1996: Dunfermline 4 Clydebank 3
Memorable Match #24
Scottish First Division
Saturday 13th January 1996
Anyone who attended this match will remember the raw emotions poured out in memory of one of the club’s greatest captains. This was the first game after skipper Norrie McCathie’s tragic death from carbon monoxide poisoning. Dunfermline had planned to postpone the game as a mark of respect but assistant manager Dick Campbell said that the players had convinced him, it should go on.
Dick praised the Pars fans for helping Norrie’s gutted team mates through the toughest test of their careers. He admitted afterwards that “we are happy to get this game over with”.
The Sunday Mail headline would read “Norrie’s death hung like a huge cloud of emotion over the packed ground.” The Pars won a seven goal thriller with a glorious winning strike from their new captain Craig Robertson four minutes from time.
Flags hung at half mast as fans - many weeping openly - gathered at the ground. The music was different with a Norrie favourite Queen’s The Show Must Go On one of the chosen tracks. Norrie’s spirit proved to be very much alive. As club captain he was determined to get his beloved Pars promoted and on this performance his team mates might not disappoint him.
There was a minute’s silence and before play started Dunfermline manager Bert Paton promised that the players would give 110% - just as Norrie would have expected.
It was an afternoon when football showed itself in nothing but it’s best light despite the sadness of the afternoon. The fans enjoyed a great game including an impossible-to-script finale from new captain.
Above: Craig Robertson and Ian McCall
Dunfermline went ahead in 25 minutes when Andy TOD rammed home an Ivo Den Bieman cross. Two minutes later Andy SMITH headed home a Stewart Petrie cross and the big striker capitalised on a mix up in the Bankies’ defence to net the Pars third.
It could not have been going better for the Fifers but three minutes before the interval Jim GRADY pulled one back with a cracking drive. 3-1
There was only seven minutes of the match remaining when GRADY again beat Guido Van de Kamp from 10 yards. Worse followed two minutes later when Graeme CONNELL slipped the ball in to make it 3-3.
The drama continued though and in 86 minutes the Pars new captain ROBERTSON smashed home a glorious 20 yard drive that flew into the net off the right hand post for the winner. 4-3
The match had been as hard for the young Clydebank team as it had for the home side and they deserved credit for making the game so entertaining. Their manager, Brian Wright said that he was sure that the whole of Britain would be pleased that Dunfermline has won the match.
As the Pars fans filtered round the terracing to leave at the end of the game, they stopped behind the goal and started chanting McCathie’s name and what seemed like hundreds of scarves were thrown onto the pitch, creating an impromptu shrine in the goal.
Craig Robertson told the media post match “Norrie’s family said that it was okay for the game to go ahead. He would have wanted us to play hard and get three points. It wasn’t easy, I had tears in my eyes during the minute’s silence.”
DUNFERMLINE: Guido van de Kamp: Marc Millar, Derek Fleming, Neale Cooper, Andy Tod, Hamish French, Ivo Den Bieman, Craig Robertson, Andy Smith, Stewart Petrie, David Bingham (Ryan Hegarty)
SUBS NOT USED: Gerry Farrell, Ian Westwater (GK).
REFEREE: GH Simpson (Peterhead)
Norrie McCathie played a club record of 576 games between 1981 and 1996. In December 1998, the home end stand at East End Park was named after him.
Watch Craig Robertson score
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