Wright’s Wolverhampton Wanderers were all that stood between Leicester and FA Cup glory. The final was played at Wembley on 30 April 1949 in front of a massive crowd of 98,920 spectators. Leicester’s Don Revie missed the match after suffering a nose injury and Scottish goalkeeper, Ian McGraw, was unable to play due to a broken finger. Wolves took a two-goal lead before Leicester’s Welsh international, Mal Griffiths scored just after the restart. Leicester thought they were level just minutes later, but Ken Chisholm’s goal was judged narrowly offside. Wolves added a third goal with around 25 minutes left to play securing the trophy for the Molineux men.
Despite finishing as runners-up Alec Scott and his teammates received a heroes welcome from the people of Leicester. ‘Never has Leicester known greater or more wildly-excited crowds than the 70,000 who, from its outskirts to its Town Hall Square, lined the City players’ route as they returned from Wembley. Had they returned with the FA Cup and a ten-nil victory to their credit, their reception could hardly have been more genuine or magnificent than that which reached its peak in the roars rising, deafeningly, from the thousands massed outside the Town Hall, as the team’s coach nosed its way up Bishop street’.
Alec Scott left Leicester later that year making his final appearance against Sheffield Wednesday on 17 December 1949. In total he played 41 times scoring 1 goal for the Foxes. He joined Carlisle United in January 1950 for a fee of £1,500, going on to make some 200 appearances for the club. Many great players have represented Lochgelly Albert in its almost one-hundred-year history but his FA Cup heroics make Alec Scott one of the most accomplished.
David Dowie's Medals 1937-38
The 1937-38 Fife League Winners and West Fife Cup Runners-up Medals awarded to Albert goalkeeper David Dowie.