COLOURFUL RANGERS

LOOKING BACK: Former players (from left) Denis Mochan, John Glover and Willie moles, with Rangers president Russell McKay and the new DVD, while below left Kilsyth Rangers' committee member and club historian John Ferguson is pictured with the original film reel.
LOOKING BACK: Former players (from left) Denis Mochan, John Glover and Willie moles, with Rangers president Russell McKay and the new DVD, while below left Kilsyth Rangers' committee member and club historian John Ferguson is pictured with the original film reel.

FOOTAGE released on DVD by Kilsyth Rangers has drawn high praise from one of Scottish football’s top historians.

The film shows the Duncansfield club’s first ever Scottish Junior Cup win at Hampden, after defeating Duntocher Hibs 4-1 in a replay on May 18, 1955.

The DVD also contains interviews with players who played on the day, and also shots of them watching the game back for the first time.

What is remarkable about the footage however, is the fact that it is in colour, something Richard McBrearty, curator of the Scottish Football Museum, has never come across before from that period of time.

He said: “It is a wonderful snapshot of football, and indeed Junior football, at that time. It’s a real treasure. I’ve never come across anything like it before. If it’s not unique, it’s very close to being unique, there’s no other colour footage from that time that I know of.

“It’s exceptionally valuable material and has been an incredible project which they have undertaken. You’ve got to remember the 50s was the period when football on TV was just starting to take hold. “The 1954 game between Scotland and Hungary was one of the first matches to be covered in black and white, and this wasn’t long after that.

“This was during the golden age for Scottish football. The crowd for the first game of that final was about fifty or sixty thousand. Mowadays, you’ve got the big two who can draw that, but this was for a Junior Cup final.”

So significant is the film in fact, that Richard says it has changed his perception of Scotland’s great national stadium at that time.

He added: “There’s a famous quote that says Hampden in black and white was the same as Hampden in colour because of the grey terracing. But this has totally changed that for me.

“When you see the lush grass and the colours of the players’ shirts and the supporters on a beautiful day, it’s just incredible.

“The people at Kilsyth should be congratulated for what they’ve done. They are well ahead of clubs which are far bigger than them. Hopefully more will do something like this.”

The DVD was launched at a special night in the Garrell Vale Centre on Saturday night. The current players and management joined with committee members and players who were involved in the famous win for a sit down meal before the footage was screened.

Committee member John Ferguson said: “The thing I keep telling people to put it into perspective is that the famous European Cup final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden in 1960 was in black and white. This was five years before that.

“It was filmed by a local man, Alan Rennie, of Rennies’ Bakery. The film is 16 millimetres as well, which, considering the normal of the day was eight millimetres, shows how high quality it is.

“It was quite a famous victory for the club as well - we were unlucky not to win the first game and then winning the replay 4-1 for the team’s first Junior Cup win. It’s great to watch and see the way things were.”

To get your hands on a copy of the DVD, priced at £8, contact John on 01236 824306.