Continued from Part 7
From the period 1958 to 1973 the close contact between Vics and Senior Clubs was also an important part of team building. Having sole responsibility for signing players for the club, an association with Jock Stein and Sean Fallon (Celtic), Tom Fagan (Albion Rovers), Alex Smith (Stenhousemuir & Stirling Albion), Alex Wright (St Mirren), Eric Smith and Dave McParland (Hamilton Accies), W. Howat (Motherwell), Archie Robertson (Clyde), W. Reid (Airdrie) became profitable for the club by the amount of players that Dally Duncan signed on the recommendation of these other managers.
In 1976 Vics reached the semi-final of the Scottish Junior and West of Scotland Cups. Seven of the team then stepped up to the Senior ranks.
Following the death of Hughie Smith, Mr. Duncan’s enthusiasm waned and he resigned. William Murray then took over as manager – match secretary and in season 1976/1977 Vics won the Dryburgh Cup. Mr Murray unfortunately was plagued by ill health, which forced him to give up the position in 1978.
Mr. Duncan took over again for what was intended to be a temporary time, but lasted for 5 more seasons. In the Central League Championship decider in 1980/1981, Vic’s lost 12-11 in a penalty decider. A total of 28 penalties were taken. John Young (the coach or Carluke) was appointed Coach of Vics and once again they entered another very successful period including becoming League champions. Vic’s ended up reaching the Semi Final Scottish Cup on 7 occassions.
At Ibrox Stadium in season 1981 – 1982 Vics won the Scottish Junior Cup for a third time, under manager John Young, when they defeated Baillieston 1-0. The team that day was: Burns, Davenport, McGlinchey, Muldoon, McVie, Grant, McQuade, McGurk, Kennedy, Coggill and Mitchell. Substitutes were Ward and Hamilton. McGurk scored the winning goal. At a pinnacle of success, Mr. Duncan resigned from management of Vics in 1982. In 1981/1982 Robert Burns was the youngest keeper to play in a Scottish Cup Final at 19 years old.
After this win, Blantyre Vics went into a deep recession, although this seemed to apply to Central League clubs in general as no central league club was to win the junior cup between 1985 and 1996.
To be continued on Part 9…..
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016