Thursday 18th July 2013

A SMALL bit of history was made at Dumbarton FC last Saturday, when three non-related players with the same surname turned out for the club in a friendly match against Partick Thistle.

New signing Kevin Smith (pictured), a striker, trialist centre back Ross Smith, and defender Scott Smith were the three men in question on Saturday 13th July, starting at numbers 10, 4 and 5 respectively.

Club historian Jim McAllister commented: “This is a first of its kind. Of course, we famously had brothers Tommy, Joe and Owen Coyle playing for Dumbarton in the 1980s. They appeared at the same time in the Stirlingshire Cup. Then back in the 1930s, there were the Parlane brothers.”

Jim takes up the latter, lesser known story in his 2002 book, The Sons of the Rock: The Official History of Dumbarton Football Club.

There he writes: “Team selection in the early thirties inevitably included the name of Parlane; not surprising as three brothers of that name, Johnny, Willie and Alex, were on the books.

“Twins Johnny and Willie, both forwards, were regulars, whilst Alex’s appearances were more sporadic.”

The family connection went even further, points out Jim McAllister.

“A fourth brother, Jimmy, played for the club in the 1950s. Jimmy, who died in 1989, was the father of Scottish internationalist Derek Parlane.”

Returning to the present day, Kevin Smith (who completed his signing for Sons late last week), Scott Smith (who came on loan from Hibernian in January and became a Dumbarton player on 1st July) and Ross Smith (who boss Ian Murray has been looking at in a couple of friendlies) are not direct blood relations – though they were brothers-in-arms on the park against Thistle.

Simon Barrow

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