Bogie Broon has the last laugh

Taphophilia - enthusiasm for cemeteries and graves.

It looked easy. Too easy. After a year of researching Bogie Broon and attempting to restore the legend of a lost Alloa hero - writing several thousand words in the process - I intended to finish the journey by paying my respects in Clackmannan Cemetery. What better way to spend the afternoon before Alloa's crunch play-off semi-final against Raith Rovers? The bus rolled through the villages of West Fife: Newmills, High Valleyfield, Kincardine, once mining communities of the sort in which Bogie Broon had lived and worked. In the shadow of the disused Longannet Power Station we passed the grave of William Brown, one time teammate of Bogie and the man who had succeeded him as Wasps skipper in 1909. William had starred for Alloa in a thrilling derby win against Bogie’s Clackmannan in September of that year. Two days later he was crushed by falling rock in Brucefield Colliery. I had visited William's grave previously and left flowe…

The Brown Brothers of Clackmannan and Alloa

“For fully sixty years, in remuneration and life-style, the Scottish professional footballer filled the role of the aristocrat of the working-classes. He was not remote, as the music-hall stars were; he lived among the men who admission money paid him, and he spoke and often dressed as they did. Football provided a chance, hazardous in the extreme, but at least a chance, of escaping the drudgery of nineteenth century working-class life”. Bob Crampsey, The Scottish Footballer.
The link between the industrial and sporting life of Alloa in the late 19th and early 20th century was obvious in the newspaper reports of the time. The Black and Gold jerseys adopted by Alloa Athletic ensured that the club would be known as The Wasps, but in the early days the team were also frequently labelled as ‘The Brewers’ and ‘The Glassblowers’. The "town of wool and ale" had it's shipyards too, and on periphery of the town were the mines. This story begins in one of the those mining communit…