This year’s Supporters Club Player of the Year Dance takes place on Saturday 28th April at The Locality Hub Bayview Stadium and tickets are now on sale. The dance will be hosted by Liam Anderson and will include speeches from Chairman Jim Stevenson and Manager Darren Young.
A variety of awards are presented on the night including Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year, Top Goal Scorer and Goal of the Season, which is voted for on the night, as well as awards presented by the East Fife Board of Directors, East Fife Supporters Trust and East Fife Community Football Club. This year we will also be presenting a number of ‘spoof’ awards to commemorate the ‘lighter’ moments of the season.
Kirkcaldy born George Yardley was signed by East Fife as an amateur from Frances Colliery juniors on 10th August 1959 as an understudy to regular goalkeeper Ronnie McCluskey. To say that the sixteen-year-old was a versatile player was an understatement to say the least, as George had turned out for his previous club as both goalkeeper and centre-forward!
The reason for the youngster’s ability to play in two vert different positions was rooted in his school football days. Initially turning out as a goalkeeper for Dunnikier Primary School, George was forced to give up that position after stepping up to Templehall secondary, where the ‘keepers position in the school team had already been filled.
Forced to play outfield, the young Yardley still managed to establish himself as a skilful player with the school side as well as with Abbotshall Boys Brigade and Novar Star, and eventually his skills came to the attention of the junior clubs. George was eventually signed by local junior outfit Frances Colliery, for whom he played primarily as a centre-forward, but filled the goalkeeper’s position as and when required.
During his first season at Bayview, George made no competitive appearances for East Fife, which is hardly surprising given his tender years. In fact, when regular ‘keeper Ronnie McCluskey suffered a broken finger the League Cup quarter final against Cowdenbeath in September 1959, East Fife decided to bring back veteran ‘keeper Bert Allan to cover the position rather than risk the sixteen-year-old between the sticks.
George did make one goalkeeper appearance during that first season, however, when he filled that position for a home friendly against the British Army at Bayview on Tuesday 20th October 1959, less than a fortnight after his seventeenth birthday. Two months later, the Fife faithful were treated to a demonstration of the player’s versatility when he turned out as centre-forward for a friendly against the Scottish Amateur XI at Bayview.
Despite having played no competitive matches to date as a goalkeeper for East Fife, George was selected to play I goals for Scotland against Wales in the British Amateur Championship international at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock on 5th March 1960, where he lined up alongside Methilhill Strollers’ left-bac James Field. Also, appearing for Scotland that afternoon was none other than Queen’s Park’s Alexander campaign Ferguson, the player who was destined to become one of Manchester United greatest-ever Manager following a long and successful career with several Scottish clubs.
Conditions were perfect as the match got underway, and the Welsh soon had the Scot’ goal under pressure, with Gorge called into action during the early stages to save bravely at the feet of Wales’ outside-left Pierce. As the visitor s piles pressure on the home goal, the East Fife man was called into action on several occasions, and did well to deny Pierce yet again as the half progressed. Eventually, the Scots stepped up their game, and before half-an-hour had been played they had established a two-nil lead through Alex Ferguson and Montrose’s Kenny McLeod. The Welsh were still very much in the fame, however, and George Yardley was eventually beaten ten minutes before the interval when Davies reduced the leeway.
The visitors started the second half just as they had started the first, and took control of the game once again, with the East Fife man called into action on several occasions to prevent the Welsh equalising. Following some slack play from the home defence, George was forced to save at full length to deny Wales’ left-back Williams, but the Welshman was no to be denied, and in fifty-four minutes brought the sides level when he fired in a daisy-cutter into the net from a tight angle. The res of the match was played out in an even keel, with the home side netting again through Stenhousemuir’s Boston Clegg and the visitor’s through another William’s strike, to make the final score all-square at three goals apiece.
Following such an impressive international debut, it was widely expected theta George Yardley would retain his place in the side, but unfortunately a broken finger sustained shortly after this match out paid to any such hopes.
George eventually made his completive debut for East Fife in a league match against Stranraer at Stair Park on 20th August 1960, when he replaced Bert Allan in goal as the Fife attempted to halt a run of six consecutive league defeats. The match ended all-square at 2-2, but despite George playing his part in halting the run of defeats, Bert Allan was re-instated the following week and retained his goalkeeper’s position for the remainder of the season.
In December 1960, following another run of defeats, George was brought back into the first team as centre-forward, and played a huge part in East Fife’s record demolition of East Stirlingshire by eight-goals-to-one, despite failing to find the net himself. He went on to establish himself as the regular number nine, and scored his first goals for the club when be bagged a brace in a 3-1 home victory over Alloa Athletic on the last day of the year.
George ran up a tally of ten goals before the season was out, and retained his position leading the attack for most of the following season before being asked to fill the position of goalkeeper once again during the latter stages of the campaign following an injury to regular ‘keeper Bobby Danskin.
George remained at Bayview and flitted between the positions of centre-forward and goalkeeper until October 1963, when he was transferred to Forfar athletic for a short spell before moving on just weeks later top Montrose. After being handed a free transfer by the Gable Endies at the end of 1963/64 season, the player decided to to try his luck in the southern hemisphere and duly signed for Australian side St. George Budapest, where he remined until returning to the United Kingdom to play one trial match with Luton Town.
It was Tranmere Rovers who eventually landed his signature, however, and George went on to establish himself as a firm favourite at Prenton Park, where he made122 appearances over four seasons, scoring sixty-eight goals, before ending his playing career with non-league side Altringham.
He also managed to return to Australia during the summer months to turn out for St. George Budapest on a further two occasions during this period.
Name: Lee Gillies
How long have you been an East Fife supporter?
I’ve always been an East Fife fan but I would say my sole focus has been on East Fife for the last 15 years
Most memorable moment following East Fife?
King Kenny’s last-minute winner against Queen’s Park to seal promotion in 2003 or drinking champagne out of the 3rd division trophy after we won the league in 2008.
Least favourite moment following East Fife?
Every time we lose to R*ith!
Favourite player (present)?
Pagey but honourable mention to wee Craig Thomson. I’ve known his brother for years and I’ve regularly said I’d love to have him at the Fife, think he will do great here.
Favourite player (all-time)?
Toss up between Kenny D, Bobby Linn or Greig McDonald. Each for their own reasons!
Best East Fife goal you’ve seen?
Bobby Linn’s free kick against Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park or Paul McManus’ goal v Queen’s Park in the Scottish Cup at Bayview.
Favourite goal celebration?
That’s a hard one as I’m normally too busy celebrating with my Dad to watch what the players are doing!
Pick your all-time East Fife 11
Mark Ridgers, John Allison, Toro (Greig McDonald), Steven Tweed. Euan Donaldson, Bobby Linn, Steven Hughes, Bobby Barr, Kenny Deuchar, Ross Graham and Nathan Austin.
Favourite Scotland game?
Beating France at Hampden and Gary Caldwell’s goal.
Favourite Scotland player (all-time)?
When do you think Scotland will next qualify for a major tournament?
Ronaldo or Messi?
Favourite away ground?
If you could change one football rule what would it be?
Not so much of a rule but officials behind the goal, absolutely pointless when we have technology now!
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 24th February 2018
East Fife 2 (Dunsmore 13’), Duggan 23’)
Albion Rovers 0
East Fife XI: Mackenzie, Page, Watson, Allardice, Linton, Dunsmore (Kane 87’), Slattery, McManus, Millar, Knox (Wilkie 73’), Duggan (Jones 90’)
Subs: Lamont, Livingstone, Trialist
Booked: Dunsmore, Millar, McManus
Albion Rovers XI: Wright, McLaughlin, McLeish (McMullin 78’), Marr, Mbayo, Fisher (Gallagher 34’), Davidson, Trouten, Victoria (Hester 64’), Higgins
Subs: Perry, Potts, Watters, Trialist
Booked: McLaughlin, Higgins
Referee: Mike Roncone
Easy Fife recorded their second victory over Albion Rovers this season with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Bayview Stadium. Manager Darren Young made 3 changes to the side that lost to Ayr United last time out with Scott Linton, Matthew Knox and Ben Mackenzie replacing Chris Kane, Robert Jones and Ryan Goodfellow who had been ruled out earlier in the week with concussion.
The visitors were first to threaten when Ross Davidson delivered a dangerous free kick from 30-yards out which Harlaw Mbayo sent back across goal into the path of Joao Victora who’s shot was blocked by Ben Mackenzie in the East Fife goal before Alan Trouten put the follow-up wide of the left-hand post. Albion Rovers had another opportunity of 9 minutes when Trouten beat the offside trap and homed in on goal only to be denied by a great stop from Mackenzie.
The visitors were left to rue their missed chanced as East Fife took the lead in the 12th minutes when Kieran Millar sent Aaron Dunsmore clear sown the right. Dunsmore skipped past Rovers defender Craig McLeish before drilling the ball past Kieran Wright for his second goal of the season – his first coming against the same opposition back in December. Jonathan Page headed just over from Linton’s corner on 17 minutes as the home side looked to extend their advantage before Victoria’s shot was blocked at the other end after former Fifer Gary Fisher had done well to work space for himself down the right.
A second goal was coming and it duly arrived in the 22nd minute when Linton’s free kick picked out Chris Duggan who had peeled away the back post to volley the ball in off the underside of the crossbar. Wright pulled off a cracking save low to his left 3 minutes later to keep out a glancing header from Duggan. Dunsmore, playing in a more attacking role this week, almost scored his second of the afternoon 5 minutes before half time when he cracked in a shot from 35-yards the skiffed the top of the crossbar with Wright a spectator.
Mackenzie was called into action again to keep out a close-range effort from Mbayo shortly after the restart before the ‘keeper was also on hand to keep out Victoria’s shot on 56 minutes. East Fife should have wrapped up the points just before the hour mark when Dunsmore hit the by-line and fired in a cross from the right that was met by Pat Slattery, unmarked, 5-yards out but dragged his volley wide of the right-hand post before Matthew Knox was denied by Wright after being sent through by Duggan.
Substitute Kane Hester forced Mackenzie to turn his effort over the bar with 10 minutes left to play as the visitors looked for a way back into the match but the East Fife defence held firm to record a comfortable 2-0 win and a welcome clean-sheet as we move into the final quarter of the season.
Albion Rovers visit the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium tomorrow in a similar situation to East Fife, desperate to rediscover the form that found them in the promotion play-off zone earlier in the season. The men from Coatbridge however currently occupy ninth place in the league, although manager Brian Kerr will have taken heart from last week’s performance which earned his side a 2-2 draw against league leaders Raith Rovers at Cliftonhill.
Bayview boss Darren Young was left a frustrated man following the Fifers’ 3-0 defeat to promotion hopefuls Ayr United at Somerset Park on Saturday past. The Methil men started brightly but lost the opening goal thanks to a deflected strike by Declan McDaid. Two further goals in quick succession early in the second half virtually ended the game as a contest and although East Fife had plenty of possession they were unable to penetrate a well-organised home defence.
Mark Docherty is set to miss tomorrow’s game through injury, together with two further likely absentees. Midfielders Kyle Wilkie and Craig Thomson could feature in the squad after being sidelined in recent weeks.
The sides have secured a win apiece in the two earlier meetings this season. East Fife edged out Albion Rovers in a 5-4 thriller at Bayview in October, with the men from the brig coming out on top with a 3-2 victory at Cliftonhill in December.
Supporters of both clubs are reminded that they are welcome to enjoy refreshments at the stadium bars before and after the game.
Weʼre raising £10,000 to Support 2 child cancer organisations in England and Scotland; Ward E39 of the Queen's Medical Centre (Nottm) and Toby's Magical Journey
Cancer is life changing. It is something that has been the scourge of the earth for many people across the world. Not only does it affect individuals but the hurt also resonates through entire families.
To hear of a child suffering from cancer is something that no one wants to ever experience but it does happen and together with AC Wollaton Charity we are here to fight back.
We are partnering together to raise funds to support the amazing work that two organisations are doing to in the fight against this awful disease; Ward E39 of the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, England who work tirelessly to treat children and Toby's Magical Journey , a Fife charity set up by an amazing young man, 12 year old Toby Etheridge who is on the verge of winning his battle!
We are going big on this one! We are arranging a football match that will see two of the biggest rivals in history compete for glory - England vs. Scotland! AC Wollaton Charity will be heading North in May to take on the mighty Jock's (a selection of Fife's finest - apparently!) in what can only be described as one of the most anticipated games of 2018! Make no mistake this will be a clash of the titan's event but both will be driving towards the same 'goal' - to raise as much as possible for the above causes. The game will be played on May 26th at the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium, the home of East Fife FC in conjunction with Fifers For The Community (FFTC). Large crowds, bagpipes, national anthems, goals, controversy and bucket loads of donations!! expect it all!