Blantyre Vics Part 5 1950s Success

Continued from Part 4…..

It’s well nigh impossible to talk about Blantyre Victoria without recalling the great part John Cameron, the vice president of the club had played in keeping the club in the forefront of junior football for a considerable period of time. John, a former match secretary had never spared himself on behalf of Vics, yet he was one of the most unassuming persons imaginable, and always managed to keep himself in the background when bouquets for the clubs successes were being received.

By 1950, John had become the Vice President and commanded a grand team alongside President John Dunsmuir, match secretary John Fleming and treasurer James Richardson. Lets not forget the financial secretary Richard Wright.

Vics first won the Scottish Junior Cup in Season 1949 / 1950 in their golden “jubilee year”, in front of a crowd of 44,402 at Hampden Park, when they defeated Cumock Juniors 3-0.

1949 Blantyre Vics wmThe team was: Warren, J. Gilmour, W. Gilmour, A. McCulloch, J. Allan, Alex Young (Captain), G. Wight, J.Kelly, J. Gill, R. Herbert, Swan, J. Lennon, and T. Rennick. Gill, Herbert and Swan scored the goals. Alex Young proudly lifted the cup presented to him at Hampden from Lord Inverclyde.

The team brought the cup home and was met by a large crowd at the West End. The bus slowly made its way past thousands of supporters to a reception in the Community Hall. Guest of honour was the great Jimmy Brownlie, who played for Vics before becoming legendary goalkeeper with Third Lanark and the Scottish International Team. After a meal, the team toured the town on top of the team bus, proudly displaying the trophy. The journey took longer than expected as huge crowds wearing the team colours lined the streets. It was a fine Blantyre moment.

1949 Junior cup winners wm

The victory and jubilee was celebrated in 1950 by the publishing of an official souvenir Pictorial Handbook, ironically published by Victoria Publications in West Nile Street, Glasgow. The 20-page booklet featuring many local business adverts told the history of the club briefly and featured six photos of the club. John Dunsmuir, then President wrote in the foreword, “Blantyre Victoria have always been to the forefront of Junior Football and at all times been guided by men of wisdom and integrity. These men naturally set up a standard which will be quite difficult to maintain, but at along as their successors maintain the spirit of comradeship, sportsmanship and good-will shown by them, the future of Blantyre Victoria will always be in safe keeping. We have during these 50 years of optimism, enthusiasm and endeavour won nearly every honour the game can bestow, and it was only fitting that in out Jubilee year, we should have won the Blue Riband of Scottish Football. Happily our Club, thanks to past and present officials, is now in a most healthy state, and can remains so as long as we have the same zealous and trustworthy officials in the future as we have had in the past.”

That same year in 1950 the club’s proud and acommplished officials were J. Richardson (Treasurer), R.Wright (Fin.Min.Secretary), J. Cameron (Vice President), J. Dunsmuir (President) and J. Fleming (Match Secretary).

The club celebrated their jubilee with a successful dinner, cutting of a large cake and a display of all their trophies past and present. Amongst those in attendance were J.Gill, D.Bethel, G.Wright, M.Kippen, J.Lennon, J.Fleming. O.McHarg, J Dunsmuir, A Young, J. Allan, J.Richardson and A.Millar.

1949 Junior Cup Blantyre Vics wm

Continued on Part 6…..

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016

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