Dee-light for Bank as ri­vals help out

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - FORE! -

THE most heart­en­ing sports story of the week con­cerned Aberdeen Ju­nior club Sun­ny­bank’s fight for sur­vival. The Heathry­fold Park side had asked for a year out in an at­tempt to re­group af­ter los­ing their man­ager and fail­ing to se­cure enough play­ers. I’m a born and bred fan of their arch ri­vals Banks o’ Dee. My mother once knit­ted me a scarf in Dee’s colours and I used to risk life and limb climb­ing across the rail­way line at the bot­tom of Torry’s Bal­na­gask Road to sneak into their games. As a Torry urchin, I couldn’t af­ford to pay. You would think my af­fil­i­a­tion to Dee would make me re­joice at the thought of Bank drop­ping out and be­ing un­der threat of go­ing de­funct. You could be sure Celtic fans would stage huge street par­ties if the same thing ever hap­pened to Old Firm ri­vals Rangers. But I was up­set at the thought of the old ri­valry be­tween Bank and Dee dy­ing out. They re­main the only two Aberdeen sides to have won the Scot­tish Ju­nior Cup. I’ve also had great fun over the years do­ing ar­ti­cles about Bank and speak­ing to some of their for­mer play­ers, in­clud­ing the late Bobby Simp­son, cap­tain of their 1954 Ju­nior Cup win­ning side. It’s also less than a year since this news­pa­per was full of sto­ries about Bank’s great run in the main Scot­tish Cup, in­clud­ing a bumper clash with Ayr United. Bank were crowned Ju­nior league cham­pi­ons the sea­son be­fore last and ap­peared to be win­ning tro­phies for fun. It was ter­ri­ble to think such a club with a tremen­dous his­tory at Ju­nior level was in dan­ger of drop­ping out. So well done to Banks o’ Dee for step­ping in to of­fer as­sis­tance to them in their hour of need. Es­pe­cially at a time when self in­ter­est is pre­vent­ing progress be­ing made as far as the re­struc­tur­ing of the SPL goes. It would have been easy for ev­ery­one at Banks o’ Dee to laugh at what was hap­pen­ing at Sun­ny­bank and be happy to take ad­van­tage of the fact their big­gest ri­vals for hon­ours would be out of the way. But in­stead they chose to of­fer them help by agree­ing to let Bank use some of their youth squad to help them con­tinue play­ing this sea­son. It’s a sport­ing ges­ture that de­serves plau­dits from ev­ery­one.

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