It’s always a sad day when a football team decides it can no longer continue. Many youth players will have felt that very pain, usually confirmed to them after a period of uncertainty by a dejected and wistful coach. It’s even more depressing when a whole club folds, whether in the youth ranks or at any level of the senior game. Amateur or professional, all those connected with the club feel it, from the players on the park to the parents and supporters on the sideline, all the way up to the boardroom where it perhaps hits the hardest, and it hurts.
You can only imagine then the agony and regret felt by the people behind Campsie Black Watch, one of the most revered names in youth football for over 70 years. The East Dunbartonshire side held – or rather, still hold – the record for the most youth Scottish Cup wins with 11, their most recent victory coming in 2014.
The club confirmed the news in an email to Central Scottish Amateur Football League, saying they will not be competing in the upcoming league season due to "circumstances outwith the club's control".
President Gerry Marley, who has been involved with Campsie Black Watch for over 60 years, said the club folding was down to a lack of dedication from the players.
The 85-year-old, in an interview with STV, said: “Over the years we have had some great successes unequalled anywhere else in the country but recently the whole thing has just collapsed round about us.
“It was becoming a struggle to get 11 players on the park for games.
“I've had 64 great years at the club since joining as a coach in 1953 and taking control three years later but now it feels like the end of era.”
The Lennoxtown club, named after the famous Scottish regiment, contested their first youth Scottish Cup final in front of 10,000 spectators in 1947 at Edinburgh’s Easter Road, and their last win came at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium. Campsie were a dominant force at the Under 21s age group and won their most recent league title in 2012 but last season, due to a player shortage, they merged with amateur outfit Waterside FC and were forced to pull out of the 21s setup altogether.
Campsie Black Watch (Under 21s): Honours
Scottish Cup Winners - :
1955, 1964, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991, 2013, 2014.
Lady Darling Cup Winners -:
1959, 1968, 1976, 1979, 2004.
West Of Scotland Winners -:
1983, 1988, 1990, 1994.
D.V. Labor International Tournament (Holland) -:
1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993.
League Champions -:
1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2006, 2012.