Dee-light for Bank as rivals help out
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.