The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Joe couldn’t believe he’d been sent packing again


Arbroath played at Airdrie yesterday and their next match requires a trip to England to face a Welsh side!

The Lichties face The New Saints in the next round of the Challenge Cup. They’re based in Oswestry but play in the Cymru Premier league.

That’s pretty unusual but it’s not as strange as the record Joe Carson acquired playing for Arbroath against Airdrie.

It’s one he’s not sure he wants to remember but there’s no escaping from the events of 1978.

He is the only player to be sent off against the same team, on the same pitch in consecutiv­e games.

Joe recalled: “I was ordered off playing for Arbroath at Airdrie on a Tuesday night in the League Cup, a game we won 2-1.

“The same thing happened again in a league match on the Saturday. I couldn’t believe it.

“You won’t be surprised to hear that people are never slow to remind me of that.”

That was one of the more unusual episodes in Joe’s career – he had many memorable times.

It’s 45 years since he was in the Arbroath team that was competing against Rangers for a place in the League Cup semi-final.

They went to Ibrox on November 8 and only an own goal by the Lichties’ Billy Wells gave the home side a win. The second leg ended 2-1 to Rangers but they had to battle all the way.

As Joe recalls, he might well have joined the Light Blues and his first League match came against them.

Former Arbroath defender Joe Carson.

He said: “I played for Balloch Juveniles and was training with Rangers twice a week in the early 1970s.

“Stan Anderson took the young players on a Tuesday and it was Jock Wallace on Thursday.

“I thought I was doing well and was told to get a passport for a trip to Europe.

“To my disappoint­ment, I was then told that I was only on standby and I wasn’t going.

“The next week, Arbroath invited me for a week’s training. They took me to England for games against York City and Halifax.

“I ended up spending seven happy season there. It was a really friendly, family club.

“They signed some well-known players like Dave Smith, Willie Mathieson and Jimmy Bone while I was there, but there were top players at the club when I arrived.

“There were people like Gordon Marshall,

Cammy Murray, Billy Pirie and Andy Penman in the team when I came on to make my league debut as a substitute against Rangers.”

A fee of £100,000 took Joe and Albert Kidd to Motherwell in 1979. Ally MacLeod was the Fir Park manager at the time.

Joe said: “Ally had Davie Hay to do most of the coaching, he later took over as manager.

“You didn’t see much of Ally on a match-day until he would burst through the dressing room door at 2.45 and start getting people wound up.

“We won promotion to the Premier Division under Hay and then Jock Wallace arrived as boss.

“I had a memorable exchange with him when he played Morton. He told me not to let Andy Ritchie turn towards goal.

“We won 4-1 but afterwards he said I’d let Ritchie turn. Then he said I’d let him turn twice.

“I said: ‘Make your mind up, was it two, three or four?’

“The next thing we were grabbing each other over a table. Frank Connor had to separate us.

“Later on, he saw me and shouted “It’s forgotten big man”. I liked that, there were no grudges.

“One of my football highlights was scoring an equaliser against Rangers in a 2-2 draw at Fir Park.

“It wasn’t me being bitter about them not signing me, it was just quite nice to show what I could do.”

Joe went on to play for Dumbarton, Partick Thistle, where he had a spell up front, Stranraer and Vale of Leven Juniors.

He celebrates his 70th birthday on the 24th of this month and enjoys playing walking football in Dumbarton.

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