Earlier this season, Pars fan "Auld Boab" (as he preferred to be known) wrote a series of articles for Pars Review's "Throwback" feature. He recalled his favourite Pars players and games and included at number 2 in his favourite players article was Ron Mailer, who sadly passed away last week (please see this article).
Here is the "Throwback" article from November last year on Ron Mailer, which now serves as a great tribute to the memory of a Pars legend. The full article can be read here.
PARS MEMORIES: FAVOURITE PLAYERS: RON MAILER
Among the panoply of Pars’ stalwarts, the Pars’ stalwart of all Pars’ stalwarts is my number two favourite, Ronnie Mailer, who achieved everlasting fame as the Captain of our 1961 Cup-winning team. Ronnie signed in 1951 as an inside-right, but moved to right-half where he played for us until 1964, with a one-year stay at Darlington in season 1954/5, possibly as a consequence of National Service.
Ron was the archetypal bustling wing-half, of small/average height, but a continual thorn in the flesh for any attacker trying to pass him. He was brave, industrious, indefatigable, and it was these qualities which led to him being appointed Captain. I read recently some criticism of Morris for failing to shout at his team-mates; well, I never heard Ron Mailer shouting at his team-mates. He always led rather by example, getting stuck in, tackling again and again, being everywhere, making passes, driving forward. He was never going to be capped, but as a Club man of orthodox playing style, he was supreme.
180 minutes V Celtic in 1961, Ron his customary high profile terrier in defence, Celtic goal-less, and it was no coincidence that as soon as the game finished, Jock Stein’s first run, en route to Eddie Connachan, was to Ronnie Mailer, his brave inspirational Captain, for an embrace which transferred some Hampden mud from Ron’s strip on to Jock’s flapping white raincoat!
Ron’s game of games had to be against a rampant Kilmarnock in that end-of-season run of six winning matches to avoid relegation after the arrival of Jock Stein. So far two wins had helped, but Killie were challenging Hearts for the title, had already reached the Cup Final, and had played 21 games without defeat when they arrived at East End for this Monday night fixture in April, 1960. The match was keenly contested with chances at both ends, but goal-less at half-time, when Pars turned round to play to the town end. Five minutes in, and Ron picked up the ball in his midfield position, with just enough space to strike perfectly a shot from 35 yards. The ball whistled through the air at the speed of light and dipped in to the Martin Hardie postage-stamp corner of the goal past an apparently unsighted Jimmy Brown. A third win in a row for the Pars and two more points towards safety, thanks to goal of the season, if not century!
Killie’s keeper, Jimmy Brown, was a larger than life character, and a great favourite with all Scottish football fans for his humour and engagement with the terracings. He had some rare shoulder-charge jousts with Charlie Dickson but, even though Jimmy was solid, with thighs like tree trunks, and probably twice Charlie’s weight, at any contact he would drop to the ground like a dying hippo, but with enough presence of mind to keep a hold of the ball. Ref would back the keeper and blow for a foul, whereupon Jimmy would rise to his feet, still clutching the ball, and have a good laugh with the crowd at the success of his subterfuge. The crowd would join him in laughing, probably unlike today when they would be more likely to boo, gesticulate or throw coins!!
I had the pleasure of playing golf with the late Jimmy at Crail some twenty years ago, and on the way round, I reminded him of his jousts with Charlie Dickson, which made him smile, and I also mentioned Ron Mailer’s strike, commenting that Jimmy did not seem to have made an effort to save it. ‘Save it?’ said Jimmy, ‘It was going that hard, I never even saw it!’ So Jimmy too remembered Ronnie’s wonderful goal.
I also spoke with Ronnie at the Alhambra night celebrating the 60s some ten years ago, and found him to be the most pleasant, modest unassuming man, a man whose on-field enthusiasm demonstrated that he loved football, and a man whose playing record showed that he loved the Pars. To the best of my knowledge, Ronnie, now in his mid-eighties, still lives in his native Auchterarder.
In a word - lion-heart!
One of Dunfermline's greatest players and the captain of the 1961 Scottish Cup winning team, Ron Mailer, has passed away at the age of 85. Ron joined the Pars in 1951 and made 325 appearances until his retirement in 1964. His greatest moment was leading the team to the Scottish Cup triumph of 1961, defeating Celtic in the final.
Rest in peace.
Ben and I were delighted to be asked to represent DAFC fans pre-match to promote the Ochre Cancer Charity at Tannadice today. We were given specially produced DAFC t-shirts and were joined by 2 Dundee United fans in a photo that will be on the charity's site soon. Here's a photo of Ben and I with the t-shirts this evening. A great cause!
Links to Ochre Cancer Charity:
DAFC Official Twitter have confirmed that Tuesday's game v Inverness has been postponed due to weather conditions.
DAFC Twitter have confirmed that Saturday's game v Livingston has been postponed due to weather conditions.
Today's game at Brechin has been postponed. The photo below of the Glebe Park pitch was posted by Brechin City on Twitter earlier today. The pitch failed a noon inspection, and there is further snow forecast.
Confirmed at: twitter.com/spflnews
Photos of some of the current DAFC squad (& manager) as they looked when at a previous club and how they look now, including Jean Yves M'Voto as a youth team player at PSG and Allan Johnston in his days as a winger at Hearts.
All current Pars photos are by Pars Review.
Interview with Pars midfielder Aaron Splaine in the Dunfermline Press, as he continues his recovery from the double leg break injury he suffered in November. Good to hear that he is making progress and is staying positive.