Wednesday 13th May 2020
TODAY is the 25th anniversary of one of the most momentous days in Dumbarton’s recent history – the winner-takes-all promotion clash away to Stirling Albion.
The trip to Forthbank Stadium has never been forgotten by the many hundreds of supporters who made the journey for the final match of the season.
Having lost 2-0 away to Morton the previous week – a result which handed the Cappielow club the title – nothing less than a win would do for Sons.
The other problem was that Stirling had been on an excellent winning run in advance of the match and in the event of any other result, they would be the ones celebrating promotion to the First Division.
But Dumbarton, managed by Murdo MacLeod, pulled it off. After a goalless first half, Hugh Ward and Charlie Gibson found the net after the restart for a wonderful triumph.
To mark today’s anniversary, club poet Stephen Watt – who was at the match that day – has specially written a new poem, which is published below. Many thanks Stephen!
Africa in Stirling
By Stephen Watt
It was the year that Lynx Africa was launched,
whispering its fruity, prickling spice
into the armpits of our gold jerseys.
Fifteen years old. Car park grit
irked inside our Reeboks
while my Dad and Uncle set bad examples
in the club bar, swirling shots of whiskey
to take the edge off. Nothing to be worried about, lads.
Their Cappielow hangovers still present.
Inside, in hindsight, everything was on our side.
Forthbank’s stewards, in golden jackets and hats,
mirrored our fans, our flags.
Wasp-painted faces, lemon rubber bags
waiting to be blown and tied.
Who cares if Hugh Ward’s been shown a yellow card?
Leave it to us to party long and hard
into the night.
Those boys though. Digging deep in Diadora,
turning the most sober of us, punch-drunk.
Amber-coloured crepe paper, streamers
and banners venerating Sons,
fluffy, aureate pom-poms
saved for the bonce of one Charlie Gibson
for the most elegant of shin-trundlers.
We bounced like clowns in a fun house.
The First Division. Truly, our Olympus.
Reddening sunbeams, glinting in the wing mirrors
like Wallace’s sword. Scarves flap,
jammed inside our car window
while Liam Gallagher is whining on the radio
and tomorrow may well belong to Blackburn Rovers
but today, utopia is ours
thanks to these Dumbarton heroes.