DAFC Dream Team ForwardsDate: Wednesday, 27th Apr 2005
In association with the matchday programme, we are asking you to record your votes for you favourites players. From your votes, the team that is deemed the greatest will be immortalised in a Dream Team limited edition print. One copy of this print will be given away free in a competition.
Please note that voting for this position and all others will close at midnight on Tuesday 3rd May 2005.
Over the years East End Park has been fortunate enough to play host to a good number of top quality strikers. Every era has seen its own favourites, players who perhaps had varying degrees of skill but who became legends with the fans because they had one thing in common - the knack of putting the ball in the back of the net.
VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED
Fans like nothing better than to recall the goalscoring feats of their heroes and it speaks volumes for Andy Wilson that he is still talked about nearly ninety years after he played for the Pars. His remarkable story deserves a book of its own but suffice to say that anyone capped by his country while playing for a non-league team must have been very special. Returning from the Great War with a shattered left arm, Wilson signed for the Athletic in 1919 and in two seasons scored nearly 100 goals. Not only did he have a fierce shot and excellent close control but he was a very intelligent player, specialising in low passes out to the wings and adept at keeping his line moving. He was regarded as the best centre in Britain during the early Twenties when he earned twelve Scotland caps, the first six coming during his spell at East End. That Dunfermline should have had such a player - the Denis Law of his day - is almost unbelievable.
Wilson was badly missed when he left to rejoin Middlesbrough but it wasn’t long before the fans had a new hero to cheer. Bobby Skinner joined the club for the second time in November 1924 and scored a creditable 25 goals during the remainder of the season. In 1925/26 he wrote himself into the record books with and incredible 53 goals in 38 matches as the Pars lifted the Second Division title. Not only did he score four hat tricks but he also netted five goals in two other games. This total has only been bettered once in Scotland and in recognition of his goalscoring exploits Skinner was capped by the Scottish League. In 1927/28, with the Pars in a precarious position both on and off the park, Skinner was sold to Airdrie for a fee of £2,500. In over three years at the club he scored 131 goals and averaged more than one every game.
It’s doubtful if any player has been taken into the supporters’ hearts more than Charlie Dickson. As a 20 year old he made an auspicious start to his Dunfermline career, scoring twice on his debut against Stenhousemuir in January 1955. Brave and enthusiastic, Charlie D. (as he was known) was fast on his feet and deadly in the box. With him there was no such thing as a lost cause. He scored 44 times as the Pars gained promotion in 1957/58 and went on to prove that he could also do it at the top level by netting 37 goals in 1959/60. Fittingly he scored the second in Dunfermline’s Scottish Cup triumph in 1961. Charlie’s 215 goals in 340 matches make him by far the club’s top post-war scorer. He also holds the record for the number of hat tricks - an amazing eleven, plus a double hat trick scored against St. Mirren in December 1961.
By the time Charlie Dickson left the club, in October 1964, manager Willie Cunningham had already brought in Alex Ferguson from St. Johnstone. He settled in quickly and scored the first of seven hat tricks for the Pars against Clyde in September 1964. That season he netted 21 goals but was controversially omitted from the team for the Scottish Cup Final. The following season saw Ferguson score 39 goals, with his league total of 31 creating a club record for the top flight that still stands today. Never likely to please the football purist, Fergie was known as “Razor Elbows” for his ability to dish it out to the hardest defender but there’s no denying his goalscoring touch. It was that touch that got him included in Scotland’s tour to Australia in 1967. In three seasons he netted 90 times for Dunfermline and prompted Rangers into paying a Scottish record fee of £60,000 for him. He has of course made his name as a manager of Aberdeen and Manchester United, but he still holds a soft spot for the Pars.
Little did the Pars fans realise that it would be over twenty years before they would see another player who would net over fifty goals for the club. Following Dunfermline’s promotion in 1979 Sandy McNaughton was brought to East End Park in the hope that he would score goals in the First Division. A P.E. teacher, Sandy’s fitness was a real plus, with his non-stop running and positional sense a real feature although it was goalscoring prowess that had the fans talking. In 1980/81 he was the second top scorer in the division behind a certain Ally McCoist and his haul of 22 was exactly half of Dunfermline’s total. The board turned down an offer of £25,000 from Airdrie and Sandy went on to be the club’s top scorer for a third season in succession. He had scored 56 goals in 126 matches and in his absence the Pars were relegated.
It wasn`t long before the Athletic discovered an inspirational, flame-haired forward who would play a huge part in the club`s rise to the Premier Division. It took John Watson a while to get going but once he did there was no stopping him. In 1985/86 he scored 31 goals, the best since Alex Ferguson in 1965/66, and picked up the Daily Record Golden Shot award for being the first to hit 30. Not the biggest of players, he nevertheless provided a huge presence in the Pars` attack and was particularly strong in the air. John scored some vital goals, most notably against Rangers in the Cup upset and the equaliser in the tension-filled game against Meadowbank that saw the Athletic gain promotion. His total of 85 strikes ranks him as joint sixth overall on the list of Dunfermline`s post-war goalscorers.
Select John Watson
The player who took over John Watson`s mantle was a different type of striker, but one who ended up just as popular. Ross Jack had been an Everton youth, but then had enjoyed an ordinary career in England and with Dundee till he came to Dunfermline. A quiet start in his first season, Ross grabbed the headlines as Dunfermline won promotion in 1988/89, and the following season continued his great form in partnership with George O`Boyle to help Pars to top the Premier and to go on to consolidate their place in the division. Ross scored 55 goals in 146 appearances.
Select Ross Jack
Another contender for the Dream Team includes the player just behind Watson in the post-war scorers list, Stevie Crawford. Stevie was passed over as a youngster by Dunfermline but went on to enjoy a successful career with Raith Rovers, before playing with Millwall and Hibs. Since leaving Dunfermline, he`s had spells at Plymouth Argyle and Dundee United, but there`s no question that his five-year spell at East End Park was his most successful. Stevie`s movement and intelligence set him apart from other strikers and teaming up with Craig Brewster produced the best football of his life, ensuring a regular place in the Scotland squad. His 74 goals in 192 appearances rank him up there with the best of them.
Select Stevie Crawford
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