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My Favourite Game

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What has been your favourite football game of all time?  Is it a Pars game?  A Scotland game maybe?  Or some other game you have been too, perhaps?

Tell us about your memory of the game.

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One hell of a birthday present

My favourite game isn't one of any real significance to anyone other than myself really and my memories of the game are sketchy at best.  It was my 9th birthday and The Pars were at home to St. Mirren, my Dad was up from England having split from my Mum a few months previously.  My sister also decided to go to the game despite having absolutely no interest in football but it was the only way to spend some time with our Dad.   St Mirren went 1-0 up thanks to a stunning free kick from their Icelandic talisman Guðmundur Torfason and it was one of those goals that the opposition score that you just have to admire. However the half-time score was 2-1 to The Pars, Ross Jack having turned the game on it's head scoring a penalty and I think the other goal may have been a header but don't quote me on that. Despite going in at 2-1 up The Pars hadn't been playing all that well and nowhere near the form that saw us top the Premier almost a month later and according to ex Pars player Stuart Rafferty there was a bust up in the dressing room between Doug Rougvie and assistant manager Ian Munro that led to the big defender having Munro by the throat and recent signing from Bordeaux Istvan Kozma cowering in fear. The fear must have done something to the Hungarian as in 12 second half minutes he had scored his first 3 Pars goals and showed The Pars fans exactly why Jim Leishman had shelled out £540,000 for him, money current manager Allan Johnston wishes he had for the whole squad never mind one player!  As a touch of class around the 75th minute mark (could be wrong again here) Jim Leishman decided to substitute Kozma who left the pitch to rapturous applause. Like I said, my recollections are sketchy, I did write a match review at school for my "What I did at the weekend" story but my chances of viewing that are probably non-existent as I don't think Pitreavie Primary School will have it any more! 

Deutsche Par

Deutsche Par

 

Tannadice

Part of the excitement of being a Pars fan, is being at one of those games, when you can look back in years to come and say "I was there". I have followed the Pars most of my life, and experienced all kinds of highs and lows along the way, as most of us have.  There are several games that I can recall as being great memories, such as the 2-1 victory over Celtic in our first season in the Premier League, the 2-0 Scottish Cup win over Rangers, and the 'Martin Hardie' game against the Rovers. There is one game for me however, which will probably never be surpassed. 27th April 1996 saw a crowd of over 12,000 fans pack into Tannadice Stadium, to see champions-elect Dundee United, take on Bert Paton's Dunfermline Athletic side, who were coming to the end of one of the most painful and emotional seasons in the club's history.  Just 4 months before, the Pars had been left devastated by the tragic death of it's inspirational captain, Norrie McCathie.  The club, it's players, management and fans were left grief-stricken by his death, and his passing was to be felt by the club for years to come. This match was seen as something of a title decider, with Dundee United and their expensive team sitting 1 point clear of second-placed Dunfermline.  A win would see ex-Par Billy Kirkwood's men clinch the title, and see the Arabs return to the Premier League. Dunfermline's biggest strength by this stage of the season was arguably their team spirit, and the dogged determination to 'do it for Norrie'.  A huge travelling support made the trip to Tannadice to cheer the Pars on, and hope that the team could get a result to take the title race into the last game of the season. The Pars fans that were packed into the UEFA Fair Play Stand were sent into raptures after only 7 minutes, when Stewart Petrie capitalised on a disastrous piece of indecision between United 'keeper Ally Maxwell and defender defender Grant Johnson, sneaking a toe in between them to prod the ball home in front of 'The Shed'.  One-nil to the Pars, with less that 10 minutes gone.  Even now, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when I watch footage of that goal going in. The Pars withstood the pressure from United for the remainder of the first-half, and left the field to a huge ovation from the boisterous Pars faithful. In the second half, the pace remained intense, as chances were created at both ends.  A Christian Dailly header rattled off Ian Westwater's crossbar, and an Andy Smith drive across the goal going narrowly past the top corner. The Pars fans were left with their heads in the hands with just over an hour gone, when a reckless tackle by Stewart Petrie on Maurice Malpas saw him receive his second yellow card of the afternoon, and was ordered off by referee Alan Freeland. My recollection of the game after that was that Dundee United could sense that the Pars would be there for the taking, and the final third of the game seemed to last an eternity.  What felt like wave after wave of United attack descended on the Pars defence.  Another Christian Dailly header thundered back off the crossbar with Ian Westwater helpless.  The Pars backline of Colin Miller, Ivo Den Bieman, Andy Tod and Derek Fleming, defended as though their lives depended on it, supported by another heroic display from Westie. When the referee finally blew for time, the players, management and fans celebrated as though the league had been won. For me, this one game epitomises everything that is great about being a Pars fans.  Being there, as part of a huge travelling support, the amazing atmosphere, the dream start against the title favourites, and then despite it seeming as if our luck was up when Petrie got his marching orders, the boys dug deep, and pulled off an unlikely but thoroughly deserved win. You often hear the footballing cliche about fans being their teams 'twelfth man' during a football match.  The Pars fans who packed out the whole stand that Saturday, were more vocal than I have ever heard, at any other time.  There is no doubt in my mind that we were in fact, the 'twelfth man' that day.  I know I had shouted and sung myself hoarse that day. And just like the best-written story, a season which had been dominated by such an unseemable low, finished on an unbelievable high, as we sealed the title at home to Airdrie the following weekend. Dunfermline Athletic FC - First Division Champions 1995/96

Paradox

Paradox

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