LATEST NEWS
For previous news articles see the monthly archive at the foot of this page.
Round-Up 31st January 2003
With the pitch being slightly frosty today a pitch inspection has been arranged for 9.00am tomorrow morning ahead of the match versus Arbroath, it is hoped however that the thaw that is underway will continue and that the game will be given the go-ahead.

It has been a quiet close to the registration window today as no new faces arrived at Palmerston and only Barry Donald left the club, good luck for the future Barry and hopefully you can stay clear of injury at your new club.

Look out later tonight for the latest "KCs' Casualty Room" as top physio Kenny Crichton gives us a unique insight into the latest happenings on his treatment table.
Team News 30th January 2003
Queens have a full squad available for Saturdays' home match versus Arbroath. John Connolly admits that the game could be one of the most important of the season, "We will have to put the cup replay at Aberdeen to the back of our minds and stay focused on Saturday", he said, "A win over Arbroath would make it very difficult for Alloa and Arbroath to catch us and could well ensure our first division status next season."

There's little hope of any new signings before the registration window closes tomorrow, however Dumbarton are showing an interest in Barry Donald and he may well be moving on.

February could be a very busy month for Queens with the cup replay and postponed re-arranged games likely to be rescheduled so here's hoping we stay clear of injuries and suspension.

Bill Goldie
Nice one Jamie 28th January 2003
Former Queens favourite Jamie McAllister kept a long standing promise on Saturday as he presented Ian Black, Curator of the Queens Museum, with an Aberdeen top signed by all of the players and with Jamies number and name on the back. It will soon be featuring in the Queens Museum.

Also nice to note that according to the Aberdeen website Bertie Vogts has been keeping tabs on Jamie for the Scotland 'futures' squad, good luck to Jazza.
Message to Supporters 27th January 2003
I know that John the Manager will want to thank you for your support of the team on the park but the club would like to thank you for your support and co-operation during the build up to, and during the match.

Although the debriefing with Police, Stewards and the various other authorities is not yet complete, early indications are that given the co-operation of supporters, Palmerston Park is capable of hosting crowds of around 6000.

I was present at Hampden when the draw was made and a home draw against Premier League opposition presented the Club with a few problems, not least of which was the short time scale in which to sell tickets.

Solway Offset Printers pulled out all the stops and we were able to put tickets on sale within four days of the draw being made. The Office and Club Shop stayed open at nights to accommodate out of office hours requests.

With the capacity at present set at 6412, and Aberdeen for security and segregation reasons being allocated the East Stand, meant that Queen of the South had around 4300 tickets for sale.

Every endeavour was made to ensure that everyone who requested a ticket was allocated a ticket with Season Ticket holders being given time to buy their own seat. With over 500 Season Ticket holders at present, this presented certain logistical problems, but as far as I am aware, most Season Ticket holders took advantage of this system.

The vast majority of supporters were good humoured in their requests for tickets but there were some who felt they should be given special treatment and Margaret in the Office was subjected to some unnecessary hassle which she handled in her own extremely patient manner.

It is normal in cup Competitions for admission charges to be set at the Higher League Club prices due to the fact that clubs receive a half share of the revenue, but after discussion Aberdeen agreed to the reduced charges and we thank them for their co-operation.

Aberdeen sold around 60% of their ticket allocation but due to the strict policies contained within our safety certificate, these remaining seats were unable to be re-allocated.

The club is governed by strict regulations from the Football Authorities and Local Authorities and to date the feedback from these authorities to the Club this season has been positive. This has been assisted by the co-operation between the supporters and the Stewards and has been supported by the police.

Although Aberdeen is a long journey for supporters particularly mid week with a 7:45PM kick off I'm sure Pittodrie will be surprised by the number of Doonhamers attending and the volume of support on the 4th February.

We can perhaps check out Dens Park on the way home.

Thank you for your support.

Dick Shaw
Man of the Match 27th January 2003
Club Captain Jim Thomson won his first Man of the Match award of the season for a commanding performance against his boyhood hero's Aberdeen on Saturday, second place went to Steve Bowey and third to John O'Neill for a tremendous job up front despite having a badly gashed forehead.

The Player of the Season league table has been updated and can be found via the Man of the match link, all of the other scores can be found via the Latest Report link.
Cup Draw 25th January 2003
If Queens overcome the Dons on Tuesday week then a tie against Dundee at Dens Park awaits on the 23rd of February.
Queens 0 - 0 Aberdeen - Reaction 25th January 2003
John Connolly: "If I could get effort and commitment like that every week I'd be a very happy man. I've said it so often before that the team spirit is tremendous and we have some real quality players now. We could easily have clinched it in those final ten minutes but a draw is not a bad result."

Steve Paterson (Aberdeen Manager): "I must admit I was a bit disappointed with our performance but all credit to Queen of the South, they fought hard and thoroughly deserved a draw. There's always shocks in the cup - just look at the Falkirk score - and there could easily have been one here today."

Andy Goram: The fans were great and the lads out there in front of me were brilliant, I'm just sorry we didn't win, we deserved to."

Steve Bowey (Sponsors Man of the Match):It was a great performance by the lads and the support from the fans was tremendous. I felt we were a bit unlucky not to snatch a goal in the dying minutes."

Peter Weatherson (On that shot): I thought it was going wide when I hit it but it curled nicely and their 'keeper did well to save it.

John O'Neill (On the head injury): It was an accidental clash of heads and no one was to blame. I got seven stitches from the Doc but there was no way I was leaving the field.

Steven Renicks: It's only my second game for Queens but one I'll always remember, it was a fantastic atmosphere and the fans really kept us going in the closing stages when legs began to tire.

Bill Goldie
Bells Cup Print 24th January 2003
There are some more excellent souvenirs on sale at the Club Shop tomorrow, make sure you get your A3 size Bells Cup Print, a new mouse mat and some engraved glasses.
Featured Match 24th January 2003
Make sure you catch the BBC's Sportscene programme tomorrow evening at 10.30pm as Queens will be one of the four featured matches from the third round of the Scottish Cup.

Anyone remember the last time we were a featured cup match on Sportscene?? No need to send answers thanks!!
KCs' Casualty Room Open 23rd January 2003
Top Physio Kenny Crichton has opened up his Casualty Room again tonight and gives us a fascinating insight into the guys that are heading back to first team action.

It's a brilliant read so make sure you check it out by clicking on the 'KCs' Casualty Room ' link on the right hand side.
Live on the BEEB 23rd January 2003
For all you Queens fans out there who cannot get to Palmerston on Saturday for the cup tie versus Aberdeen then make sure that you are at your PC during the game as the BBC will be providing live commentary of the match over the internet on Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Queens fan Sandra Brown for the info.
Tickets Available 23rd January 2003
There are still some tickets available for the Queen of the South versus Aberdeen cup tie on Saturday, these are for the ground only and will be on sale at the Palmerston Office on Friday and also on Saturday prior to the match.

Bill Goldie
Team News 23rd January 2003
Andy Goram has now recovered from the flu virus and returns to the squad for the Scottish Cup tie. "The Goalie" now looks set to chalk up his 750th competitive club game at long last.

Brian McLaughlin and Peter Weatherson were doubtful earlier in the week but both have now recovered.

Bill Goldie
Message From Aberdeen 21st January 2003
One Aberdeen player who is really looking forward to Saturdays cup tie is Jamie McAllister, said the ex-Queens favourite, "I can't wait to get back and play at Palmerston again, I was actually on holiday with my girlfriend in Tennerife when I heard the draw and it was actually Andy Aitken who let me know.

When we played Queens in the league cup last season I missed the game after suffering concussion against Celtic and was bitterly disappointed.

I thoroughly enjoyed my spell at Queen of the South, they're a great club and I have a lot of respect for former chairman Norman Blount and also for the present chairman Ronnie Bradford, both of them are really nice people.

I can't wait to meet up with Andy and Jim Thomson again, but I hope the Queens fans don't give me too much stick now I'm playing for Aberdeen.

Queens are going really well this season and I was delighted to see them win their two trophies, I wish them all the best for the rest of the season - apart from Saturday of course.

Our manager has been drumming it into us this week that it will not be an easy game, he knows more about Queens than we do having been at Inverness up until a few weeks ago, so he's let us know in no uncertain terms that it will be a difficult match as Queens aren't a bad team.

So cheers for now and I'll see you all on Saturday, hope it's a good game.

Jamie"


Bill Goldie
Cup Build-Up 20th January 2003
It was a happy and confident dressing room at Palmerston on Monday night with everyone looking forward to Saturdays Cup tie with Aberdeen. All present looked fit and healthy and the only person missing was, believe it or not, our physio Kenny Crichton who was under the weather.

Ian Scott, the assistant manager admitted it would be hard going, said Scotty, "Let's not forget Aberdeen are a Premier league side and we will have to play out of our skins to beat them, but it's a cup game and anything can happen, we start underdogs with nothing to loose and let's not forget we gave them a fright in the league cup last season."

Andy Aitken, our longest serving player, said he was really looking forward to the match and also looking forward to meeting his old team mate Jamie McAllister again, even though they'll be on different sides.

"I'm glad we got a game under our belts on Saturday", said Andy, "it was heavy going but it was what we needed. While we were slogging it out at Alloa Aberdeen were playing Ajax on the Algarve, however we're all quietly confident we can get a result."

Derek Anderson, a veteran of Scottish Cup ties with Kilmarnock, Ayr and Morton, said, "It's a big game but Aberdeen won't be relishing a trip to Dumfries, it's a one off and all the pressure will be on them, cup games are always something special and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

New signing, Steve Renicks was also quite excited, "I'm really hoping I'll be selected", he said, "I've played in the cup before with Hamilton and anything can happen over ninety minutes, I enjoyed my debut at Alloa and to get the chance to face Premier league opposition in only my second match would be a real bonus. If we can raise our game and put them under pressure I think we have a good chance."

Bill Goldie
Man of the Match 20th January 2003
The goal scorers and providers make up the top three this week as Peter Weatherson wins the man of the match award for his two excellent strikes and John O'Neill takes second with his headed opener. Third place went to Brian McLaughlin who seems to be getting better with every game.

The full results can be found on the 'Latest Report' page and the player of the season league table has been updated and can be found via the 'Man of the Match' link.
No Truth 20th January 2003
Following weekend press speculation that linked Kilmarnock forward Jose Quitongo to Queens manager John Connolly has moved to deny any interest.

Said John Connolly, "We have not been in touch and have no interest in the player, we have never made an offer either now or in the past."
Feature Articles 19th January 2003
Thanks to Queen's Press Officer Bill Goldie we now have four special player features, the fourth appears tonight immediately below and features Jim Thomson, it makes superb reading and as with the others will always be accessible through the Player Profiles page.
I'm a Doonhamer now says Jim 19th January 2003
Although born and raised in the shadow of the Campsie Fells, Jim Thomson now considers himself a naturalised Doonhamer."I suppose you could say I used to be an inverted Doonhamer" explains the likeable Queens' skippper. "Unlike the story I've been told so often of how the name Doonhamer originated - that is Dumfries men last century working all week in Glasgow then coming 'Doon Hame' for the weekend. Well I did it the other way round. I actually lived in the central belt and for several years travelled down to Dumfries at weekends to play football. But I,ve never regretted it!

"I now stay in Dumfries; I operate my business from Dumfries and in July I hope to marry a Dumfries girl, Melissa Houliston. So by then I think I should qualify to be a true Doonhamer. However I've no intention of doning that 'Dougie Doonhamer' outfit" he joked. "I love the town, I love the people and I love Queen of the South. And the Queens fans are absolutely brilliant - in the words of Tina Turner they're 'Simply the Best'. I'd like to end my career here at Palmerston and, who knows, I might even become a coach once my playing days are over"

Jim's introduction to football was playing for his local team, Campsie Black Watch. "I'll always be greatly indebted to the manager, Gerry Marley, who gave me a chance when no one else would" says Jim. "Also to my father who's supported me throughout my career and to Rowan Alexander who first signed me as a player at Palmerston".
His first senior club was Clyde, whom he helped to a Second Division Championship then, after a spell with Stenhousemuir, he arrived at Palmerston on New Year's Day, 1997. "We had some really good players at that time" he recalls. "Tommy Bryce had a great footballing brain and a vision second to none. He should really have been playing at a much higher level. George Rowe was another excellent player. He wasn't all that tall but his power and timing in the air and some of the goals he scored were fantastic.

"There were some real characters as well. Des McKeown could raise a laugh whenever he appeared, whether it be the dressing room or the team coach and David Kennedy (skip) was one of my best mates and a right character as well.

"We reached the final of the Challenge Cup in 1997. We were in the Second Division then and beat three First Division sides - Stirling Albion, Airdrie and Morton en route to the final. With over 5,000 Queens' fans in Fir Park that day, there was a tremendous atmosphere, and although we lost 1-0 to Falkirk, it was a day I'll never forget.

"When I left Palmerston to move to Arbroath it was a sad day for me. I never wanted to go, but had to for personal reasons. However, when I was at Gayfield I helped them win promotion, so I left on a high note.

"Then John Connolly brought me back to Queens, and I'll be eternally grateful to him for that. He has proved an excellent manager and to win two trophies in six months was exceptional. He knows a good player when he sees one, but the team always comes first, and no matter how good you are, if you don't fit into the team plan, you don't play.

"We started this season a bit apprehensively and a lot of injuries didn't help. But then we got some of our key players back, and after the first quarter of the season we all realised that most of the teams in the league were no better than us, so after a few wins the confidence just grew.

"Winning the League Championship last season was undoubtedly the highlight of my football career. At the start of every season, it's every footballer's dream to win the league title, and we did it. Winning it with Queens meant much more to me than winning it at Clyde, for I've so many friends in Dumfries now and I was so happy for them.

"That win at Forfar last year to clinch the title was my most memorable match, and coming only seven days after beating Hamilton to ensure promotion made it a week I'll never forget.

Beating Brechin City to win the Challenge Cup was another great day, but I must admit it was a wee bit of an anti-climax compared to winning the Championship. Let's face it, we had to play 35 games to clinch the title, but we only had to win five games to win the cup. Nevertheless it was still brilliant to lift it.

"I think the comaraderie in the dressing room played a major role in our success. There's no cliques, and everyone is treated the same. Andy Goram is a real character and just loves his football. Despite all his honours and success on the international front, he is just one of the boys. He's great with the youth players and gives them every encouragement. But he hates losing goals and even at training, if someone slots one past him he goes ballistic.

"I've had a few injuries in my time" admits Jim. "But the fractured cheek bone I suffered at Stenhousemuir was a bad one. And to make matters worse, Ian Ferguson never even said 'sorry'. But that's football, and you just have to get on with it.

"I'm really looking forward to Saturday's cup-tie with Aberdeen. I actually supported the 'Dons' when I was a boy, so I'd love to beat them. We go into the game as underdogs, and have nothing to lose. We only lost 2-1 to them in the League Cup last season, and we are all quietly confident we can beat them this time around."

And a final word from manager John Connolly "I rate Jim Thomson as one of the best signings I've made. When he joined us I had no hesitation in making him club captain, for he leads by example and gives 100% effort in every game."

Bill Goldie
Alloa 3-3 Queens - Reaction 18th January 2003
Queens literally paid the penalty in more ways than one at Recreation Park for two penalty decisions cost them maximum points.

Speaking after the game John Connolly said, "Overall it was a fair result, but it was disappointing that three times we were ahead but failed to hold on to our advantage, but we all knew it would be a tough match for Alloa are never an easy team to beat, we scored three tremendous goals which was great but the downside was conceding three due to poor defending.

I didn't exactly see what happened at the first penalty but on both decisions the referee blew right away so he was obviously in no doubt.

But all credit to the lads, considering they hadn't played for almost three weeks they worked hard and fought well on a very heavy pitch.

We are still in sixth spot in the table and have lost only two in our last eleven league games and that was against Falkirk and Inverness, the two top sides, so all in all I'm quite happy with our present position in the league."

Bill Goldie
Game On 18th January 2003
Following this mornings pitch inspection the game at Recreation Park has been given the go-ahead.
New Columnist 17th January 2003
Tonight sees the very first column from the pen of Mr Kenny Crichton who has kindly agreed to keep us up-to-date with the happenings in his casualty room and a wee bit farther afield hopefully, every now and then.

To enter, "Kenny Crichtons' Casualty Room", click on the red cross logo on the right hand side of the screen.
Match Doubtful 17th January 2003
The game at Recreation Park, Alloa tomorrow is in doubt due to a waterlogged pitch, an inspection will take place tomorrow morning at 10:00am so if you plan to travel please check that the game is on before you set off.
Team News 16th January 2003
This weekend will see Queens take on bottom of the league Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. Missing from the side will be Andy Goram who has been severely under the weather this week with a flu, Colin Scott will be between the sticks and Jamie Campbell on the bench, appearance 750 will have to wait another week.

New signing Steven Renicks is drafted into the side and the best news of the day is that Sean O'Connor will also comeback from the chipped ankle injury that he sustained at McDiarmid Park in December.

Both Derek Lyle and Barry Donald have resumed training and should be back in contention for a first team start within the next couple of weeks.
Special Edition Photo Now Available 15th January 2003
A special team group photograph with the Bell's Cup was taken just prior to Christmas and has now been produced as a special edition print in the style of the one produced to celebrate the league championship. They are available from the club shop at 3.50 each.
Shop Times 12th January 2003
Remember that you can get your Queens versus Aberdeen tickets in a number of ways, personally at the Palmerston office during normal working hours, personally at the Club Shop between 6pm and 8pm on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week or by postal application with a cheque.

There are also a few new shop items that are very smart, the new scarf is a must for all Queens fans at just 10.
Queens Tattoos 11th January 2003
Queen's Historian and Museum Curator Ian Black has added to his impressive traditional Queens crest that presently decorates his arm, this time, in recognition of Queens winning their first league trophy in fifty one years Ian has gone a step further and added the championship trophy itself to his tattoo collection, this time on his back. When asked whether the process was painful or not Ian commented that whilst it was painful it was worth every minute and revealed that he is now planning a Bell's Cup tattoo to match the league championship trophy.
Excellent Ticket Sales 11th January 2003
Sales of tickets for the Aberdeen match two weeks today went very well at Palmerston throughout the day. All available tickets for the West Stand were sold, however those that are held back for season ticket holders will be released on Thursday of this week for general sale so a few may become available then.

The office at Palmerston will be open all week to continue sales and the club shop will open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening to allow for those who cannot get to Palmerston during a normal working day.

Ian Black and Gordon Harper were both very busy as they provided tours of the Queens museum with their only chance for a break coming five hours into the day.
Game Off 10th January 2003
Following a mid-day inspection the Bell's First Division league match scheduled against St.Mirren at Love Street tomorrow has been postponed. The pitch is still rutted badly due to the frost and is totally unplayable.
Team News 9th January 2003
With the ground still frozen despite the slightly milder weather the game on Saturday still looks doubtful. Should the match go ahead however new signing Steven Renicks will feature in the squad. Derek Anderson is very doubtful as he has twisted his ankle, Sean O'Connor whilst doubtful at present may feature. Derek Lyle is still a couple of weeks away from fitness but his recovery is better than anticipated.
Ticket Sales Details 8th January 2003
Following a meeting with Aberdeen today, details of the ticket allocation for the Tennent's Scottish Cup third round tie have been released and are as follows:

As the weekend game against St.Mirren at Paisley is presently rated as extremely doubtful and there is no sign of a dramatic change in the weather, provisional arrangements for the sale of tickets on Saturday at Palmerston have been made. The Office at Palmerston will open between 10:00am and 4.00pm and tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis.

The Club Museum will also be open on Saturday and will be available to visit at certain times whilst the Palmerston Lounge Bar will be open for the sale of tea and coffee as well as the normal refreshments.

Postal applications will be considered from Monday 13th January and the Club Shop will be open for a couple of nights next week to sell the remaining tickets.

Aberdeen supporters have been allocated the East Stand and there will be 4500 tickets available to Queen of the South supporters for the remainder of the ground.
One in - one out 8th January 2003
Twenty seven year old right sided defender Steven Renicks becomes manager John Connolly's first squad addition of the registration window as the Bellshill born player joins the side in a swap deal that see's Jon Crawford head to Stranraer. Renicks joined the Stair Park side in August from Hamilton Accies who he had been with since his youth.
Dons clash all-ticket 6th January 2003
It was confirmed today that the Tennent's Scottish Cup clash against Aberdeen at Palmerston on the 25th January will be all-ticket. The likelihood is that the Dons supporters will be allocated the East Stand whilst Doonhamers will occupy the rest of the ground. Ticket pricing is anticipated at 15 for the stands and 12 for the terracing. Distribution methods for the tickets have still to be finalised, however as soon as details are available news will be posted here.
Soon to be rare 5th January 2003
With the two games postponed recently versus Clyde and Inverness Caley there are some of the match programmes available for sale, the likelihood is that the programme will be re-printed or certainly updated for the re-arranged dates but the originals will be available from the club shop at the next home game. Be quick or you may loose out on having a real collectors item.
Cup Draw - Reaction 4th January 2003
Speaking following the draw for the third round of the Tennent's Scottish Cup, Chairman Ronnie Bradford admitted he was happy with the draw.

Financially I'm sure every first division club hopes for Rangers or Celtic away", he said, "but I've got to consider our supporters so I'm very pleased for them that we have a home tie. Some of our fans have spent an awful lot of money in recent years travelling to places like Elgin and Peterhead so I'm delighted the game will be on our own ground, by the same token I'm also pleased for our own players. Aberdeen are a Premier League side so the pressure will be on them and as we all know anything can happen in the cup."

Manager John Connolly echoed the Chairmans words and added.

"We played them in the League Cup last season and ran them close and I reckon we're a better side than we were then. Aberdeen will obviously start favourites so we can go out an enjoy the game without undue pressure. Our last meeting was an exciting match, this time it's the Scottish Cup so I'd be disappointed if we don't get a sell-out. What I didn't want was a club from our own division for we already meet each other four times in a season. I knew Falkirk were still to come out of the hat when the draw was being made and I'm glad we avoided them."

Following the live draw on Sportscene both panelists, Murdo McLeod and Des McKeown agreed it would be a difficult game for the Premier League outfit as Queens have been going well this season.

Bill Goldie
Cup Draw 4th January 2003
In this afternoon's televised Scottish Cup third round draw Queens were paired with Aberdeen, the match is a home tie and will be played on the 25th January 2003 at Palmerston.
750 not out for the "Goalie" 4th January 2003
Today should have been another milestone in a remarkable career for Andy Goram - his 750th club game, but with the postponement of the match with Caley Thistle, 'The Goalie' will now have to wait until next week at Paisley before he reaches the magic figure. The story commenced back in 1981 when Andy made his debut for Oldham Athletic as a 17 year old. He turned out 215 times for the Lancashire club and while at Boundary Park collected the first of 43 caps for Scotland. "It was against East Germany at Hampden" he said. "I came on for Jim Leighton early in the second half and it finished in a 0-0 draw."

He then joined Hibs and made 162 appearances for the Edinburgh side and during his spell at Easter Road he actually scored two goals in the same season. "I remember them both" said Andy. "The first was a penalty against Clydebank in the League Cup and the other was from a kick-out against Morton which went right over their keepers head and into the net."

In 1991 he was transferred to Rangers in a 1 million deal and spent seven eventful years at Ibrox making a total of 260 appearances. He featured in 26 `Old Firm' clashes (losing only four), also numerous matches in European competitions against great sides such as Marseilles, Juventus and Ajax. "And all three of them went on to eventually win the Cup" said Andy.
In 1991 he was transferred to Rangers in a 1 million deal and spent seven eventful years at Ibrox making a total of 260 appearances. He featured in 26 `Old Firm' clashes (losing only four), also numerous matches in European competitions against great sides such as Marseilles, Juventus and Ajax. "And all three of them went on to eventually win the Cup" said Andy. His most memorable game for the `Gers was a match against Celtic at Parkhead. "Gazza missed from the spot but then I saved a last minute penalty and we won 1-0 to clinch the League Championship" he recalls. Two other matches he vivedly remembers were the `Battle of Britain' clashes with Leeds United in 1992 and 1993. "They were both tremendous games" he said. He departed Ibrox on a rather sad note, losing 2-1 to Hearts in the 1998 Scottish Cup final and recalls "It was the end of an era for nine of us and we wanted to go out in style. But it wasn't to be and I'm not ashamed to admit that we were all in tears after the final whistle."

After brief spells with Notts County and Sheffield United he returned north of the Border, signing for Motherwell. He played 69 matches for the Fir Park side and was a team-mate of a former Queens' favourite Derek Townsley who Andy describes as a "really nice guy." While at Motherwell he was contacted by Sir Alex Ferguson to help him out during a keeper crisis at Old Trafford. He answered the call and mixed with stars such as Beckham, Giggs and Keane. "Most of the guys were great and no different from anyone else" he admits. "Becks and Giggsy were smashing lads. Roy Keane well let's just say he was a dedicated professional but different."

His next move was to Coventry then back to Oldham for a very brief 4 game stint before John Connolly snapped him up for Queens during the close season. Andy's proudest moment since coming to Palmerston was helping the club win the Bells Cup at Broadwood. Said Andy "It was a great day for Queens and for Dumfries. Although I was very happy myself I was even more delighted for the rest of the boys that day. Just to see the delight on their faces gave me much more satisfaction. They're a great bunch of lads and I'd compare the atmosphere in the dressing room second only to Ibrox in the halcyon days of Gazza and McCoist. They're part time players with a full-time attitude and most of them travel over 500 miles a week between training and actual matches, I really admire them.

"When I first signed for Queens a lot of people thought I was at Palmerston just to mess about, but I think I've proved them wrong. I love it to bits down here I just love playing football full stop. "I also love the town of Dumfries and have made many friends since coming here. It was an honour to be asked to switch on the Christmas lights last month. I did it once before with `Coisty' in Belfast I quite enjoy doing anything like that. I'm now staying down at Rockcliffe. It's so quiet and peaceful down there and no one bothers you. But my `second home' is the Townhouse Hotel in Dumfries and I'd like to say a personal `thank you' to my good friend Alex McDonald for putting me up there those past few months."

Now 38, Andy admits he'd like to carry on playing well into his 40's and emulate other great keepers such as Peter Shilton, George Farm, Ronnie Simpson and our own Allan Ball. He said "Richard Gough always maintained you should carry on playing as long as it was physically possible. And that's my philosophy. Bear in mind that Ronnie Simpson got his first cap at 38 years old."

And how did the nickname `The Goalie' come about? "It was when I was at Hibs. A Clyde player called Paul Kane started it off and the boys at Easter Road just copied him. And it's stuck to this day" he remarked. Asked the million dollar question, `would he sign on again for Queens next season' he replied "I'd love to stay on at Palmerston but that's up to the club, not me. As I said before I really enjoy it here and first division football suits me fine. I actually feel fresher on a Saturday being `part time' and I'm hoping to play cricket for one of the Dumfries teams during the close season to keep me fit."

And a final word from John Connolly. "Andy is just treated the same as the rest of the lads. He's no `prima donna' and the players like him and respect him."

Bill Goldie
GAME OFF 4th January 2003
After a 9.00am pitch inspection the match planned versus Inverness Caley Thistle has been postponed. A heavy overnight frost has made the pitch totally unplayable.
Man of the Match 3rd January 2003
Top player on Ne'erday was Peter Weatherson with his fabulous goal, in second place came returning midfield dynamo Steve Bowey and third went to second half sub and stand in striker John O'Neill.

The full results are on the reports page and the updated Player of the Season league table can be found via the Man of the Match link.
Pitch Inspections 3rd January 2003
A preliminary pitch inspection at 4.00pm today deemed Palmerston playable for tomorrow's clash with league leaders Inverness Caley Thistle, however with an overnight frost forecast a second inspection has been arranged for 9.00am tomorrow morning, as soon as we have any news we will post it on the site.
Team News 2nd January 2003
Queens will have two key strikers missing for their home game against league leaders Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday. Derek Lyle, who had to leave the field in the Ne'erday clash with Ayr United has a depressed fracture of the cheek bone and was due to undergo surgery in Carlisle this afternoon, and it has been confirmed that Sean O'Connor has a cracked bone in his foot and it is feared Sean could be out for at least four weeks. Four other players are carrying knocks but it is hoped all will be fit.

Queens will have to be extra-tight in defence for they have already conceded eight goals to the highlanders in the two previous meetings this season.

Two ex-Queens favourites featured prominently in today's Premier League matches. Jamie McAllister provided the corner which lead to Aberdeens equalise against Celtic while Derek Townsley scored the opener for Hibs in the dramatic four all Edinburgh derby with Hearts at Tynecastle. Deggsie admitted he was, "Totally gutted", at the final whistle but says he's looking forward to the winter break as he's due to become a father again later this month."

Bill Goldie
Queens 1-1 Ayr - Reaction 1st January 2003
Said John Connolly after the match, "It was a typical local derby but following last weeks 5-0 trouncing by Falkirk I thought the lads fought well after a shaky start. Ayr had the better of the first half but we had a tremendous second half and at the final whistle I was disappointed not to have taken full points.

We had a wee pep talk at half time and in the second half we ran at them and could well have scored three or four goals. Peters goal was an excellent strike but I was disappointed when we didn't consolidate our lead at that point, we lost a bad goal with some sloppy defending but I was particularly pleased with the work rate of Eric Paton and John O'Neill when they came on as subs.

A draw is wasn't a bad result but my biggest worry now is lack of players, Derek Lyle had to go to hospital with a suspected fractured cheek bone, Sean O'Connor has a cracked bone in his foot and could well be out for over a month and within the next two weeks all three of our loan players will have returned to their own club so it's essential we recruit some new faces as soon as possible to establish strength to the squad."

Ayr manager Campbell Money was very diplomatic in his summing up, "I felt we were the better side in the first half and should have been ahead at the interval, but all credit to Queens they really came at us in the second half and over all I think a draw was a fair result. It's never easy to come to Palmerston and win and that was emphasised today.

Bill Goldie
Doonhamers Day Out 31st December 2002
First of all a Happy Hogmanay to Queens fans all over the world from all at the Queens website.

Now that the votes have been counted we can reveal that the match voted as the best all-time Queens day out in the opinion of the members of the Internet Fan Club is:
Forfar Athletic 0 - 3 Queen of the South
This match received 34% of the vote, more than twice that of the second placed match, voting for each game went as follows:

First - Forfar 0-3 QOS - 34%

Second - St.Mirren 3-5 QOS - 16%

Third - QOS 5-4 Ayr United - 14%

In all there were 297 votes cast and a more detailed analysis of the results will be produced in the next few weeks. In the meantime why not re-live the winning match by clicking on the link below to see the match report and picture special, including a video clip of the action.

Forfar 0-3 QOS - Match Report
Team News 30th December 2002
Ahead of the Ne'erday derby match against South West rivals Ayr United the news from the training ground tonight is mixed.

It is hoped that Steve Bowey who was missing on Saturday will be fit but the bad news - although Sean O'Connor has recovered from the flu his ankle injury is causing concern - Sean will probably have to go for another x-ray and will be out for at least the next two games against Ayr United and Inverness, however Paul Shields loan period does not expire until the 14th January so he is eligible.
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