Re­turn of a leg­end


Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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.”

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