For previous news articles see the monthly archive at the foot of this page.
Fixture Confirmed 29th February 2004
Despite reports in today's papers the fixture between Queens and Clyde scheduled for Wednesday 10th March has been confirmed by the club.

Over the years, Queens' fans have had many heroes--Billy Houliston, Roy Henderson, Allan Ball, Jimmy Robertson, Tommy Bryce and Andy Thomson to name but a few. However their present day favourite is undoubtedly Steve Bowey--better known of course as 'Bowser'.

Right from the day he first arrived at Palmerston he endeared himself to the fans with his robust style of play and his never-say-die attitude and he in turn openly admits to having a tremendous rapport with the Queens supporters. Says Steve "When I hear them chant 'Bowser's gonna get you' it really winds me up and makes me feel as if I could run through a brick wall. I imagine it's the same kind of feeling the Scottish players get when they hear 'Flower of Scotland' on the bagpipes before a game. I had a great time with them at the 'Player of the Year' night back in May, I won four awards and thoroughly enjoyed myself. They really are something special".
Born in Durham, Steve started football at an early age turning out for Chester-le-Street Comprehensive and then County Durham. When he was 16 he joined the Army and spent the next four years touring the world but, of course, playing football as well. "I've played in some really amazing places" he admits "West Germany, Cyprus, the South of France and in Holland for an Army XI against the Dutch Under-21 side. Their team was made up of players from clubs such as Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord and included several who went on to become big stars. We also played the Belgian Under-21s. My role was marking Philip Albert who was signed by Newcastle a few weeks later. I'll never forget turning out for the Combined Services XI in Thailand. Our opponents were an International XI, the match was played in Bangkok in front of a 50,000 crowd. It was some atmosphere". After leaving the Army Steve had a brief spell with Forest Green in the Vauxhall Conference League before being signed by Bristol Rovers. He was four years with the English Second Division side then moved back to his native North East to play for Gateshead. "It was the Conference League again and we had some really long journeys to places like Dover and Yeovil. But after being in the Army the travelling didn't bother me too much and I was well prepared for trips to Ross County, Inverness, Peterhead and Aberdeen when I joined Queens.

"Coming to Palmerston was the best move of my career. Gateshead had big financial problems at the time and I got a free transfer, but I've never ever regretted moving north of the border. Queens are a great club and the comradeship and atmosphere in the dressing room is second to none. Apart from the local lads we've players from the Glasgow area, Edinburgh, Ayrshire, the North East of England and Sean O'Connor travels all the way up from Stafford. But we all get on really well together and I think that's the secret of our success.

"We've won the Second Division Championship and the Challenge Cup and were actually top of Division One for five weeks back in November. Games I'll never forget was clinching the League Championship up at Forfar, the celebrations the following Saturday when we met Morton at Palmerston, the Challenge Cup final at Broadwood and the semi-final against St Mirren when we won 5-3. Great days--all of them!" And your most memorable goal we asked? "It's got to be the one in that cup-tie at St Mirren. It was a good strike and came at a crucial time".

Away from football, Steve likes to spend quality time with his three kids, Aaron, Fay and Tamzin and his new wife, Nicola. He and Nicola were married during the summer and spent their honeymoon cruising in the Mediterranean. "It was idyllic" recalls Steve "But it was just before the football season was due to kick-off again and I spent a lot of time running around the ship to keep myself fit. I can imagine what the early-rising passengers must have thought seeing this wee Geordie with a goatee beard and a tammy haring up and down the decks at seven o'clock in the morning".

Bowser admits to being a big Newcastle United fan and has long been an admirer of the legendary England striker, Alan Shearer. "I once met him in the Sea Nightclub in Newcastle and we chatted about football for a while. I really enjoyed it!"

And his ambitions for the future? "I'd love to play in the Premiership or the Scottish Premier League" he confessed "But perhaps at 29 I'm getting a bit old. However, if Queen of the South could win promotion some day, my dream might still come true".

Bill Goldie
Game Off 27th February 2004
The match scheduled for tomorrow versus Ross County has been called off following a pitch inspection at lunctime today. The decision was taken early as the Dingwall side had planned to leave for Dumfries at 2.00pm today.

With both sides having a free Saturday next weekend the game has been rescheduled to be played then.
Team News 25th February 2004
Queens' boss John Connolly said he was looking for the same effort and endeavour shown against Caley Thistle for the game with Ross County. He emphasised "After a bad result up at Brechin we came out really motivated on Saturday and beat a quality side who were sitting top of the league. We've still got 36 points to play for so we'll be trying our utmost to win as many games as possible. We had three home matches on the trot so that's one down and two to go. If we can beat Ross County it would take us three points ahead of them with a game in hand and we'd also be back in third place again. But it won't be easy, County are a useful side who had a good win against St Johnstone last week.

"I was pleased with our new keeper, Craig Samson, although he didn't have an awful lot to do. John Dodds has done well this season but it's good that he's got some competition now to keep him on his toes. Actually I'm lucky to have two good young goalies to choose from. Derek Allan also did exceptionally well on Saturday. He's a model professional and considering he'd only had one Reserve match under his belt since his injury was very impressive.

"Emilio worked his socks off and got himself into numerous goal scoring positions but was very unlucky not to find the net. In fact we have four or five youngsters coming through at the moment which auger well for the future of the club.

"We have Gary Wood back in the squad for Saturday but Jim Thomson and Brian McColligan are still suspended. Jim will be available for the Clyde match but Brian will miss that one as well with his three match ban. We're hoping Sean O'Connor will be fit. He didn't train on Monday night but says 'he's all right now'. He had a 'dead leg' against Caley Thistle so we had to take him off at half-time but a final decision on his fitness will be made prior to the match this Saturday".

Said Ross County manager, Alex Smith. "Both teams are running neck-and-neck in the league and both of us chasing the top two. So, basically, we are both looking to win games as draws are no good if we hope to catch Clyde and Caley Thistle. Victory is the only option!

"However, changes can happen very quickly in football, especially in this league, and if the top two suddenly start dropping points then the pressure will start to get to them. We are a very young team while Queen of the South are a part-time side so even if we retain our present positions I think we'll both have done pretty well.

"Queens have had a fantastic season and all credit must go to John Connolly and his lads. I met John at the Scotland/Hungary Under 21 match last week and we had a right good chat. What he's done at Palmerston is magnificent!

"No team in this division cherishes a trip to Dumfries and on paper Queens must start favourites. They have an excellent home record, I think they've lost only once in their last nine games down there, while our away form has been very poor. Palmerston has been a virtual fortress this season and I know we always have difficulty scoring there. But we'll still be going all out for a win so I trust it will be an exciting encounter for all the fans".

Bill Goldie
Ted helps Arsenal to title 25th February 2004
Interesting to read in the 'Guardian' that Arsenal's new 'super kid' Jose Antonio Reyes names ex-Queens favourite Ted McMinn as his boyhood hero. Jose was only a youngster when the 'Tin Man' played for his local team, Seville, but has never forgotten his remarkable talents.

The then manager, Jock Wallace, is still revered in Seville but Ted is worshipped. The Sevillians say 'Jock taught us but Ted inspired us'. A leading sports journalist observes 'With his inelegant running style, erratic crossing and unquenchable zest for lager he was the soul of football'.

Bill Goldie
'Keeper Signs Up 19th February 2004
Queens strengthened their squad today when they secured the services of 19 year-old goalkeeper Craig Samson on loan from Kilmarnock. Craig is currently a member of the Scotland Under 21 squad and goes straight into the pool for Saturday's match.

A native of Darvel in Ayrshire, Craig stands at 6 foot 1 inch and joined Killie from School.

Bill Goldie
Team News 18th February 2004
Queens will have three players suspended for Saturday's match against league leaders Caley Thistle at Palmerston. Jim Thomson, Brian McColligan and Gary Wood will all be missing which leaves manager John Connolly very short of personnel so Derek Allan and Willie Gibson are likely to be drafted back into the pool.

Derek has been out since early January with a badly sprained ankle but came through the reserve match against Annan Athletic on Friday night unscathed. Jim Thomson has been given a two match suspension for his red card at Brechin but Brian McColligan could fare even worse with a three match ban expected. Said John Connolly, "Counting Colin Scott we have four key players unavailable but we must go into the game with a positive attitude and belief in ourselves that we can take something from the match. Infact our next three fixtures are real tough ones since all the clubs we play are above us in the table. However we have a good home record this season, only losing two out of ten and have already beaten Caley Thistle, Ross County and Clyde at Palmerston. So if we can get the fans behind us I see no reason why we can't beat them all again."

Bill Goldie
Calling Stuart Little 17th February 2004
We have a match mascot booked for this weekend who goes by the name of Stuart Little, however despite our best efforts we can't seem to get a hold of him. So Stuart if you are reading this please ring Margaret Heuchan on 01556 504569 as soon as possible, even if you are the Stuart Little with the Hollywood career!
Man of the Match 16th February 2004
The winner of the Internet Fan Club Man of the Match award following Saturday's game at Glebe Park was Steve Bowey, second place went to 'keeper John Dodds whilst Brian Reid picked up the third spot in the voting.

Bowser's win lifts him back above Eric Paton in the Player of the Season League Table, click on the Man of the Match link to see all of the other placings. You will find the scores for each of the players from Saturday on the 'Latest Report' link.

Thank's for voting.
Fans Eye View 14th February 2004
Thanks to David Gow here is the goal from today's match.

David Gow's Fan's Eye View of the goal
Brechin 2-1 Queens - Reaction 14th February 2004
John Connolly was naturally disappointed at the performance. After the match he said, "It's hard enough to get results with eleven players but with only nine it's nigh impossible. After JT was sent off we did well to go ahead but at the end of ninety minutes we still lost the game and are coming home pointless. But it's a fact of life and we'll just have to live with it".

On the two sendings off the manager confirmed, "The referee said that big Jim was the 'last man' and if that was the case then we couldn't complain. However I felt that Brian McColligan's red card was rather harsh. But say what you like the reality is that both Jim and Brian will miss next weeks game against Caley Thistle and Gary Wood is also still suspended for that one. That's three bodies missing and we'll be down to the bare boards once again. What makes it even worse is that JT could miss three or four games for he has already had a 'sending off' this season".

Our next three matches are real tough ones and the only consolation is they're all at home. So with a shortage of personnel we'll need the help of our fans more than ever.

"We've played eighteen games away from home this season so it will be good to get back to Palmerston again, however the next three will be a real test of character for us so give us all of the help you can".

Bill Goldie
Reserves Reverse 13th February 2004
Queens second string suffered defeat in their South of Scotland League match at Palmerston this evening. The victorious side by the scoreline of 2-1 was Annan Athletic who put in a solid display and took their chances well.

Queens were dominant throughout the first half however it was Annan who opened the scoring in a rare attack just after the half-hour mark as they broke from defence finding the Queens backline flat footed as an Annan forward beat Wright in the Queens goal in a one-on-one. Queens continued to dominate and Paddy Atkinson leveled the scores with just a couple of minutes of the half left when Sean Ferrie crossed deep from the right to find Paddy at the back post to nod in.

Annan enjoyed more of the game in the second half and their solid defence managed to keep the Queens youngsters at bay whilst they looked to snatch a winner themselves. A goal did come for the visitors and it was half an hour into the second period when a long range effort was tipped onto the bar by Wright but came back out to find another Annan forward first to the ball to head it into the back of the net. After this Queens could find no way back despite a late flurry of corners and some desperate defending on the Annan goal line.

The game finished with more disappointment for Queens as youngster Mark Whorlow had to be taken from the field on a stretcher following a clash in the middle of the park.
Clyde Match 12th February 2004
According to press reports the Clyde game postponed recently has been rescheduled for Wednesday 10th March 2004 at Palmerston. More details when available.
Team News 11th February 2004
Following our cup exit John Connolly is looking for Queens to get back on track. Said the manager, "We're out of the cup so we've now to concentrate fully on the league and try to get as high up the table as possible. We're away to Brechin on Saturday and it's never easy up there at Glebe Park. It's the tightest pitch in Scotland, it's on a slope and it's normally windy particularly at this time of year.

"We've defeated Brechin twice this season, 1-0 each time but both were very close. In recent weeks they've beaten Ayr and St.Mirren and after looking dead and buried as relegation candidates they are now back in the mix and will have a glimmer of hope of escaping the drop.

"We'll have Gary Wood suspended, he'll miss two games, but Emilio and Burkie are there on the sidelines itching to play. Jim Thomson is recovering well he trained on Monday and again tonight and is working hard at the gym. He's desperate to play but we'll make that decision on Saturday and only if he's match fit. Derek Allan also resumed training on Monday and when he's fit again it will give us more cover in defence."

Reflecting on the cup game at Motherwell John admitted, "We shot ourselves in the foot again, just as we did against Dundee, Aberdeen and Hibs. You can't afford to give premiership sides a three goal start, we left ourselves with a mountain to climb the size of Everest. However when we scored the two goals in the second half the summit was in sight but we couldn't quite reach it. Never the less we recovered some pride and gave our fans something to cheer about.

"After the match Terry Butcher was very complimentary towards us but that's the type of guy he is, a gentleman. We wish Motherwell good luck in the next round and hope they win through."

Bill Goldie
Fans Eye View 9th February 2004
Thanks to David Gow here are the two goals from Saturday's match.

David Gow's Fan's Eye View of the first goal

David Gow's Fan's Eye View of the second goal
Re-count 9th February 2004
The final figures from the Motherwell South Stand turnstiles have confirmed that Queens took over 2,700 fans into that stand, add on the others in the main stand and the extent of our support at the game becomes even more impressive.
Man of the Match 9th February 2004
Two-goal striker Sean O'Connor gets the fans vote as 'Man of the Match' following his second half performance in the defeat by Motherwell. Second place was won by Steve Bowey whilst central defender Brian Reid came third in the voting.

All of the individual scores are listed on the 'Latest Report' page and the player of the season league table has also been updated and can be found via the Man of the Match link.
JT on the way back 8th February 2004
Jim Thomson has set himself a six day target to be fit for Saturdays match at Brechin. "I was up at Motherwell on Saturday cheering the boys on but it was 'pure murder' watching from the sidelines" confessed our central defender. "I finished my course of anti-biotics and it wasn't an injury it was an illness I had, I lost about a stone in weight but I'm feeling much better now. On Monday I'm off to the gym to build up my fitness again I then hope to resume training tomorrow night and hopefully be ready for Brechin on Saturday".

Last week Jim turned out to be a 'Knight in Shining Armour'. Club Historian Ian Black's nine year old daughter Vanessa was in hospital for an operation on her leg and 'Gentleman Jim' visited her not once but twice. Said Ian "Jim is Vanessa's hero and she was overjoyed when he walked into the ward, it was a big surprise for her and helped raise her spirits".

Speaking to Steve Mitchell from Brechin City today, it was nice to hear him praise Queens so highly, Steve said, "Queens are an example to all part-time clubs and have shown what can be achieved. What they've managed in the last one and a half years is amazing and I must say I thought you were a bit unlucky not to get a draw at Motherwell yesterday. We're always treated well when we come to Palmerston and I'd like to think we do the same when you come up to Glebe Park".

Bill Goldie
Motherwell 3-2 Queens - Reaction 7th February 2004
Said John Connolly "It was a game of two halves, the first was terrible for us and the second brilliant. Before the match we spoke of keeping it tight for the first half an hour and don't lose any silly goals like we did at Easter Road. But what did we do? we gave away two goals in under twenty-five minutes, both were again due to individual errors then we conceded a third on the stroke of half-time which was criminal. At the interval we told the players exactly what we thought of the performance and to go back out and salvage some pride and they did exactly that, but I'm not a happy man we're out of the cup and that's that. We had a fantastic support up there this afternoon, over 2,500 I'm told, and I must apologise to them for our first half performance, it was just not acceptable".

Two goal Sean O'Connor said, "We put up a great fight in the second half and were a bit unlucky not to grab an equaliser for I think we might have beaten them at Palmerston had we got the replay. We all know how bad our first half was and the manager gave us 'pelters' at half-time and we deserved it. But we came so close in the second-half and I thought our fans were brilliant. Even at 3-0 down they were still cheering us on and it really helped us to battle back".

Emilio Jaconelli described it as a great experience. Confessed the striker, "I had a few chances when I came on and I'm just disappointed I didn't manage to convert one of them. However I felt we did very well in the second-half and gave them a fright".

Motherwell boss Terry Butcher was full of praise for Queens and admitted, "We were very very fortunate to win that match. All credit to Queens they came out after the interval and pinned us back for virtually the whole forty-five minutes. When they scored their second goal I had visions of the Spurs, Man City match the other night. To say I was concerned is an understatement I was very very relieved to hear that final whistle. We had a very good first-half and scored our goals at important times but it all changed in the second-half. Queens displayed tremendous fighting spirit and thoroughly deserved a replay but we held out and I'll be first to admit we were lucky".

A total of 2,505 Queens fans paid to gain entry to the South Stand at Fir Park today and a number of blue scarves were seen in the main stand area as well, a tremendous travelling support. Motherwell officials were absolutely delighted at the crowd of 8,100. This incidentally was the highest attendance at Fir Park this season apart from Old Firm matches.

Bill Goldie
Silence Please 6th February 2004
Prior to the kick-off at tomorrow's Scottish Cup match with Motherwell there will be a one minutes silence to commemorate our mutual manager Ally McLeod, in addition the fourteen people who lost their lives in the Rosepark Nursing Home fire last weekend in nearby Uddingston will also be remembered.
Team News 5th February 2004
Queens set off to Fir Park on Saturday in a confident frame of mind. Brian Reid has recovered from his hamstring trouble and it's hopeful he'll play. Andy Aitken who missed training last week with an ingrown toe-nail is also fit and it's expected these two will be in the centre of defence. Colin Scott, Derek Allan and Jim Thomson are unavailable, all three are recovering well. Said Jim Thomson "I finished my course of anti-biotics at the weekend so I'll be up there at Motherwell cheering the lads on."

Queens are actually unbeaten by Motherwell in the Scottish Cup but having said that we've only met them once before, that was in season 1979/80 when we beat them 2-0 at Palmerston. Scorers for Queens were Kevin McCann and Ian Mitchell and manager of Motherwell at that time was Ally McLeod. Saturday will be the first time we've featured in the fourth round of the cup for 14 years, that season, 1989/90 we beat Cove Rangers (home 2-1), Stenhousemuir (away 1-0) and after drawing 0-0 with Alloa at home we won the replay 3-2. However we then lost 2-1 to Dundee United at Tannadice, Stuart Gordon scoring our goal.

The last time we made it to the quarter finals was season 1976/776 (27 years ago). Home wins against Morton and Alloa saw us travel to Parkhead to face Celtic. The attendance was 27,000 and despite a brave fight we went down 5-1. Peter Dickson scored our solitary counter whilst Glavin - 3, Craig and Dalgliesh were on target for Celtic.

Bill Goldie
Up for the Cup 3rd February 2004
John Connolly said he had mixed feelings at the Clyde game being called off on Saturday. "Personally, I don't like any game being postponed" claimed the manager. "I prefer them played on a Saturday--it's better for the fans and it's also better for the club since the gates are usually bigger. But looking from the other angle it certainly helped us with so many players unavailable. Brian Reid was 50-50, he might have played but with the heavy pitch it was a bit risky so that decision was taken out of my hands. It could be into March before that game takes place now, so hopefully we'll have some of the injury victims back by then. However, the referee called it right--there's no way the match could have taken place".

Moving on to Saturday's cup-tie John confessed "Yes, we're all really looking forward to it. Unlike the East Fife tie we've no pressure on us, we're the underdogs this time and the pressure's all on Motherwell. We'll go out there, give our all and enjoy ourselves. Over the past two seasons we've done well against Premier League sides. We've played Dundee, Aberdeen and Hibs but we've not yet beat any of them so we'll just need to take that 'one extra step'.

"Last season Motherwell were nearly relegated and only escaped because of the Falkirk scenario--them not having a 10,000 all-seated stadium. But this season they're doing really well, bunched there in the middle of the table and if they win their match in hand could move up into fifth place.

"Terry Butcher's got them really fired up. They're a young team, full of enthusiasm and have no fear. The club lost both McFadden and Pearson but there appears to be a never-ending supply of young talent coming off the Fir Park conveyor belt at present. It's a compliment to their new youth system.

"Motherwell's just an hour up the road so we're looking for a big travelling support and if all stories are true they'll be a few thousand up there cheering us on. Our fans have been tremendous all season so I hope you'll all be in good voice on Saturday".

'Well manager Terry Butcher admitted "I'm not expecting it to be easy. Queens are a good side, they've won a lot of matches away from home this season and sit third top of Division One. For part-timers that's a tremendous achievement and I think John Connolly's done a fantastic job down there at Palmerston.

"We'll be treating you with the utmost respect, it's a cup-tie, a one off game where anything can happen. We were knocked out of the C.I.S. Cup by second division Forfar earlier this season and we did not enjoy that one bit, so we won't underestimate Queens. We'll prepare for the match the same as we do for every game we play whether it be Celtic , East Stirling or Queen of the South. We don't go in for 'rocket science' up here, we try to play good, attractive football.

"Queens are underdogs and they'll come up here to enjoy themselves. It's a big day for them so they'll have their sleeves rolled up determined to take something from the tie.

"We've had them watched a couple of times, in fact the man who did the checking out was none other than Nobby Clark. Nobby's a great guy, he does some scouting for us and coaches our under-12 side and I believe he was a big favourite at Palmerston in his playing days.

"So although it's the cup and a different type of game we'll be treating it every bit as important as a SPL match against Rangers or Celtic. Here's hoping it's a good day and a good game for the fans".

Bill Goldie
PLEASE TURN UP EARLY 2nd February 2004
Dear Doonhamer fans,

Last minute entry/congestion to any stadium is a common problem for all football clubs with expectant capacities of 5000 + supporters, therefore I would request of your supporters to assists Motherwell Football Club and yourselves by making your entry into Fir Park Stadium prior to 2.45 p.m./ 2.50 p.m. In that way I can virtually assure you that your entry will be as free and clear as possible, providing, other unknown factors are not prevalent.

I wish you all a safe journey to and from Motherwell Football Club and hope you enjoy your time watching, what we think, will be a very competitive match.

Yours faithfully

Ken Davies

Facilities Manager / Safety Officer
Ally MacLeod 1st February 2004
Scottish football fans bade a sad farewell to a legend at the weekend when the charismatic Ally MacLeod passed away at his home in Ayr. He was 72.

Best known for his spell as Scotland manager in the late 70's he had the entire nation whipped into a frenzy when we qualified for the World Cup Finals in Argentine and "Ally's Tartan Army" set off across the Atlantic full of hope. Unfortunately, we failed to reach the final stages, nevertheless, "We're on the March with Ally's Army" will long be remembered by Scottish supporters all over the world.

Ally only had a brief spell at Palmerston--one season to be precise--1991-92. He was 60 when he became team manager and in a friendly tournament steered us to success in the Borders Cup. Later that season Queens were really short of players for a reserve fixture against St Mirren, so at 61 and quite unperturbed he pulled on a strip and played himself. But that was Ally MacLeod for you!

Bill Goldie
GAME OFF 31st January 2004
Following a ground inspection this morning the game against Clyde scheduled for this afternoon has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. No new date has been set for the game at this moment.
Team News 29th January 2004
For the match against league leaders Clyde on Saturday Queens will be without the influential Jim Thomson. JT is recovering from gastroenteritis and a kidney infection and could be sidelined for three to four weeks, however we're pleased to report he is now on the mend. Returning to the squad is Brian Reid who missed the game against St.Mirren with hamstring trouble but it's very hopeful big Reidy will be in contention.

It could be a late decision whether the match will go ahead owing to the conditions but with better weather and higher temperatures forecast it looks hopeful at the moment. However it's still very much in the laps of the Gods.

Look out for a new monthly football column written by John Connolly in the Friday edition of the 'Standard' starting shortly.

We hear that ex-Queens defender David Lilley, currently with Partick Thistle, looks set to sign for Kilmarnock today.

Bill Goldie

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