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New Season’s Fixtures

The league fixtures for next season are now on the club’s website.

It looks fairly tough already.

Given we only have ten players signed at the moment – one of whom seems to be permanently crocked and two being goalkeepers – it may be even tougher come the actual games.

Oswestry

The name is enough to bring on a warm glow for any Sons fan, more so to one who was there that unforgettable night, shrouded now in mystic memory.

Not that it was an unalloyed delight. For three-quarters of the game we weren’t in it – and it was a pretty glum experience. I was wondering why I had travelled all that way only for us to surrender meekly. Still we weren’t exactly out of it, not even when The New Saints scored early on the second half. But we gradually started to push forward and even got a couple of crosses in.

Then the moment it all changed with that pass from Kyle Hutton to Danny Handling, the sublime run from Mark Stewart to take away the defender and leave space for the shot, the shot itself, the outburst of almost disbelieving delirium, Danny Handling running up the park in delight, Sons fans applauding and shouting with a kind of relief.

Then a few minutes later the ironic cheers when the referee finally gave a free-kick against their defence for fouling Christian Nade, who’d been getting no joy up till that point.

Up stepped Froxy with that beautiful, beautiful, sublime strike into Sons legend. If his goal at Dunfermline earlier that season hadn’t already made him one, this certainly confirmed it.

Below are the game’s (short) higlights – with Welsh commentary.

Watch Kyle Hutton’s reaction to Froxy’s goal (at about 2 minutes seven seconds in.) It looks like he’s thinking, “Did that just happen?”

Sometimes the football gods are with you, at others not. Pity the final wasn’t so memorable, but that was another story.

Oswestry, however, will stay with me forever.

I took photographs, naturally, of the ground and the town, all coming up.

And of course I have already posted the video of the celebrations at the final whistle.

Freddie Glidden

I see from the club website that former Son Freddie Glidden has died.

His years playing for the club were slightly before my time but I remember my eldest brother reminiscing about him. I recall the word “uncompromising” was implied.

We could do with a bit of that right now.

Frederick Glidden: 7/9/1927 – 1/1/2019. So it goes.

A Dreadful Year for Sons

2018 wasn’t a good year for Sons – Oswestry apart.

But I hadn’t realised how bad it was until I read this this statistical analysis of the playing year produced by a Sons fan on his “Tales From the Rock” blog and linked to on page 1610 of the “Sons Sorrow” thread on the Pie Shop, aka Pie and Bovril.

Played 55, Won 16,* Drawn 8, Lost 31, Goals for 60, Goals Against 104.

These stats show just why manager Stevie Aitken had to be binned.

There has been a small improvement under new manager Jim Duffy, but he is still labouring with the squad he inherited – a lot of whom seem to be injury prone.

*This count includes pre-season games against non-league opposition.

Hugh Harra

I was saddened to see on the club website that Hugh Harra has died.

A player for Dumbarton from 1962-1967 (appearing 163 times) he was therefore a member of the earliest Sons side I can properly remember. His photo in the link shows that gold shirt with black pin stripe Sons used in the 1960s and I remember so well.

In my memory he was an uncompromising half-back (they weren’t called midfielders in those days) with a reputation that more than matched that description. A good asset to have in a side in those “it’s a man’s game” days.

Hugh Harra: 29/3/1936-6/2018. So it goes.

Sons Flags Flying

Still down after yesterday.

Here are two pictures from a cheerier moment:-

Sons Flags flying

More Sons Flags

Memories of the Day

One Sons fan was showing a sense of humour before yesterday’s game:-

Humorous Sons Fan

Souvenirs of the Scottish Challenge Cup Final 2018. Black and Gold flags courtesy of Sons Trust:-

Sons Flags

TV Fame at Last.

Sons are in the big time. On a poster for TV games:-

Sons on TV poster

Birthday and Christmas 2017

As you may know my birthday falls on Christmas Eve.

This means I get presents two days in a row (then I have to wait a whole year to get any more.)

No complaints though.

These are some of the things my family gave me this year.

Science Fiction: A Literary History edited by Roger Luckhurst:-

Science Fiction: A LIterary History

Five 1960s SF paperbacks:-

Books for Christmas

Eight Keys to Eden by Mark Clifton
Blue Moon edited by Douglas Lindsay
Path Into the Unknown: The Best of Soviet SF
E Pluribus Unum by Theodore Sturgeon
Nine by Laumer

That cover of Blue Moon is so redolent of the time.

A box of postcards of covers from Penguin SF books. Front of box:-

Postcards of Penguin SF Book Covers

Reverse of box:-

Postcards of Penguin SF Book Covers

Kurt Vonnegut themed Christmas presents. “And Soap it Goes” plus “Breathmints of Champions.” This recognises the source of my use of “So it goes.”

Kurt Vonnegut Themed Christmas Presents

“And Soap it Goes” ingredients:-

Kurt Vonnegut Themed Soap

“Breathmints of Champions” ingredients:-

Kurt Vonnegut Mints

And last but not least, a 2016-17 Sons home shirt. Sadly it wasn’t a lucky one on Boxing Day.

Dumbarton FC Home Shirt 2016-17

Jim Lister, Unlikely Hero

There’s a great appreciation of former Son Jim Lister, who retired from football last week, over at Tales From the Rock.

Jim was the undoubted surprise success of that first season back in the second tier (2012-13) which started off so badly but ended in the triumph of staying up against all the odds. His goals and presence in the attack played a major part in that achievement.

Good luck to him for his future.

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