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 Alex Smith
Topic Originator: Stooie  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 17:44

I’m a regular follower of the forum and although I seldom contribute, by and large I enjoy the
content. I was intrigued by the discussion around Alex Smith, Alex Edwards and Andy Penman and,
as a Pars fan of some 70 years standing (I am now 81) I can go back to the origins of where and how they started their careers. It all started around 1953/4/5 when a bunch of us 14 year olds from Hamilton Place in Rosyth got a bit ambitious and decided to form a proper football team, with proper goals etc. instead of using jackets and making the rest of it up as we went along. Our mums sourced a job lot of yellow polo shirts and one of them embroidered a white thistle on each. So Rosyth Thistle was created. Having not the faintest idea what to do next I enlisted the interest and help of my uncle, Charlie Smith, who worked in the ICE Shop in the dockyard and who finished his career as Bo’sun of the Yard. Charlie in turn recruited Peter Brown and big Hughie Mackintosh, both of whom are mentioned in the thread. The three of them took on the management and coaching of Rosyth Thistle and we became part of Fife Juvenile League, playing on the pitches in Rosyth Public Park against teams like Wellwood Boys Club and KIngseat Boys Club. I see the reference to Rosyth Recreation. They were sponsored by the Dockyard Recreation Club, hence the name, but played in the Fife Junior League. Perhaps surprisingly Rosyth Thistle flourished and players were recruited to replace lads like myself, Robbie MacIntosh and Kenny Taylor, who were more enthusiastic than talented. In any case some of us, myself included went off to the army. We were replaced by the likes of Alex Smith, Alec Penman whose dad was the Janitor at Camdean School, and Alex Edwards. I don’t know if they all played for the Thistle at the same time and after I came back from service my memory of dates and times is a bit hazy. What I do remember though is that Charlie, Peter and Hughie took a bunch of enthusiastic but for the most part untalented, laddies, gave them an enduring purpose to their lives through football and went on to discover three of the finest football talents in Scotland. I have many happy memories of Charlie, Peter and Hughie and, along with who knows how many others, owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all three.

Stuart Wardrop
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: P  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 18:13

Nice story, thanks for sharing


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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: 1970par  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 18:20

Brilliant bit of nostalgia, thanks
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: MDCCCLXXXV  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 18:20

Enjoyable read Stooie.

East End Park is a symbol of all that is DAFC.
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 18:38

Cheers for that, fills in a lot of the history prior to meeting Hughie Macintosh at the boys club.
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 18:52

Given their age differences it’s unlikely that Alex Smith (b1940), Andy Penman (b1943) and Alex Edwards (b1946) could have played juvenile at the same time, but it’s still a remarkable story that a small town like Rosyth produced three outstanding players within a few years of each other. All three were confident playmakers who could get on the ball and open up defences with their accurate passing. All three were first team regulars by the time they were 18 years old. Maybe time to search the attic and see if there are any coaching notes left by the men who were running Rosyth Thistle.

It’s no secret that Scotland has been struggling to produce good quality players for a number of years. There is probably more formal coaching than ever before, but maybe not enough to make up the gap from when lads formed teams like Rosyth Thistle as well as playing for Camdean Primary School under the auspices of Forbes Duncan, a headmaster who took a real interest in the game. According to Andy Roxburgh there were 40,000 boys involved in Scottish Schools’ football in the early 1980s. That number had dropped to 15,000 by the turn of the century and I doubt if it has increased since.
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 21:20

Good old "Pop" Duncan a legend of a man, loved him to bits.
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: wetherby  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 21:31

That's a great read Stooie, Peter Brown was my grandad and worked at the Dockyard until around 1972 when he retired. I remember the household being very football orientated. He was also a great Pars fan and got me hooked 50 years ago.
Thanks for the kind things you said.
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: Mario  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 21:48

Mr Duncan. Used to see him around years after I had started working, he never forgot your name. First name from him, but always Mr from me!
And there was a teacher, Miss Kinnell, who had a brother that was a professional of some note. She would sometimes mention how he was doing.
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: Stooie  
Date:   Fri 21 Jun 22:32

Knew of Forbes Duncan but didn't actually know him. Margaret Kinnell was my Primary teacher. She was a pal of my mother's and let me off with nothing. She did however lay the groundwork of a good education.

Stuart Wardrop
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 Re: Alex Smith
Topic Originator: Swifty  
Date:   Sat 22 Jun 00:09

Fab story Stooie thanks for sharing. My earliest memory of Alex Smith was him and Bert Paton helping Jock Hunter train and coach Townhill Primary School (in my primary school years MANY years ago. More recently I played indoor bowls (at Abbeyview) in the same rink as Alex he is still very competitive!!
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