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Annan win dedicated to Simon Aitken

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Chris Jardine | 15:49 UK time, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It's been a really up and down time since I last wrote. The week started amazingly with a new addition to the family when my wee cousin Gary and his partner Jess became proud parents to a beautiful baby boy in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Welcome to the world baby Torrin Findlay Clark. We're a very close, big family and Gary and I are more like brothers than cousins, so I've been very excited about the new arrival for a long time.

I can't wait to finally see Torrin awake - the wee man certainly likes a sleep!

It went without saying that I travelled to East Stirlingshire on Saturday morning with a spring in my step and looking forward to the game ahead.

That bounce immediately disappeared when we got the news that the club's honorary president, Simon Aitken was seriously ill in hospital.

Simon was obviously on our minds as we prepared, and all we hoped for was that we could give him a wee lift by winning.

But, just as we were taking to the field, we got the devastating news that he had passed away. Our victory is without doubt dedicated to big Simon.

davidcox595.jpgHe was a stalwart of the club and he didn't miss too many games in all the years he was involved at Galabank. Simon was an amazing supporter and he played his part in where the club stand now, both on and off the field.

He always had time for everyone, a true gentleman, and he will be sadly missed around the place.

At 86, he wasn't the quickest of movers and I had some great laughs with him when I would tell him not to bother getting off the bus to watch the match because he wouldn't make it back on in time when the game was over. He used to tell me he would still take me on any day. My sincere condolences go out to his family.

I like to think that having Simon in our thoughts on Saturday pulled us through to get that fantastic win against East Stirlingshire.

The second half performance was night and day from the first and the away dressing room wasn't a pleasant place to be at half time.

The manager told is in no uncertain terms that the first 35 minutes of the match were unacceptable. The boys were lucky that Harry lost his voice after ten minutes or we would have had another five to suffer!

We got the win thanks to two great finishes from David Cox - who at long, long last got his first competitive goals since joining the club in the summer.

Anyone at the game would have seen how much it meant to Coxy and I think it showed how much the players want him to do well when you seen our celebrations with the wee man. I've honestly never seen any player work as hard as Coxy but things just haven't happened for him in front of goal.

It looks like Saturday could have been a turning point for him after he scored another brace for the reserves at Queen's Park on Monday.

I'd like to make an apology to the players and staff at East Stirlingshire after our post-match celebrations.

A few of the players got a little carried away and started cheering in the corridor before we made it to the changing rooms. This should never have happened but it was in no way meant to be disrespectful.

It was more in relief at picking up our first away points of the season.

I don't want anyone to think I'm making excuses as it was wrong and we'll make sure this doesn't happen in the future.

I didn't see any tips for my first visit to the races on Sunday, so I just had to soldier on myself. I did manage a couple of winners as well as an each-way success but wasn't any better off than when I started.

This is perhaps because my partner, Laura, collected all "our" winnings and I never got to see them. Why am I not surprised?


  • Comment number 1.

    nice one chris. as a dumfries lad it's good to see another local team on its way up, especially annan! got my coaching badges at galabank a while back, it's a cracking wee place. i actually live in stirling just now and was going to come to the east stirling game but couldn't make it.. its been far too long since i paid a visit to cafe royal for a fish supper! i'm sorry to hear about simon aitken. keep up the good work, yourself and the club, u deserve success and fingers crossed u can get promotion soon. maybe even one day annan will be as good as the mighty QoS!

    all the best, mark.

  • Comment number 2.

    Sorry to hear about Mr Aitken and may I say this is a good blog.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hoggy and Rabster - thanks for the kind comments.

    Also just in case tomtomtom66 is looking in again this week - I finally managed to reply to your comment today so it's there for you in last weeks column.

    All the best.

  • Comment number 4.

    nice blog Chris. I hadn't realised celebrating an away win was frowned upon so much. Was it a bit in their face? or are you meant to wait until you get on the bus back home?!

  • Comment number 5.

    I support Annan.
    He is the only one.
    LeBron James Shoes


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