Benburb F.C. are members of the Scottish Junior Football Association and play at Tinto Park located in the Govan area of Glasgow. For those who are not familiar with the Scottish Junior scene, Benburb FC lie in the shadow of Ibrox Park and have hosted several testimonials against their near neighbours. Although the Benburb F.C. ground is obviously now not in the best of condition you can still get an impression of what it would have been like back in the 1950′s and 60′s when large crowds attended Junior fixtures.
The record crowd for Tinto Park I think was around 10,000 and it is easy to see how that could have been achieved prior to the safety guidelines we live by today. A part of me finds it sad that despite all our best efforts Junious Football will never again reach the popularity it had then.
As the workplace and communities became politicised so did the football as Rangers became the focus of Union and Protestantism. The Bens in Govan drew from the same population and although the club has always had Catholic players and supporters the perception in Govan and football in general is that the Bens and the Ants formed the Govan 'Old Firm', even though the Ants played deeper in the shadow of Ibrox than the Bens ever did!
From Green To Blue: The team uniform of today is a direct contrast to that of 1898. Blue now-green at that time. Green jerseys, white pants, and green-topped stockings. That part of the business in order, the new Benburb had to set about the job of securing a ground. A difficult job. For a year and a half the team had to play on "sufferance" on the grounds of Helenslea, Southcroft, Saracen and elsewhere.
When Sir Alex Ferguson visited During his visit to Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson took time to visit Tinto Park and the Bens. The purpose of the visit was to meet with his boyhood Benburb F.C. playing hero Tommy Douglas. Tommy is now aged 82 and during the visit Sir Alex viewed several photographs and was able to recall the names of a number of the Bens players from the 1950ís. He was impressed with the playing surface at Tinto Park.
During a 75 minute discussion a wide range of topics were covered; these included, interesting and amusing stories from his days playing on the 50 pitches, to Plantation Park; his days playing for the 129th BB team.
Many other clubs and players were covered including St. Mirren, Aberdeen, Rangers, Celtic, St.Johnstone and Dunfermline. He also talked about Billy Stark and George Best. Other topics were Jimmy Reid the trade union leader who recently died. Some discussion on the forthcoming match with Rangers, inevitably and he appeared in confident mood that the Man U, the Red Devils would win. No chance, the Gers will hammer the Manchester Side. Where's your faith?.
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Map showing Benburb Football Club on Craigton Drive