Growing up in the Western Isles I had no idea that junior football was not Junior Mendes’s soccer mad cousin. For me, Junior Football meant the U11 primary school league of waifs, strays and unlicensed toe pokes. Our U11 league was special because the year I played, a girl called Moira decided she would do her bit for equality of the sexes by joining the Sandwick School midfield. For female readers, I am certain that the fact Sandwick lost every game 12 – 0 and didn’t score a goal all season was not a result of Moira’s decision to play with the boys. But, if I’m being honest, it really didn’t help. Even her team wouldn’t pass to her, afraid that if they did, they would grow up gay.
We were not an enlightened community.
But, for those brought up on the West Coast, Junior Football meant only one thing: the annual bar brawl known as the OVD (now Emirates) Junior Cup Final.
Red cards, broken legs, this was not a game for girls. And every year when growing up I’d hear the name Auchinleck Talbot. Between 1986 and 1992 they won the OVD Cup 5 times out of 7 and between 1979 and 1989 they won the West of Scotland cup 9 times out of 10. They were unstoppable. Until, that is, they stopped.
After dominating the 80s the last twenty years have been comparatively barren. Last year they won the cup again and this year, for only the third time in the cup’s history, they had a chance to to retain the trophy as, on Sunday, they reached the final again. They faced Shotts Bon Accord but, sadly, Auchinleck lost 2-1 after losing two goals in the opening 14 minutes.
But for one man, the future is bright. Auchinleck Talbot skipper Bryan Slavin is a budding rock star. He’s the lead singer of Sun Dog, a Neil Young inspired rock band. And while Neil Young is prolific, having written thousands of songs in the last 34 years, even Neil Young has never written a song about… Inverness.
This is the first and possibly only song written about Inverness: Scottish Comedy FC