Dunfermline Athletic

Club History | Third Hall of Fame - March 2007

Jim Herriott
Bent Martin
George Peebles
Duncan Simpson, Programme Editor & Club Historian
Alex Smith
Eddie Connachan

Back Row from left to right:- Jim Herriot, Eddie Connachan, Bent Martin, Willie Cunningham, Roy Barry, Jim Leishman. Front Row from left to right:- Alex Edwards, Alex Smith, George Peebles and Harry Melrose.

The Third Hall of Fame was held at Forresters Park Resort on Saturday 3rd March 2007.

Above: Jim Herriot and Jim Leishman

Jim Herriot came forward to the theme music to All Creatures Great and Small. The connection comes through the choice of the goalie`s name as a nom de plume for Sunderland supporter, Alf Wight the writer of tales of Yorkshire veterinary life. Chairman John Yorkston played tribute to the eight times capped Scottish international keeper:-

"One thing that Chairmen are proud of, is when you buy somebody and sell them for a profit. In 1958 we bought a young Jim Herriot from Douglasdale Juniors for the princely sum of £80, I am told that what went through the books was £18,000 when we sold him to Birmingham. Jim played for seven years for Dunfermline, he made his first appearance against Ayr United in 1960 in a 2-2 draw.

"He went on to play, not only in the Scottish League but in Europe for us in games against Stuttgart, Everton and Valencia. He played in these great games that people of my generation remember. fans that were born in the 50s were brought up on the likes of Jim Herriot. We were used to 43 games a decade in Europe.

"It is a pity for those youngsters amongst us who have seen just two but hopefully they will see another two or even six next year, over to you Stephen (Kenny).
"In 1964-65 Jim played 54 games out of 55, he was suspended for the Third Lanark match. In that season for those of you who are my age you might remember, we were only three games away from a memorable double of the Scottish Cup and the League. We won b*r all!

"But that is the closest and probably one of the best that Dunfermline has ever done, three games away from the double. Unbelievable for a club of our size and the man who helped us get there was Jim Herriot."

On receiving the award Jim Herriot said:-

"I am not one who thinks that I am a legend or anything like that, the thing is that it was my first club. Your first club is in your heart, the same as your first child, whatever. I have always enjoyed coming back here and seeing the players that I played with. It is just a pity that the team is not doing too well now. It is just the money situation in Scottish Football is affecting all the smaller clubs.

"When Jock Stein came we were a small club then but the sky was the limit. I just hope that Stephen Kenny has at least half the success that Jock Stein had. I wish you all the best. Thank you."

George Peebles received his award from Jack Pryde representing Dunfermline Building Society

"It is a great pleasure to come and present the Hall of Fame Award to George and recognise those players from the past. George you are a legend in your own lifetime.

George replied:-
"I have to talk about the Manager who did a lot for Dunfermline, Jock Stein. We were playing Montrose on a Saturday but he said with all due respect to Montrose, we want to be playing teams like Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt and I remember all the boys looking at each other and smiling and laughing. A year later Dunfermline Athletic was at Edinburgh Airport flying to Spain to play Valencia.

Bent Martin and his wife, Hanne travelled from Denmark to be at the event.

Bent Martin received his award from Christine Curtis of sponsors Steve Curtis Cars

Bent, (64) made a passionate and informative address to the assembled company reflecting on history:-

"I feel that is fantastic that you should pick me after forty years. It is almost forty years since we won the Cup. If you don`t know the past you cannot reach the present."
Bent was delighted to be re-united with his Manager Willie Cunningham and Captain Roy Barry.

Alex Smith received his award from Centenary Club Chairman, Pete Campbell

Signed by Andy Dickson in May 1958, Alex Smith made 298 appearances for Dunfermline, scored 98 goals - a tally that to this day remains the third highest in the Pars post war history. The last survivor of the 1961 Scottish Cup winning side, Alex was transferred to Rangers in August 1966 for a fee of £51,000 which was a record between two Scottish clubs at the time.

"What can I say. I felt I was obliged to come here tonight - boys with dickie bows and glamourous women that will do for me. One boy was coming from half round the World (Eddie Connachan), Bent was coming from Europe, Geordie was coming from Stirling, Jim was coming from Larkhall so I got the X26 from Coaledge.

"I would like to especially thank Eddie Connachan. He put up the shutters 46 years ago over two games at Hampden in front of 200,000 people and never conceded a goal. Eddie really got Dunfermline going and made it into the European set up.

Eddie Connachan received his award from sponsor John McNeill

Eddie`s sponsor John McNeill introduced his presentation by recalling that Stephen Kenny had walked his team around the pictures on the walls at East End Park that showed Eddie Connachan as the hero of the 1961 Scottish Cup winning side:-

"That day we beat Rangers. One or two of the things that formulated my own and the John Murphys of this world who have been sitting here watching all these guys. we are here because we love the team and because you guys created the dream for us. 1961 was Eddie’s Final."

Eddie Connachan said that he was only part of the team:-

"It is a game of eleven people, without those other ten guys you can’t win anything. As the present Manager knows (looking over to Stephen Kenny) if you can’t play as a team in a unit, you have no chance of winning anything.

"I think you have the basis of a good side and I think you can do it this year. We were in a similar situation, we had to win our last seven games to stay up and it came to the last game and we had to win by nine clear goals. Against Partick Thistle, Harry Melrose scored six goals as we won 10-1.

"We played as a team and I wish the present team a lot of success."

Programme Editor Duncan Simpson was recognised for 20 years service, stunned by the surprise presentation to him, Duncan said:-

"This is outrageous, it is quite ridiculous that I should get this award when you compare the guys who have come up before me it is absolute nonsense. The great thing for me is that I saw these players, my father was a great Dunfermline supporter and he took me when I was about five years old."

1961 Cup Winner Cammy Fraser with his wife and Cup Winners Medal

Jim Leishman read out a letter from Sir Alex Ferguson who had been invited to the Hall of Fame Event. The former Pars striker has indicated that his preference would be to attend a Hall of Fame night possibly on a Thursday evening in September.

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