The founding members of Fraserburgh Boys Club are calling all former players, supporters, referees and sponsors to come and join them for a fabulous reunion which will be held on Saturday, October 28, at the Clansman.
Speaking to the Herald, founding member and well-known former football player, Martin Buchan explained he established the club to provide young Broch boys with an opportunity to learn the sport and give them an organised club where they would be able to enjoy a kickabout without getting into trouble.
He said: “I decided to form the club as the kids from Broadsea and the North school catchment area had nowhere to go and play football and were hanging around the streets or back gardens trying to have a kickabout.
“To raise funds to establish the club I went round local businesses and asked them for a donation – everyone was extremely supportive and all contributed. Without their support, the club would never have got off the ground.”
Established in 1986, the original Boys Club rapidly grew to become one of the largest, most successful boys clubs in the North East. Cultivating budding local football stars of the future, it was the first ever boys club that catered for boys from age six through to 16.
Martin was soon joined by local parents, who recognised what he was trying to achieve and the Boys Club Committee was formed.
He said: “Once some of the parents saw what I was doing, many came along and helped, on the committee, with training or even with washing kits. This was crucial especially when we were more established as at our peak we had over 200 boys.”
Playing their first set of matches in 1986 at College Park on February 9, against teams from Aberdeen, the success of the club grew quickly.
“Initially training took place in the grass area behind Link Up, then as we rapidly grew and became established we moved up to the old annex to train in the gym hall,” said Martin.
By February 14, the fledgling club was appealing for sponsors, with some 60 members split between two teams, A and B, in both age groups of 8 to 10 and 11 to 14.
Understandably, organisers were finding it difficult to purchase all the necessary training equipment. Martin, who had recognised the talent in the boys said in his appeal “some of these boys could very well become football starts of the future, so please give us your support”.
Martin explained that members of the club who went on to play for the Academy under 15s team during the 1988/89 season won the final against Golspie High School, 2-0 bringing home the North of Scotland Cup. The team that day comprised Whyte (goals), Murray, Robertson, Cardno, Flett, McCann, Duthie, Geddes, Cow, Murdoch, Urquhart, subs J. Bowie and G. Bowie. The two goals were scored by Murdoch.
Local businesses quickly responded to the appeal and by March, the 12 year-old team had a new strip kindly donated by transport operator, James Killoh. In May local bank manager, Norman McGee presented the B team with strips donated by the TSB, in June the C.P sports and Social Club chairman, Jimmy Whyte presented another strip to the boys and later in the year, a sizeable donation from Alex Masson enabled both teams to purchase kit bags.
On June 24, Fraserburgh Boys Club team A had its best win of the season beating Centre Youth of Peterhead 15-1. Having taken some beatings in earlier matches against more experienced teams, this was the catalyst for the success that was to follow as Broch Boys Club made it through to the Juvenille Cup final (10-12) in this, their first year.
By September 1986 the club moved up to the new games hall at Fraserburgh Academy for training purposes. Membership had increased to just over 100 and it was with regret that organisers announced that the club could not take any new members at the time and a waiting list was created.
Martin explained that the reunion which will revisit the glory years of the club is thank you to everyone involved during 1986 until 1999 while also raising funds for youth football.
He said: “The committee would like to thank everyone involved for all the support they provided over the years, the sponsors, of whom there are too many to mention, the referees, our unsung hero Jean Van Dyke who washed all the strips, without her we would have struggled, the parents for their support and Aberdeen Football Club for sending players for the AGM and presenting our boys with trophies.
“Everyone involved will be most welcome to come along to the reunion and we look forward to seeing many old friends on the night but we would also like to remember the committee members and boys who are no longer with us.
“Throughout the evening we will have DVDs playing which feature some of our many great victories..
“We are also encouraging all former members to take their photographs with them as although we will have a display of photographs we might not have the ones that they feature in. They can take their cameras too so that pictures can be taken during the event.
“During the course of the evening we will be holding raffles to raise funds for current youth teams. Committee members will be approaching local businesses for donations in the near future all of which will be gratefully received.
“Finally we would like to thank Mark Forsyth for providing us with the venue and a finger buffet on the evening and Kevin Coyle who is providing our disco.”
Priced at £5 each, tickets for the Boys Club reunion are available from John Cruickshank, Martin Buchan, Zander Whyte, the Ship and the Clansman.
Martin added: “I would like to thank all the committee members and their wives for their support throughout the years.”