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The Club That Vanished

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Post  Hieronymus on 2014-11-23, 9:13 pm

I saw this documentary earlier tonight and it is really worth a watch if you get the chance to see it on Catch Up, or it is repeated on Sky Sports a few more times this week. 

Sky Sports documentary marks 10-year anniversary of Gretna's doomed fairytale

The tale of a Dumfriesshire club's meteoric rise and fall through Scottish football

Last Updated: 21/11/14 9:55am 
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We look ahead to this weekend’s Sky Sports Originals which tells the story of the rise and fall of Gretna Football club. 

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Gretna chairman Brooks Mileson with Scottish FA Cup at Raydale Park in 2006

In 2004/05 the leading goal-scorer in the Premier League was Thierry Henry. But the top scorer in the land became nearly as famous the Frenchman thanks to Sky Sports’ Gillette Soccer Saturday.


The Club That Vanished  November 23, 2014, 6:30pm Sky Sports 1






A decade on from his brush with fame ‘The Good Doctor’, medical practitioner Kenny Deuchar, remembers his time in the spotlight as Jeff Stelling’s favourite striker in a new Sky Sportsdocumentary.
‘The Club That Vanished’ tells the story of Gretna FC’s spectacular rise and fall which saw them go from the village green all the way to the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish FA Cup final and even into Europe before disappearing virtually overnight.
With 63 goals in 93 games Deuchar became the poster boy of this unlikely success story. Combining a football career and his job as a doctor at Wishaw General Hospital with Soccer Saturday making him a cult hero along with his Grandma Mae.
“Every time I scored Jeff would mention my Grandma, and she was just loving that!” recalls Deuchar. "She would talk about it all the time and we even got to meet him when he came up to open a call centre at Livingston.”

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Deuchar (R) celebrating Ryan McGuffie's s goal in the 2006 Scottish Cup Final

Eccentric Gretna owner Brooks Mileson, whose money propelled the club through the leagues, was equally impressed, lending the star striker his car as a thank you.
“There he was in front of the cameras handing over the car," he added. "He drove away in my Nissan Primera and I drove away in his Aston Martin!”
Recalling the good times at Raydale Park, Gretna’s player-manager at the time Davie Irons said: “If somebody said you would experience cup finals and Europe with a village team you wouldn’t believe it."
But after just a single season in the Scottish Premier League the dream was over. With Mileson’s health deteriorating he withdrew his financial support, before his death in 2008, and the club collapsed with debts of nearly four million pounds.    
“I look back with mixed emotions really,” his son Craig Mileson said. “Obviously it was a great ride rising through the leagues and getting to the Scottish Cup Final. But I’m just very sorry how it all ended.”

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Post  cyprussyd on 2014-11-23, 9:18 pm

I remember it well H, we no longer get many fairy stories in football but the Gretna story sure was one

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Post  oldblackcat on 2014-11-23, 9:25 pm

Saw most of this documentary.....I remember the sad end the club came to.....but what a roy of the rovers type story....will we ever see the like again?...sadly I very much doubt it
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Post  MrRAWhite on 2014-11-23, 11:16 pm

The management were perhaps a little green to think they could maintain that standard with such a small fan base.

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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2014-11-24, 12:15 am

MrRAWhite wrote:The management were perhaps a little green to think they could maintain that standard with such a small fan base.
 Oh, I don't know. After all I can think of a couple of teams whom play in blue that everyone around the world has supported since being reborn in the last few years  silent

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Post  Nostalgic on 2014-11-24, 6:23 am

It was one of those "nice while it lasted" episodes that do warm the heart. However, 4mio quids worth of debt is a warning to any ambitious little club.

Still a part-time Berwick Rangers fan for little town clubs.
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Post  Hieronymus on 2014-11-24, 10:39 am

Brooks Mileson supported loads of other non-league clubs as well. His philanthropy came from his Salvation Army parents and poor Pennywell background. So when he had mney he shared it around to help others. 

I remember at the time some SAFC fans thinking why did Brooks Mileson not invest in his hometown club?

Maybe a salutary lesson in being careful what you wish for. But who doesn't love a fairytale even if it doesn't have a happy ending?
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Post  Guest on 2014-11-24, 12:34 pm

Nostalgic wrote:It was one of those "nice while it lasted" episodes that do warm the heart. However, 4mio quids worth of debt is a warning to any ambitious little club.

Still a part-time Berwick Rangers fan for little town clubs.
DITTO.

Also, like yourself, I give Blyth Spartans, a bit of my time and money, quite a cheap day out, No superstars, just folks who want to play football, at a level they have reached.
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