Castle Park – Home of Blantyre Victoria F.C.

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road North

Castle Park – Home of Blantyre Victoria F.C.

Coming back up Forrest Street on the right is Castle Park, home of Blantyre Victoria F.C.

Castle Park - Home of Blantyre Victoria F.C.

 
Blantyre Victoria was reconstructed as a junior team in 1902, playing in the Scottish Central League. The Vics were successful in winning the League Championship in 1935/36 and also contested the final of the Lanarkshire Cup in the same season.The Vics won the Scottish Junior Cup (the highest achievement in junior football) in 1950, 1970 and 1982.

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Building next to Vic’s Park, Blind Wattie’s Briquettes & Paraffin Merchant, his grey horse would pull the cart around the Blantyre Streets and stop where there were customers.

After Blind Wattie’s was the Broken Hole – where you could walk behind the Tenements facing Glasgow Road, all the way to John Street and the side entrance to the Public Park.

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Famous Players who started at Blantyre Victoria F.C.

Jock Stein John (Jock) Stein worked as a coalminer while playing football part-time for Blantyre Victoria and then Albion Rovers. He became a full-time professional football player with Welsh club Llanelli Town, but returned to Scotland with Celtic in 1951. He enjoyed some success with Celtic, winning the Coronation Cup in 1953 and a Scottish league and Scottish Cup double in 1954. Ankle injuries forced Stein to retire from playing football in 1957.
Billy McNeill Billy McNeill, nicknamed Cesar, was voted the greatest ever captain of Celtic by the club’s fans in 2002. He was signed by Celtic from nearby junior team, Blantyre Victoria, in 1957 as a defender. As captain he won nine Scottish League Championships, seven Scottish Cups, and six Scottish League Cups. He also led the team to victory in the European Cup in 1967, as part of the “Lisbon Lions”, and was the first British footballer to hold aloft the European Cup. He retired as a player in 1975 after 790 appearances for Celtic, in which he played every minute, never having been substituted. He won 29 caps for Scotland. McNeill also represented the Scottish League XI.
 Alex Menzies Alexander William “Alex” Menzies (born 25 November 1882) Born in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Menzies began his football career with Blantyre Victoria in 1901. He signed for Hearts in December 1902, making two appearances for the club before being sent on loan to Motherwell. He signed for Arthurlie in August 1904, but returned to Hearts after just one season. Eighteen months later, in November 1906, Menzies was sold to Manchester United. He played for Manchester United until the end of the 1906–07 season, making just 25 appearances and scoring four goals, before being sold to Luton Town. Menzies made just one appearance for Scotland, a 2–1 win over England in April 1906.
 Joe Jordan Joseph “Joe” Jordan (born 15 December 1951 in Cleland) is a Scottish football coach and former player and manager. He is currently the first-team coach at Queens Park Rangers. A former striker, he played for Leeds United, Manchester United, and Milan, among others at club level, as well making 52 appearances and scoring 11 goals for Scotland. As a player he gained a fearsome ‘Jaws’ persona due to having lost two front teeth early in his career. The persona aside, he became known as a strong, fearless and committed player, with skill to match, and good aerial abilities. He was part of the successful Leeds United team of the 1970s, winning the 1973–74 Football League First Division title. Cup success was elusive however, being a losing finalist with Leeds in the 1973 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final and 1975 European Cup Final, and the 1979 FA Cup Final with Manchester United. At international level he is the only Scottish player to score in three World Cups, in 1974, 1978 and 1982.
Robert Munro McKean Robert Munro McKean (8 December 1952 in East Kilbride – 15 March 1978) was a Scottish professional footballer. McKean started his career at local club Blantyre Victoria before moving to St. Mirren in 1969. After five seasons in Paisley he joined Rangers for £50,000 in September 1974. He enjoyed a successful spell in Govan and won the league twice in his first two seasons. He was also part of the 1976 Scottish Cup Final winning team. McKean died on 15 March 1978 by carbon monoxide poisoning, only three days prior to the 1978 Scottish League Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic.
 Dave Colquhoun Davie Colquhoun began his playing career at Blantyre Victoria before joining St Mirren. In 1931 the right half signed for Tottenham Hotspur where he featured in 87 matches and scored twice in all competitions between 1931-34. [2] He joined Luton Town in 1934 and made a further 16 appearances before ending his career at Rochdale.
 Adam Little Dr Adam Little (1 September 1919 – 12 June 2008) was a Scottish football player who played during the 1940s and 50s for Rangers and Morton. Little was also a fully qualified doctor. Little was born in Blantyre and educated at Rutherglen Academy. It was while playing for the school team that he was scouted by then Rangers manager Bill Struth and the next day signed for the club aged 17. Struth decided to loan Little out to play for Blantyre Victoria to get much needed experience. He returned to Rangers and played six first-team games after the Second World War. The war had interrupted his footballing career. Little served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Upon returning to Rangers he made six top team appearances before moving to Greenock with Morton for a spell then retiring from professional football.
Famous Players who started at Blantyre Victoria F.C. Charlie Johnstone was a Scottish professional association footballer. He was born in Larkhall on 6 November 1911. Johnstone was in the Scottish junior football set up with Blantyre Victoria F.C. before joining Motherwell F.C. He then moved on to play for Doncaster Rovers and Mansfield Town before returning to Scotland to play for Dunfermline Athletic. His career there was halted by World War II during which time he played for Rangers F.C. In his time at Rangers Johnstone was selected to play against England at Wembley in 1942.
 Willie Findlay Willie Findlay (15 November 1926 – 9 January 2001) was a Scottish football player. Motherwell-born Findlay began his career with Scottish junior club Blantyre Victoria F.C. before moving to join Scottish Football League club Albion Rovers in 1941. Findlay became recognized as one of the finest players ever to appear for the Cliftonhill side, forming a strong partnership on the right wing with Johnny McIlhatton. Findlay’s showings for Rovers earned him a £7,500 move to Rangers in April 1947. During his time at Ibrox he netted 65 goals (in 114 appearances) and won medals for both the league and the Scottish Cup. His spell at the Gers included scoring in the 1950 Scottish Cup final in a 3–0 win over East Fife. Findlay also scored in the 1951 Scottish League Cup Final, a 3–2 defeat by Dundee.
Danny McGrain Daniel “Danny” McGrain (27 May 1953 – 30 August 2004) was a Scottish footballer who spent his entire senior career with Clyde. McGrain began his career with junior side Blantyre Victoria, winning the Scottish Junior Cup with them in 1970. McGrain signed for Clyde in 1971, and made his debut against Aberdeen in a Scottish League Cup tie in August of that year. McGrain was appointed Clyde captain the following season whilst only nineteen years of age, making him the youngest Clyde captain ever, a record which he holds to this day. In a game against Dundee United in February 1974, McGrain headed the ball off the line, sustaining an injury. He collapsed in the dressing room after the game, and was rushed to hospital with suspected brain damage. McGrain was forced to retire through injury at the start of the 1975-76 season, after playing 109 matches for the club in all competitions. He died in August 2004, after suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

An idea initiated by Betty McGaulley

Blantyre Vics Football Club unveils newly-named KG Stadium.

Daily Record: 5 NOV 2016 BY LEONA GREENAN

Vics’ also have huge plans to dig up the grass park on Forrest Street and lay a new 4G synthetic pitch.

Blantyre Vics Football Club unveil newly-named KG Stadium

Board members Kenny Gormley, vice president; Andy McDade, secretary; Bill Lowe, president; Jim Clelland and Ian Robertson, head of youth.

Blantyre Vics Football Club this week unveiled their newly-named ground and revealed their ambitious plans for the future.

The club, formed in 1890, renamed Castle Park the KG Stadium, following a substantial sponsorship from Blantyre businessman Kenny Gormley, owner of Copy Stat Office Systems on Stonefield Road.

Blantyre Vics president Bill Lowe said: “We are delighted to have received the sponsorship from Kenny Gormley, our vice-president, and we are very grateful for his support.

And the Vics’ board have huge plans to dig up the grass park on Forrest Street and lay a new 4G synthetic pitch which would be used not only by the first team but also their youth set-up and wider community. Bill Lowe, President said, “The sponsorship has allowed us to rename the ground, and it has set us in good stead with our plans to become an all-inclusive community club. We certainly have huge plans for this football club over the next 12 months.”

Ian Robertson, head of youth at the club, added: “As well as our renowned first team we have also set up seven boys clubs from the 2000 to 2011 age group. It is our intention to expand on this and introduce more boys and girls to football within Blantyre and wider Lanarkshire.“There will also be a disability section and a women’s team. We have wonderful facilities at the KG Stadium and believe they should be well used by the community.”

Boasting an average attendance of 200 at home games, the SFA Quality Mark club are widely respected in the junior football circle, having won the Scottish Junior Cup a record three times. Former players include Lisbon Lion legend Billy McNeill, Leeds and Manchester United’s Joe Jordan and the late Celtic manager Jock Stein. Bill continued: “It’s all hands-on on decks with our plans to move forward and create some great vibes in Blantyre.

Kenny Gormley, Vics’ vice-president, with president Bill Lowe

Kenny Gormley, Vics’ vice-president, with president Bill Lowe

Former players include Lisbon Lion legend Billy McNeill, Leeds and Manchester United’s Joe Jordan and the late Celtic manager Jock Stein. Bill continued: “It’s all hands on decks with our plans to move forward and create some great vibes in Blantyre.

“We have this fantastic ground in a prime location and, in time, with a 4G pitch laid it is only right that we share such a facility. We are actively seeking help from local businessmen and businesswomen or members of the public who may wish to help with some small renovation work, and we are also looking for someone to come on board and help us with grant applications – that is imperative to us.

“Anyone who might be able to donate some time to help with either matter can get in touch by calling 07792 211976.”

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If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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