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Lifted Over The Turnstiles 2
#1
Good afternoon Staggies.
I'm in the midst of constructing a follow-up to a book I did a few years ago, titled Lifted Over The Turnstiles. I've got some new old pix of the Victoria Ground, which I rather like and hope you will too. One, from 1969, shows grass banks on the side opposite the old stand, and a small terrace behind the goal. I've tried to post it up, but don't know if it will work! I've been to VP (about 10 years ago) but am in no way an expert on it.
I have a few questions, if you would indulge me.
The Jail End is (if looking towards the old stand from the other side of the pitch) is to my left?
What were/are the other sides of the ground called? 
When were they terraced? 
When was the roof put on/upgraded at the Jail End?
When were the other sides of the ground covered?
When were the first match-standard floodlights erected?
Anyone got any quirky/surprising/weird stories about the way the old ground used to be, the way it caught the wind, or queues to get in, smells, puddles you had to skip, visiting supporters being ignorant or annoying, or anything? Anything characterful.
My email is sfinan@dctmedia.co.uk if you'd prefer to contact me directly.
Just to advertise (because I'm a mercenary b****) my latest book We Had A Dream: Scotland Internationals in the Black & White Era should be out in about 3 weeks.
All the best.


Attached File(s)
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#2
That’s a great photo you have there , the away end closest to the Cromarty firth is called the jubilee end then there is the jailend and the east and west stands

Put a link to an article when the stadium was upgraded when we won the league , since then there has been a temporary Wendy house stand which was quite quirky , it has since been replaced by an extension to the east stand


https://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/news...ty-119797/
 
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#3
Not sure how many characters the post can take, but here goes.
The article was written by John Macleod, a local Journalist, if there is room I will add it on.
Getting a bit late, so hopefully will get more information, apologies for any inaccuracies, therefore if anyone would like to correct the information, please do so.
The lights ! If memory serves me, the ground had floodlights in the 60s, they were mounted on telegraph poles all round the ground.
The club actually had floodlights on their training ground which was situated where the Highland Football Academy is now.
It was the early 70s before the lights were upgraded, and I could be wrong, but I think they were Dundee’s old light stands, so they were purchased second hand, a bargain! several of players at the time were Electricians, they installed new lights on the metal pylons.
Donnie Bain, Stan Sokolwski, and possibly Din Cowie Senior were the Electricians.
Smells, who could forget the whiff, the gents were corrugated iron sheets in each corner of the ground, the drainage? I think it was soak away.
The original boundary at the Jailend was in fact the wall from the Old Jail, it is still there to this day.
There was a turret right behind the Jailend goals, however it was invitation only for there, again memory! I think a local family The MacLaughlans had first call on the turret, there was another great supporter that used to view the game from there, Willie “Steps” Stewart, nicknamed Steps, as he was always shouting at the Referee, STEPS!
The original wooden stand was almost as old as the club, updated over the years, before finally being demolished when Morris Newton was Club Chairman, he oversaw the building of the first part of the new stand, if you look closely, you will see the areas where it has been extended, upgraded.
The Jubilee end was named after the Common Good land at the Canal side of the ground, which is known as the Jubilee Park.

Following article from John Macleod
It has been well documented, Ross County were formed in 1929 – the same
year they joined the Highland League.
But there was a much earlier County team, who actually played three
games in the inaugural Highland League season of 1893/94.
The eight original members of the fledgling league were Cameron
Highlanders, Clachnacuddin, Forres Mechanics, Inverness Caledonian,
Inverness Citadel, Inverness Thistle, Inverness Union and Ross County.
One of County's three games was against old adversaries Clach at the
Jubilee Park, Dingwall, on Saturday, September 30, 1893.
It turned out to be somewhat controversial and the behaviour of some of
the Clach team that day did not go down too well with the Victorian
crowd.
The following match report appeared in the North Star:
Ross County (Dingwall) v Clachnacuddin (Inverness)
On Saturday the above teams met in the Jubilee Park, Dingwall, for the
purpose of deciding a Highland League tie. Although a sharp shower of
rain fell during the progress of the game, the weather was, on the
whole, favourable, and there was a large number of spectators.
The ground team, winning the toss, elected to play with the breeze in
their favour, and shortly after 4pm referee Colville gave the signal for
beginning the game. The Clach lads were immediately on the leather and
made for the home goal, but the County backs (Macrae and Cushnie),
playing a splendid game, were equal to the occasion, and repelled the
attack, returning the leather to the forward line. Carrying the ball
nicely forward, the left wing brought it within dangerous proximity of
the strangers goal, but it got behind. On kicking out, it fell to the
lot of the County right wing to bring it into goal mouth, where after
“bobbing” about for a short time, was nicely headed through the
Inverness posts by Mackenzie, outside left The ball being again brought
into play, another attack was made on the fort of the strangers, and
here, in order to save, Macgregor, the stranger's goalkeeper, took an
advantage for which the referee awarded “a foul.” a disgraceful scene
ensued, resulting in Macgregor being carried on in a rough,
ungentlemanly, and unsportsmanlike like manner. The play was everything
but agreeable to the spectators, and the game ultimately resulted in
victory for the strangers by three goals to one. The scene referred to
was one which, happily to say, is seldom witnessed on a football field.
The referee, Colville, was manifestly unprejudiced, and that he should
have received such treatment at the hands of his own townsmen
(Invernessians) goes a good length to show what knowledge they possess
of good breeding, and how to properly conduct themselves and control
their tempers. It is perhaps better to say nothing of the scene which
occurred; suffice to say that it did not tend in any way to increase the
popularity of the game, but, on the contrary, has given rise to a very
strong feeling against it.”
As you can see the style of reporting has changed somewhat since those
early days.
County lost their Highland League fixture to Inverness Union 2-1 at the
Jubilee Park on September 23 – Watson having scored County's first ever
goal. The following Saturday, County were held to a 1-1 draw by
Inverness Citadel, again at Jubilee Park.
A match against Cameron Highlanders due to be played on October 14 had
to be postponed after 'the ground was declared unplayable.'
By November County mysteriously resigned from the league after a 'fall
out' with the Inverness Association. The ramifications from the Clach
game obviously ran deep.
It was to be another 36 years before County would join the league again.
Forming out of Dingwall Victoria United and moving to their new home
Victoria Park.
Incidentally, Inverness Thistle won the very first Highland League title
with Inverness Caledonian four points behind in second place.

After a false dawn when Ross County played three games in the fledgling
Highland League in 1893, the Dingwall club reformed in time for the
1929/30 season.
At a meeting of junior club Victoria United Football Club at he
beginning of May 1929 'supporters and friends' decided to seek admission
to the senior ranks.
It was also agreed to secure an enclosure and erect a grandstand on the
field adjoining the Jubilee Park. Steps were also taken to secure the
necessary funds. Provost Murray opened a fund for donations and
acknowledgements would be made each week in the local press.
The secretary, D. G. Elder, who worked at the bookstall at Dingwall
railway station, said he would be glad to receive and acknowledge
donations as well as a half-crown membership fee.
Things moved on apace and Ross County were accepted into the Highland
League without much fuss. A game was arranged against an Inverness
Select to be played at the new Victoria Park to raise funds for the new
club.
A crowd of around 1,200 turned up to watch an entertaining match which
ended 2-2.
After the match the management entertained the players and officials in
the Caledonian Hotel. A scribe at the time wrote: “These social
amenities tend to create the true sporting spirit off and on the field.”
The teams that day were: Ross County – Gray, Munro, Johnston, Maclennan,
Pirie, Grant, Scott, Traill, Morrison, Mackenzie,Young.
Inverness Select – Nelson (Thistle), Ballantyne (Thistle), Clyne
(Clach), Ross (Thistle), Forbes (Clach), Shaw (Citadel), Mackenzie
(Thistle), Smith (Thistle), Robertson (Clach), Cameron (Clach), Paterson
(Citadel).
Very noticeably there were no Caley players in the select team. Maybe it
was because they were to appear at Victoria Park the following Saturday
(August 17) for County's first Highland League fixture.
County, or the “Babes” as they were known at the time won 2-1 against
Caley. Young scored County's opener when he got on the end of a Traill
free kick to net off the underside of the crossbar. The roles were
reversed for the second when Traill scored following a Young corner
kick.
Caley did pull one back through Aird and the visitors had the chance to
level before the end when they were awarded a penalty. However, Watson's
spot kick was well saved by Gray. Despite his heroics the County keeper
came under a lot of criticism for his display. One local report read:
“Gray did not field or hold the leather with too much confidence – he is
rather apt to leave his goal unattended.”
Interestingly Gray only survived seven games before disappearing off the
scene.
County were able to build on their winning start and they went on a run
of seven games without a victory, including a 3-1 defeat to Inverness
Thistle in the first round of the Qualifying Cup North.
A second victory eventually came on October 12 in the shape of a 2-1
home win against Forres Mechanics. Both goals were scored by D.
Mackenzie.
The highlight of the season was County's first senior cup success – a
2-0 victory against Elgin City in the North of Scotland Cup final at
Telford Street on March 15, 1930.
The snow-covered park did not suit the silky skills of the
highly-fancied Moray side and County took full advantage of the
conditions. Morrison scored the first goal just before half time when he
lobbed Pale after being put through by Pirie.
The Elgin keeper was in the wars early in the second half when he
collided with County forward Kerr and had to be replaced by Paterson.
However, City should have been level when they were awarded a penalty
when Johnstone brought down Bremner in the box. But Cross pulled off a
“marvellous” save from MacLaughlan.
The trophy was secured 10 minutes from the end when Grant capped a fine
game with the decisive goal.
The team and officials were met by a pipe band in Dingwall and marched
to the Cross where Provost Murray handed the cup to Pirie. A celebratory
dance in the Town Hall followed.
County's cup winning team was: Cross, Munro, Johnstone, Garrow, Pirie,
Young, Morrison, Traill, Kerr, Grant, Cameron.
County finished the season in eighth place out of twelve with a total of
17 points.
All in all, it had been a very satisfying 'debut' season for the “Babes”
of the Highland League.

Ross County's second season in the Highland League – season 1930-31 –
saw them finish fourth in the table.
County were unable to retain the North of Scotland Cup but they didn't
end the season empty-handed – the Inverness Cup was taken out of the
Highland capital for the first time in its history following a 3-1
victory in the final against Clachnacuddin.
The appointment of a player/coach, Hart from St Johnstone proved to be a
success. Despite losing their first game of the season, 4-2 to Inverness
Citadel at Victoria Park, County recorded a couple of impressive wins
against Clach (5-1) and Elgin City (4-2). County's centre forward Aird
was the main man with four goals against Clach and another two against
Elgin. Aird proved himself to be a prolific goalscorer. He netted five
times against Keith in a 10-0 win in October and five more in an 8-1
romp against Forres Mechanics in the North of Scotland Cup.
County were drawn against Inverness Caledonian in the first round of the
Qualifying Cup. The cup was played over two-legs with the first leg at
Victoria Park, ending in a 3-3 draw. However, County lost the second leg
2-1 at Telford Street and for the second year running were out of the
competition.
County won nine of their 22 games, drawing another five. One very
notable result was a 5-1 league victory against defending champions
Huntly at Victoria Park in April.
Also in April County progressed to the final of the Inverness Cup after
a 3-2 aggregate victory against Caledonian. Caley, incidentally, went on
to win the league championship.
There was one very strange result, which was played in between the two
Caley games, against Wick Academy, who were a non-league side in those
days. Wick ran out 6-1 winners – we can assume County were without a few
of their regular first team players for that particular game.
As mentioned earlier, the highlight of the season, apart from a very
credible fourth place finish, was winning the Inverness Cup for the
first time thanks to a 3-1 victory against Clach at Citadel Park.
County didn't get off to the best of starts. After just a few seconds a
'miskick' by Munro and an 'error of judgement' by Mackenzie led to Clach
centre forward Rose shooting past Lobban for the opener.
The Dingwall men got their act together and Urquhart scored with a
sublime 30-yard free kick after he was fouled by Clyne. The
ever-reliable Aird netted following a goalmouth scramble to give County
a 2-1 interval lead. Clach, with the elements against them, created
numerous chances but poor finishing let them down in front of goal.
The Lilywhites failed miserably to use the wind to their advantage in
the second half and County scored the decisive third goal when Cowie
hooked home Davidson's cross.
It was sweet revenge for the previous year when Clach defeated County
4-1 in the final.
The following night a large 'spectatorate' turned out to see Aberdeen's
first X1 play County at Victoria Park.
According to one newspaper report Aberdeen's aim was not to 'run up a
substantial goal lead, which they could easily have done' but instead
gave a 'masterly exhibition of how simply football can appear when
played by experts. Every device known to the game was demonstrated
clearly – intricate dribbling bouts, body swerving, and how precise
positional play can bring the maximum of effort for the maximum of
labour.'
the final scored was Ross County 2, Aberdeen 3.
At the club's annual general meeting, which was held in the Burgh Court
House, Mr T H Burns presided. The large attendance was told of County's
'decided improvement' in occupying fourth place and the annexation of
the Inverness Cup.
Once concern, however, was the state of Victoria Park. Apparently
'several complaints had been lodged as to the condition of the pitch,'
and 'it was agreed to enter into a scheme to have it drained and put
into more playable order, the powers of executing it being left in the
management's hand, while the expenditure is to be met by various
functions.

Thanks to John MacLeod
 
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#4
The west stand was formerly an old wooden stand. It was where we used to get changed for training on a Sunday morning as kids. One Sunday morning we got changed in it went round the back of the ground to do our training session. When we came back the stand was burnt to the ground. That was County's method of demolition. Thankfully our bags and clothes were removed before they did it!
 
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#5
(04-07-2021, 08:32 AM)jamiepscot Wrote: The west stand was formerly an old wooden stand. It was where we used to get changed for training on a Sunday morning as kids. One Sunday morning we got changed in it went round the back of the ground to do our training session. When we came back the stand was burnt to the ground. That was County's method of demolition. Thankfully our bags and clothes were removed before they did it!

It was a controlled demolition/burning.
Overseen by Dingwall’s Finest Fire Brigade, which of course included the late Great Jimmy Paterson.
 
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#6
Ladies & Gentlemen Boys & Girls
Supporters.
Not sure if this was ever posted on the site.

On 31st May 1929 by a large Majority

Dingwall Victoria United was closed.

A week later on 7th June 1929

Ross County Football Club

Was reformed 36 years after resigning from

The Highland League.

Mr. James MacKenzie President Dingwall Victoria

Along with others he was asked to draw up Rules.

29th June 1929 it was decided that the new Enclosure

Be called Victoria Park

And the Strip be Broad Horizontal Stripes

Sky Blue and Scarlet.

The first General Meeting was held on 31st July 1929

Offices Bearers were elected.

President: Mr. James MacKenzie.

Vice President: Mr. T.H. Burns.

Secretary: Mr. D.G. Elder, Caberfeidh Avenue, Dingwall.

Treasurer: Mr. R. Sutherland, Nicols Court, Dingwall.

Committee: Hugh Ross, A. Matheson, R.Rennie, D.MacLean,

Mr. J.F. Hunter, Alex Nicol, G. Graham, H. Morrison,

Mr. M. MacGregor, Strathpeffer, J. Dodds, P.A. Marshall,

and J. Wilson, Fortrose.
 
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#7
I should mention !
There is a Gentleman by the name of Roy Bremner.
Vast knowledge of the club and history, club official photographer for many years.
 
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#8
Fantastic stuff gents. Thanks very much. I have a spectacular pic (which I'll use in the book) of the old stand being burned down. It is a novel, indeed probably unique, way to go about clearing out the old to make way for the new!
Is Roy Bremner reachable on email? Or via any other electronic whizzmagiggery?
 
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#9
(04-07-2021, 05:23 PM)Steve Finan Wrote: Fantastic stuff gents. Thanks very much. I have a spectacular pic (which I'll use in the book) of the old stand being burned down. It is a novel, indeed probably unique, way to go about clearing out the old to make way for the new!
Is Roy Bremner reachable on email? Or via any other electronic whizzmagiggery?

I think I know the picture you are talking about, but I am not 100% sure it is the same incident. Then again can't be too many instances of one of the stands burning down. 

I have some pictures of the place from the late 70's that I will try and fish out for you.
 
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#10
Some great reading here, makes me feel like a proper youngster despite following County since 1994!
 
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#11
(04-07-2021, 10:44 AM)MOGO Wrote: It was a controlled demolition/burning.
Overseen by Dingwall’s Finest Fire Brigade, which of course included the late Great Jimmy Paterson.
Uncle James was probably shooting the rabbit's in the car park whilst Billy Ross torched it ;-)
 
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#12
(04-08-2021, 01:16 PM)ShawIsDynamite Wrote: I think I know the picture you are talking about, but I am not 100% sure it is the same incident. Then again can't be too many instances of one of the stands burning down. 

I have some pictures of the place from the late 70's that I will try and fish out for you.
 That would be great, thanks very much. My email is sfinan@dctmedia.co.uk
 
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#13
Aye lads.
I have another question. County went down to Cappielow to play Morton on April 4th, 1966. I have photos of it (the reason for using a pic is that it will be in a chapter about how football used to be played in all weathers, on surfaces from sheet ice to quagmire. This game was on a very heavily-sanded pitch — as used to happen in those days) Morton won 7-0, I'm afraid.
But was it a friendly? Or some competition I'm not seeing? I often find photos that have very little info attached, so I have to come a-begging!
Does anyone know anything about this game?
Thanks very much guys.
 
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#14
(04-26-2021, 03:12 PM)Steve Finan Wrote: Aye lads.
I have another question. County went down to Cappielow to play Morton on April 4th, 1966. I have photos of it (the reason for using a pic is that it will be in a chapter about how football used to be played in all weathers, on surfaces from sheet ice to quagmire. This game was on a very heavily-sanded pitch — as used to happen in those days) Morton won 7-0, I'm afraid.
But was it a friendly? Or some competition I'm not seeing? I often find photos that have very little info attached, so I have to come a-begging!
Does anyone know anything about this game?
Thanks very much guys.

Sorry, can’t help you in that one.
I can only imagine it was the second team in a friendly.
1966 was the year Ross County played Rangers in Dingwall in the Scottish Cup, Rangers won (with some assistance) 2-0.
So they weren’t put out by Morton.
Ross County were not involved in League Cups or any other cups at that time, as they were still Highland League, admission to the Scottish Cup was through the Qualifying Cup.  

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2kEhP53lXGs

For all the County Supporters out there, listen to the words of the Chairman in 1966

Enjoy!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cvL8Z5JgpHU
 
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#15
(04-26-2021, 03:12 PM)Steve Finan Wrote: Aye lads.
I have another question. County went down to Cappielow to play Morton on April 4th, 1966. I have photos of it (the reason for using a pic is that it will be in a chapter about how football used to be played in all weathers, on surfaces from sheet ice to quagmire. This game was on a very heavily-sanded pitch — as used to happen in those days) Morton won 7-0, I'm afraid.
But was it a friendly? Or some competition I'm not seeing? I often find photos that have very little info attached, so I have to come a-begging!
Does anyone know anything about this game?
Thanks very much guys.

On the 4th April 1966 Aberdeen beat Morton 5-3 at Pittodrie.
 
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#16
You are absolutely right Mogo. My apologies. I was looking at a reversed (a negative) image.
I've attempted to attach some evidence to show what I'm talking about (but am having some trouble, this isn't my first attempt!)
I've been assuming County are in white.
I have no idea why the photographer picked out Brett and Boreley as significant.
Thanks guys.

Pix attached (hopefully)
 
Reply
#17
(04-27-2021, 09:09 AM)Steve Finan Wrote: You are absolutely right Mogo. My apologies. I was looking at a reversed (a negative) image.
I've attempted to attach some evidence to show what I'm talking about (but am having some trouble, this isn't my first attempt!)
I've been assuming County are in white.
I have no idea why the photographer picked out Brett and Boreley as significant.
Thanks guys.

Pix attached (hopefully)

Colin Brett And Peter Borely were the County full backs , both commence playing for County, 65/66.
They were both very young and brilliant footballers.
Colin was born and bred in Dingwall.
Peter was brought up in Invergordon, possibly born in Dingwall.
Therefore , I am concluding that was the reason they made headlines.
Oh! To have two full backs of that calibre today.
 
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#18
(04-26-2021, 05:03 PM)MOGO Wrote: Sorry, can’t help you in that one.
I can only imagine it was the second team in a friendly.
1966 was the year Ross County played Rangers in Dingwall in the Scottish Cup, Rangers won (with some assistance) 2-0.
So they weren’t put out by Morton.
Ross County were not involved in League Cups or any other cups at that time, as they were still Highland League, admission to the Scottish Cup was through the Qualifying Cup.  

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2kEhP53lXGs

For all the County Supporters out there, listen to the words of the Chairman in 1966

Enjoy!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cvL8Z5JgpHU


Now then, some more useful or not so useful, depends how one views a clubs history.
The Davie Hamilton Lounge is named after this man.
Davie was a Shoemaker, worked under Mr Mathieson a Master Shoemaker.
Hence the reason Davie was so professional when it came to looking after the players boots and kit.

ONE of Rangers keenest supporters at their Cup-Winners Cup final at Nuremberg on Wednesday, was Mr David Hamilton, 16 Gladstone Avenue, Dingwall, who has been the handyman for Ross County FC for more years than one cares to remember. Davie is just as County daft, and has been a follower of the club since it was reformed after the war. Many a day, and at all hours, he has been in attendance at Victoria Park, looking after the premises, and the players’ kit, particularly their boots, for he is a first-class craftsman in this respect as his employers, Keltic Boot Warehouse, Dingwall, will vouch. This week he was guest of Mr Frank Thomson, chairman of Ross County, and Mr Fred Newton, a director, at Nuremberg. On Tuesday, Mr Newton said Davie had been such a devoted servant to the club, that Mr Thomson and he had decided to take him on the trip. Fred received three tickets from Mr Scot Symon, manager of Rangers. The party flew to Frankfurt, and completed their journey by train. It was Davie’s first flight, and one does not doubt that it has proved a memorable one.
 
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#19
Brett and Borely in that 1966 pic.

I'm truly sorry guys, I don't seem to be able to attach photos. This will be, I assure you, my fault in some way! Sorry for the waste of time.
 
Reply
#20
 Borley & Brett
Further to my earlier post.
Both players were young and upcoming, both showed great promise while playing for the local, highly successful club, Queens of the North.
The Club Chairman at the time Mr Frank Thompson was the 1960s equivalent of today’s very successful Chairman, Roy MacGregor.
Therefore, a distinct possibility that Frank was putting them in the shop window, football was a business back then, however, not quite at today’s levels.
The team that played against Rangers were almost all based locally, and several of them born and bred in the area.
Goalkeeper - B. Sutherland was born in Brora, moved to Muir Of Ord, his brother George was a former Ross County Captain.
Right Back - Peter Borley, as previously stated brought up Invergordon, having played for Queens of The North.
Left Back - Colin Brett, born and bred Dingwall lad, who lived and worked locally, also having played for Queens of The North.
Right Half - Ian MacNeil, born in Baillieston, Glasgow, a Scottish you international, played for Aberdeen, Leicester, Brighton, he later became a Ross County Manager.
Centre Half - Ian Greig, a local man from Conon Bridge, played for Conon & Queens of the North, acknowledged to be the best centre-half in the Highland League at the time. 
Left Half – Don Macmillan, “Big Don” as he was affectionally known as, born in Aberdeen, played for Aberdeen Woodside, then signed for Celtic, returned to his hometown to play for Aberdeen before joining Ross County. Big Don had one of the most powerful shots in the country, he could strike a ball, scored many a fine goal from distance.
Outside Right- Tucker Thomson, born Inverness, previously played for Inverness Thistle, before joining Ross County.
Inside Right – Sandy Mackenzie, another Invergordon man, tremendous energy, gave his all for 90 minutes.
Centre Forward – Denis Donald, born Aberdeen, played for Banks O Dee, Aberdeen, Nairn Elgin & Clach, eventually becoming a goal hungry centre forward.
Inside Left – Jim Hosie, born Aberdeen, played for Aberdeen, Barnsley, a very skilful player with an eye for goal.
Outside Left – John Mackay, a very well-known Invergordon man, played for Queens of The North, another prolific goal scorer.
Manager – Sammy Wilson, played for Celtic, Saint Mirren, Millwall, Northampton, he was a great admirer of Jock Stein, no doubt this helped him pave the way for the style of football played by Ross County at the time.
Trainer – Chic Ogilvie, known affectionally as “Chic”, a great servant to Ross County for many years, having played for the club from 1945 to 1962
Interesting to note that several of the players worked at Invergordon Distillery, a company owned by Chairman Frank Thompson.
No problem with time off for training and travel to games.
Very astute businessman. Dingwall 
 
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