The 3 M's and the hardest man ever to pit on fitba boots

A brewer flanked by a pair of miners. Those who bemoan the vast gulf between the football stars of the 21st century and the fans who watch them could have no complaints about Alloa Athletic's pre WW1 half-back line. The 3 M's at the heart of the Alloa team were an excellent representation of the demographics of Clackmannanshire at the time. And they could play a bit too...

Even a strong April wind gusting in from the west couldn’t spoil the gala day in Tillicoultry. The Annfield Park home of Tillicoultry Rovers was the venue for the 1904 Clackmannanshire Junior Cup Final with Alva Albion Rangers taking on Alloa Seafield Thistle. Thistle were very much the underdogs against an Alva side on their way to yet another Clackmannanshire league title, their eighth in ten years, and determined to add the cup to their haul. The man they looked to was Billy Hunter, a noted attacker who had been key to Alva’s semi-final defeat of Clackmannan. Hunter was setting out on a footballing journe…

Follow Bogie he will lead you

Follow Bogie he will lead you In the Fairest Manner And we will show you what we can do With the black and yellow banner

A precious but tantalising black and gold nugget. Writing in 1984, Anthony Hall had recalled  that in his youth "Bogie Broon from Clackmannan" had inspired Alloa Athletic fans to song in the early years of the 20th century. Alas, memories of Brown and his feats had disappeared with the industries in which those supporters worked. More than 100 years later, nobody at Alloa Athletic remembered who Bogie Broon was. I had already written about William Brown, the Clackmannan born miner who had skippered the Wasps with distinction before being crushed by falling rock deep in the bowels of the Wee County in 1909. Here was the prospect of adding a nickname and a song to the tragic tale of Alloa's lost captain. But the Alloa team of this era had enough Broons to rival a Glebe Street census return. Which one was Bogie? 

Amid fake news and doomed share attempts to win…