Published: 23/05/2014 18:00 - Updated: 23/05/2014 12:18

Help us or watch Thistle wither and die!

Written byCraig Christie

FEARS have been raised over the future of Burghead Thistle after more than a century of junior football in the coastal village.

Karen Grant fears the Burghead Thistle club which her father Jim helped make a force in North junior football could fold unless new committee members are found.
Karen Grant fears the Burghead Thistle club which her father Jim helped make a force in North junior football could fold unless new committee members are found.

The North Junior club has been left with just three committee members, who desperately need more support to allow them to continue.

Long-serving member Karen Grant, whose late father, Jim, was Thistle’s driving force during an association of more than 50 years with the club, has appealed for people to help save the club.

She says unless more people come forward at the club’s AGM next Thursday and offer help, there is a danger that Burghead could drop out of the junior ranks.

“I’m determined not to let it happen, but it could be the end unless we get more folk involved,” she said. “There might not be a club otherwise.”

Formed in 1902, Burghead Thistle won the North Region (North) title three times during the 1970s, and were overall North winners when they defeated Parkvale in a play-off in 1973-74. That season they almost completed a clean sweep of trophies available to them, even going all the way to the last 16 of the Scottish Junior Cup before losing to Newburgh in Fife.

The club recently purchased its Forest Park ground, and this season has competed well in North Region’s Division 1 (West) under the leadership of manager Graham Beange.

However, off the field committee numbers have gradually dwindled, leading to fears that Burghead could join the likes of Buckie Rovers, Dufftown and Lossiemouth United in having to go into abeyance due to the lack of support.

“There’s only three of us left now, so we need to get as many bodies in as we can,” said Karen. “Whether it’s someone who can help out on matchdays, or even offer just a couple of hours a week to help with other things, we don’t mind.

“Burghead Thistle has got one of the best set-ups in the North juniors and the team has been doing well, but behind the scenes we simply don’t have enough bodies.”

Karen’s association with Jags has been lifelong, and she has stayed on with the club through troubled times for the sake of her dad.

Jim Grant played for the team while in the Army as a teenager, joined the committee and helped steer the club to its glory days. Before his death nearly eight years ago, he was recognised for his long service to Thistle, the North Region League and also the Scottish Football Association.

Burghead’s AGM takes place on Thursday (May 29) in their Forest Park clubhouse at 7.30pm.

Anyone interested in joining the committee or helping out in any capacity can either contact Karen Grant on 07789 785441, or just turn up at the meeting.

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