Return of a legend
A Glencairn legend who helped the club reach the Scottish Cup Final in 1967 made a pilgrimage back to Rutherglen almost 50 years to the day since that game.
Tommy Kennedy was part of the famous side who would face Kilsyth Rangers in the final that year.
The Glens, who were massive underdogs, drew the first game 1-1 at Hampden.
But a few days later, at the same venue, they lost 3-1 to an exceptional Kilsyth team.
Despite that loss, the team is etched in the club’s folklore and their images can still be seen in the mural near the site of the old Southcroft Park.
Tommy, 73, now lives in Canada and was visiting family last week when he went along to see his own picture on that wall.
Looking back on that famous final 50 years ago, he said: “To start with, I thought we were fortunate to even get to the final.
“We were a division B team and we were playing Kilsyth, who were a division A side.
“The first game was a great game which finished 1-1.
“They had a couple of chances and we had chances.
“The replay was a Wednesday night. They had top class forwards so it was really their attack against our defence.
“At the end of the day, they were a better skilled team but we still had a really good run.”
That season was Tommy’s first in a Glencairn shirt having spent a number of season playing juvenile football.
A strong centre half, he moved to Southcroft in 1966 and they enjoyed a fantastic season, winning the central league and district league as well as reaching the showpiece final.
Tommy has fond memories of his time at Southcroft and the people he met.
On his most recent trip back he was even put back in touch with former teammate, Willie Brennan.
But he admitted he did not love everything about the club, with one of the Glen’s most iconic symbols not to his liking.
“The Queen’s Park-style strips we wore were terrible,” he laughed.
“It was not fun wearing them. I used to love it when we played Pollok and we got to play in nice white or red.
“That was probably my happiest time in my footballing life. I look back on it with really fond memories of the guys I played with.
“I had a really great time, there were a lot of good people at that club and they treated you well.”
Tommy left Scotland in the early 1970s, eventually settling in Calgary, Alberta.
“We’re just 45 minutes from the mountains,” he said.
“And these are real mountains. It’s beautiful but can get very cold. It’s minus 30 or 40 in the winter.
“If you are into the skiing or the snowboarding then it’s the place for you. I’ve tried the skiing, but I think I’m a bit too old for the snowboarding.”