Dunfermline Athletic

1987: Dunfermline 1 Queen of the South 0

Above: First Division table morning of 25/04/1987

Memorable Match #37
Scottish Fine Fare League - First Division
Saturday 25th April 1987

Since it’s inception in 1975 Dunfermline had never played in the Premier League but after Jim Leishman`s team had won the Second Division title in 1986, the Pars had reached the last Saturday in April 1987 as First Division leaders needing two points from the remaining three games to ensure a consecutive promotion.

It felt that was just a matter of time but the jitters had kicked in the previous week when they lost 2-0 at home to second bottom Brechin City. The party was postponed but with third bottom Queen of the South next up at East End Park there were huge expectations that 25th April could be the day that the Pars were Premier bound.

Leishman had been awake from 4.30 in the morning, his stomach heaving and nerves on the very edge. A large and expectant crowd numbering 5482 had caused a delay to the kick off.

The Pars team included March signings from Hibs, 23 year old striker, Willie Irvine and 26 year old midfielder Stuart Beedie.

The course of the match did little to allay Leishman’s anxiety. An IRVINE goal had given the Pars a 12th minute lead but there were numerous occasions when the Dumfries side, battling to save themselves from relegation, threatened to score.

The match could never have been described as a classic but the excitement compensated for this with the tension at times being almost unbearable.

In the second half John Watson was particularly unfortunate when he found himself clear with only the keeper to beat but he was unable to capitalise on his good fortune.

Queens rallied in the final ten minutes to provide a grandstand finish. Ian Westwater pulled off two magnificent saves during this spell but the nearest the opposition came was hitting the sidenetting.

Even before the final whistle the celebrations were beginning on the terracing and that celebration spilled on to the park when the final whistle came. The crowd went crazy, Leish wept openly and he was not alone but they were tears of joy.

The cheers and scenes which greeted the players as they fought their way off off the pitch and up to the directors box were epic. The proud Pars manager would be quoted post match as saying that it had been both the best and worst day of his life.

Dunfermline were back in the top flight and since his appointment on 31 October 1983, Leishman had fashioned the miracle taking them from their lowest ever League finish into the top flight.

Back in the dressing room the champagne was opened and the manager was unceremoniously dumped into the bath as the tensions of the day evaporated.

DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater: Bobby Robertson, Bobby Forrest, Norrie McCathie, Dave Young, Stuart Beedie, Gary Thompson, Stevie Morrison, John Watson, Ian McCall (Grant Jenkins 86), Willie Irvine (Eric Ferguson 74)
SCORER: Irvine (12)
YELLOW CARD: Beedie

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Alan Davidson: Graeme Robertson, Bill Sim, Kevin Hetherington, Willie Gray, Jim McBride, Billy Reid (Brendan McIntyre 84), Gary Telfer, Tommy Bryce (Steve Maskrey 79), George Cloy, Jimmy Robertson
YELLOW CARD: Sim

REFEREE: GD Cumming, Carluke
ATTENDANCE: 5482



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