Branch History - Chapter 3

Player Of The Season Dances

The branch’s first player of the season was Hamish McAlpine and the function was held at the Chesser Inn in 1984 . This was a fairly modest affair but in the following years they grew into great occasions with attendances around 150 with the British Telecom Club in Gorgie Rd being the venue. At the second player of the season dance where Richard Gough won the award Jim McLean brought the full first team squad through in the team bus including Narey, Hegarty, Sturrock, Bannon, Gough and Malpas - a fantastic night for all of the members. Jim Mclean sat in the corner drinking his customary soda and lime and any of the members were able just to walk up and have a chat with him.

One memory from this time was of Paul Hegarty, who was always very approachable, sitting down at a table with one of our members who was deaf and answering his questions by writing down the answers. This is how comfortable the players were with us. These functions were the highlight of the season for over 10 years and there was always a strong turn out from the United players and we always had well over 100 members and guests attending. For a number of years we then moved to the Leith Assembly Rooms.

For a few years we were the shirt sponsor for Davy Bowman but as prices went up we could no longer afford the sponsorship. We then appointed Davy Bowman as our Honorary President and so Davy always made sure we got a good turn out from the players. On one occasion he even brought his mate Darren Jackson along some time after Darren had left United. Darren still got a good reception from the United fans and a good bit of banter.

As we still do at present, man of the match votes were taken on each bus and they were accumulated throughout the season to give our player of the season. It was our custom to present the Edinburgh Branch’s Player of the Season with an engraved silver salver. At that time we also gave an award to the young player of the season. The salvers can be seen in the photo gallery ( POY. ) Nowadays our votes are passed on to the Federation and we do not have our own branch’s player of the season award...

One story from that era which caused us some grief was the year that Miodrag was our player of the season. Unfortunately somehow “Krivokapic“ was misspelt in the engraving and as Mio was a stickler for everything being just perfect we even had his agent giving us grief for a couple of weeks. However, as there was no way that the error could be corrected we just had to live with it and take the flak. We made it up to Mio by inviting him through after his fall out with the club was resolved and we had a great night with him. See photo gallery (Special Relationship).

In the later years we moved our dances to a Saturday night coinciding with United playing in Edinburgh and this again ensured a good turn out. The last function was held in 1996/7 season jointly with the Glenrothes Branch at the Royal Overseas League in Princes Street when the player of the season was Steven Pressley. This was the season of the great Tommy McLean unbeaten run ,again there was a turn out of well over 100 with most of the players present and even although that was the day when our long undefeated run ended at Easter Rd and Steven was red carded a great night was had by all. Photographs from many of these events can be seen in the photo galleries (POY album)

The End Of An Era

Unfortunately as the performances on the park deteriorated there was not a great demand for such events in the subsequent years and so our long run ended. Here's hoping that the team performance will improve so that they can be restarted.