JANNIE MISSES SEMI FINAL DAY AT HAMPDEN
Morton great can’t make game because he’s working at Stonelaw
Greenock Morton legend Jim Holmes has fond memories of playing at Hampden Park but is set to miss their first semifinal since 1981 due to work commitments at Stonelaw High.
The former Ton man has been the janitor at the Rutherglen school for more than 10 years and will be working on the day Jim Duffy’s men walk out at the national stadium against Aberdeen in the Betfred Cup.
Jim, 61, who played a staggering 531 times for the blue and white hoops, will be opening the doors to clubs who lease facilities at the Calderwood Road building on weekends.
But even though he will not be on the terraces to cheer Morton on, the caretaker, who is the father of Alloa Athletic captain Graeme Holmes, is praying for a Ton win.
“I won’t be there because I’m in the school,” he told the Reformer. “It will be a big occasion for Morton.
“They’ve been doing well this season and Jim Duffy is doing a good job. I am good friends with him and they have got a couple of good results recently.
“Aberdeen don’t have the names in the team they once did but they also have a good side. I hope Morton do well.
“My son played for them [Morton] years ago and I watched him when he played against them, but I always look out for how they are doing.”
The former Partick Thistle, Arbroath, Alloa and Falkirk man was a key figure for Morton during 1976 to 1988. He was part of a team that beat the future European Cup Winners Cup and European Super Cup champions, Aberdeen, 10 times between 1979 to 1982,
But one of Jim’s biggest regrets is missing out on playing in a
Hampden final after Morton lost in the League Cup semis to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Dons in 1979. And he was later sent off when Rangers beat them in the last four of the Scottish Cup two years later at Celtic Park.
“I played for Morton for 12 seasons and I loved it there,” he said.
“We had a spell where we had a better record against Aberdeen than Celtic and Rangers.
But we played them in a semifinal in 1979 and we lost 2-1 at Hampden.
“Aberdeen had a great team and they went on to win the Cup Winners Cup. They very rarely beat Morton but they had some great players like Gordon Strachan, Willie Miller and Steve Archibald.”
Comment i n g o n h i s memories at Cappielow, Jim added: “We played against Arsenal and I remember playing against the likes of Charlie Nicholas and Paul Davis. I think George Graham was the manager back then and we lost 1-0 to them at Cappielow in preseason friendly.”
Morton go into Saturday’s match on the back of a 5- 0 hammering of Queen of the South.
And despite the talk of the teams playing in a half- full stadium, partly due to an early kick off, Jim believes the players will still rise to the occasion.
He commented: “I’m sure Aberdeen will bring a big support down as they always do and Morton will have all their loyals there.
“When we played them in 1979, there was only 11,000 there and that was at the old Hampden which could take up to over 100,000, so you can imagine the atmosphere then.
“We lost 2- 1 and they scored a goal that probably wouldn’t have stood in today’s game because someone was standing in an offside position.”
Morton legend Defender Jim Holmes plays for The Ton against Kilmarnock Arsenal friendly Charlie Nicholas challenges Jim Holmes in July 1987 Work commitments Jim is now the janitor at Stonelaw High School in Rutherglen