Stuart White admits he and his team-mates relished the challenge which came every week playing – as captain – for Aberforth Rangers in the McEwans Central Scottish Amateur Football League Premier Division, writes Tom Scott.
Many people in and out of Amateur Football will know the two-footed, midfield mystro as “Studgie” – and before anyone asks me – he doesn’t have a clue where or from whom the nickname originated!
Stuart was responding to the article I penned on January 6th, in which my Headline Makers Revisted Series mentioned Harestanes, Uddingston Anvil and Spartans being crowned champions from their respective divisions in season 2000-2001.
Aberforth Rangers had finished third top in the Premier Division, lost the McEwans M and M Trophy Final against Harestanes, reversed the roles against the same club to lift the McEwans Cinema Cup, and for good measure bagged more silverware at the expense of Blantyre in the McEwans League Cup Final.
Stuart was kind enough to give me his exclusive views on success at Aberforth, plus Stirling City and currently Milton AFC, where he and his former team-mate and long-term friend, Barry Wardrop, are currently joint Managers – but that is for another day – as he opened up on my story, and the very mention of Harestanes in particular.
He said “I played for Aberforth and eventually went on to captain them. Reading about them in your excellent coverage at Scottish Amateur Football News brought back some wonderful memorie.”
“At that time, ourselves and Harestanes, in particular, were always going at it. Both of these sides plus others had some top, top players. Aberforth were a great club.”
“Back in our day that League and ourselves seemed to make huge waves. We won back-to-back East of Scotland Cups (2001-2002 and 2002-2003) – and Harestanes won back-to-back Scottish Cups, which was massive.”
“Football has always been my priority and I want to manage at the highest possible level. Together with Barry (Wardrop) we have a job to do at Milton, and at this moment it is extremely tough. We enjoyed success – winning the Cinema Cup again incidentally – in Joint Management with Stirling City, but this pandemic situation is really hard.”
“I always try to see the positive and myself and Barry are in daily contact as to how we can help the players’ mentally, and what we can do as a club when they eventually come back. We want them to understand how special they are to us, our coaching staff and everyone involved at Milton AFC.”
“I have said for a while now this is a really important period for the game I love and have been involved in all my life.”
Thanks to Stuart White for giving up his valuable time, and providing the photograph of both East of Scotland Cup Winners’ Medals.