Auchngatt Barons stalwart Lawrie McLean has bid an emotional farewell after an incredible 35 years in charge of the local amateur team.
Lawrie and assistant John Scott signed off recently against Westdyce and although it ended in a 4-1 defeat, the tears were saved for the pair’s departure.
John was in the starting line-up just as he was in the club’s first game.
The Barons, named after the former local hostelry, were formed in 1980 and Lawrie has been boss since day one.
Times have changed dramatically since then when, with no money, one strip and only around a dozen signed players, the Barons looked to be on the way out.
But the unswerving commitment of both Lawrie and John has ensured that the club can look to the future in a healthy financial state.
Looking back over his time in charge, the manager had no doubt about his favourite moment: “When Mark Morris scored the winning goal against Byron Munich late on in the cup final, without question – Barons’ only cup success to date.
“The lowest point was the club finding itself almost out of money to the extent that folding was a real possibilty. An emergency meeting was held to up the fundraising effort and the Barons continued.”
He added: “The biggest pleasure of all was the commitment and attitude being so high it kept the Barons going all this time and, hopefully, that level of commitment continues as they enter a new era.”
With the season now over, a special testimonial match will be held for Lawrie and John, featuring the current Auchnagatt Barons against The Legends of Auchnagatt.
It will take place on Saturday, June 13, at 2pm at the Auchnagatt pitch followed by a BBQ and drinks at the village hall.
Anyone wanting to come along and cheer on the teams and to thank Lawrie and John are welcome, but should bring their own drink.
If any former players are interested in turning out in the match, contact Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org