Fitba’ Crazy

It’s back! Just a few, short, soggy weeks of summer, and another season of Scotland’s obsession hoves into view. With a glut of oddly-matched pre-season friendlies upon us, it’s a sure sign that winter is coming and the stands and terracing will soon be resounding to the cheers, taunts, curses and groans of legions of football supporters the length and breadth of the land. From Harmsworth Park in Wick, to Stair Park, Stranraer, replica strips are squeezed into, scarves are adorned, beer is consumed and before you realise, it all kicks off again.

Football has always held a grim fascination for me. From my youth, spent grubbing around the fetid underbelly of Scottish soccer as a die-hard Meadowbank Thistle supporter, to my current incarnation as a documentary photographer and some-time chronicler of the national game, what interests me most is not the multi-million pound wasters or the diving prima donnas clogging up my television screen, but rather the relationship between the clubs and their fans, who dutifully follow their chosen teams to the extremities of life. And it’s the places where they choose to worship which captures my attention too. Yes, there is nothing I love more than the throbbing gristle of a Hampden full-house. But give me Glebe Park in the rain too, and I’ll show you where real life exists, or life really exists.

With Scotland’s first clash with the Auld Enemy since the turn of the century taking place next month at Wembley, there is much to look forward to. Will I be there, or will I be sent to somewhere like Whitehill Welfare as they kick-off the newly-created Lowland League? Wherever it is, I’ll be happily shooting pictures and whistling the tune to ‘Fitba’ Crazy’!

Colin McPherson’s images of Scottish football were taken on assignment for the long-running monthly football magazine When Saturday Comes. To view further images, please visit Colin’s website.

A groundsman securing signs for spectators at the entrance to Central Park, prior to the Alba Challenge Cup second round tie between Cowdenbeath and Dundee. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2009, all rights reserved.

A view from the top of Dundee Law showing the city’s two senior football grounds. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2011, all rights reserved.

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy supporters watching their team taking on local rivals Kilsyth Rangers Junior cup match.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2008, all rights reserved.

Heart of Midlothian fans gathering outside the Tyncastle Arms before a league match with Inverness.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2006, all rights reserved.

Fraserburgh South church dominates the skyline at Bellslea Park, during Fraserburgh’s Highland League fixture against visitors Strathspey Thistle. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2010, all rights reserved.

The groundsman’s hut at the BetButler Stadium pictured as Dumbarton play Cowdenbeath in a Scottish League First Division match. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Ukrainian police dressed in riot gear segregate fans of Scotland and Ukraine as they arrive for the match between the two countries. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2005, all rights reserved.

 

Alloa Athletic football supporters watching their team defending at Recreation Park against visitors Aberdeen, with the Ochil Hills providing the backdrop. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2010, all rights reserved.

Spectators in the main stand at Easter Road watching Hibernian taking on Peterhead in a League Cup tie.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2006, all rights reserved.

Queen’s Park players celebrating their team’s goal against Alloa Athletic in a Scottish League second division match at Hampden Park. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2007, all rights reserved.

The souvenir shop open for business as Pollok take on local rivals Neilston in a Junior cup tie at Newlandsfield on Glasgow’s south side. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2008, all rights reserved.

The view of the second half action at the BetButler Stadium seen from Dumbarton Rock as Dumbarton play Cowdenbeath in a Scottish League First Division match. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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