The day Hampden called it rightDate: Sunday, 14th Feb 2021
There was considerable relief, on 26th January, in Scottish Football, when The Professional Game Board at Hampden agreed that David Martindale was now fit and proper to continue as the Manager of Livingston FC.
You see, David was once a big time West Lothian crook. Found "Guilty" at the High Court in 2004, he served 4 of the 6 year sentence for large scale supply of Cocaine and Money Laundering. (It would have been 10 had he not pled "Guilty").
£100k was seized as proceeds of crime. He got involved in crime after a pub he owned burned down with no insurance cover.
His story, from there on, is one of success and transformation though he never talks with pride of the achievement. He still expresses his regret at the negative effect he had on people.
Why, though, do we send people to prison in Scotland? There are four reasons.
1) Retribution ie Punishment.
2) Incapacitation ie removing them from society.
3) Deterrence ie pour encourager les autres and
4) Rehabilitation ie to turn them into a law abiding citizen.
In Prison he was indeed, successfully rehabilitated. He got a 2:1 Hons degree at Heriot Watt University and, full of remorse, he changed his life.
He is now one of the most successful Managers in Scotland. When Journalists asked if, perhaps, he had got in with a bad crowd, he replied "I was the bad crowd"!
In 2014, after the appropriate background checks, he became involved with the then cash strapped Livingston club. They needed assistance at minimal cost and David was involved in construction.
Having completed coaching badges he became Assistant to David Hopkirk in 2016. He endured some horrible reporting in the local media. When he was originally offered the post of Manager, after Hopkirk left, he drew back from accepting for fear it would heap embarrassment on the Football Club.
When Gary Holt subsequently quit as Manager, late in 2020, David became Interim then Permanent Manager.
The team couldn`t stop winning.
The last hurdle was Hampden, which he feared more than Court, but, with the backing of so many, including his Chairman and Hannah Bardell MP, he got the result which sends a message to society.
That message he is now conveying in his inspirational and motivational talks at HMP Addiewell and the Polmont Young Offenders Institution. David says he had climbed his last wall.
On Sunday 28th February he will proudly lead out Livingston against St Johnstone in the Betfred League Cup Final.
There may yet be another happy ending.