The History of Newtongrange Star
7th February 2007
I've loads of memories from supporting the Star during the late eighties and early nineties. Who could forget Tony O'Hara's last minute winner against Cumnock in the Scottish of 1989/90. Then in the next round at Stoneywood when the supporter's bus got stuck in the mud behind one goal. Or the run to the Scottish Junior Cup final in 1991. Or the 6-0 humping of Lithgae in 1992. Or the time Fauldhouse supporters let down the tyres on the bus after losing 4-1 in 1993. That was one long journey home. Thanks Star.
9th February 2007
Just found you had a site enjoyed it very much especially the late forties and fifties .My Dad Bert was the greenskeeper for a few years Joe Hadden took over from him,The photographs I really liked, seeing some of the old faces brought back nice memories,Keep up the good work get some of the present fans pictures in.

PS Tell Henry Weston &Tommy Carson I was asking for them.
16th April 2007
Great to see some early video footage of junior football.

I have been following Pollok since 1978 and filming the games since 1993 but I am afraid I have not filmed Newtongrange Star in that time to help with your project.

The website looks great.

Keep up the good work.
18th December 2007
I think there is lots of good information on the history of the Star and I spent many hours looking back.
24th December 2007
I was part of the Lochee Harp team which was invited through to Newtongrange Star in 1955 to open their new stadium, and the game was played under their state-of-the-art (at that time) floodlights," recalled Jim.

It's remarkable that it took a further six years or so before official games were allowed to be played under the lights.

We were asked to take part in the game through a mutual connection with both clubs and remember it as a great occasion, even having a meal in an Edinburgh hotel prior to the game.

In the Newtongrange line-up that night was a young Dave Mackay, who would, of course, go on to play for Hearts, Tottenham Hotspur and Scotland, Tommy Preston, who would later join Hibs, and a goalkeeper called Marshall, who signed for Rangers.

We beat them 3-1 and our defence included myself at right-half, George de Gernier at left-half, with Jack Duffy between us at centre-half.

Our right-back was Willie Black, with John Fairfield in goal, the brother of Charlie, who would go on to become a legend of the local junior scene.

One of our front men, Billy McLardy, later went down to Manchester City.

Newtongrange were the hub of the mining community.

There were at least five major coal pits operating in a close radius, with over 5000 miners, and the mines were flourishing.

Every one of those miners supported the junior team as they had one penny deducted from their wages (compulsory) every week by the National Coal Board, who then gave a nice cheque to Newtongrange Star at the end of every month.

It wasn't too much to give individually, but it certainly mounted up big-time with over 5000 contributing weekly.
30th January 2008
This is a brilliant site and the statistics provide a great history of the club. They also provide useful information for other clubs.
1st February 2008
I remember being at the East of Scotland Cup final in 1958/59. We beat Musselburgh 5-3 at Easter Road and some of the players were Bill Durie, Junior McGillivray, Johnny Slater, Alec Slater, Johnny Hunter.

I remember being at the games with Sauchie in the league play-off in 62-63 and we were losing 2-0 in the game at Sauchie when we got a late penalty which would have made it 2-1 and given us the league on aggregate but Titch Veitch missed the penalty. We had to have a 3rd game at Broxburn and Sauchie won 1-0.
12th March 2008
I have my grandfathers medal ( James Ewing ) for winning the exhibition cup in 1907/08 but the picture you have is much later. I believe my grandfather then played in goal for Raith Rovers.
9th May 2008
Just writing to congratulate you on an excellent historical site.
17th June 2008
I've looked at your website in the last couple of weeks whilst trying to gather information on former Hibs players - a fine piece of work if you don't mind me saying.

I got threatened with a slap round the chops at the Dean the other week for suggesting that Bonnyrigg Rose were better than Nitten seeing as Nitten had never won the Scottish - your site put me right on that - even if it was a long long time ago.
Extract from 'Mungo Mackay and the Green Table' by Ian MacDougall (1995)
My father wasnae victimised after the 1921 strike and he wasnae in the pits by 1926. Because at the back end o’ 1925 the doctor said: 'Ye've tae get out the pit.' It was pneumo-coniosis, swallowing the coal dust. He says, 'You must get out the pit.' So my father was off for a while then he got the job of assistant registrar. So he never went back to the pits after 1925. He had to give up the union, of course, but he was a man that had always needed to be into something like that. He was a member o’ the School Board for a long time and he was twenty-two years on Gorebridge Co-operative Society committee. He always had to be active in village life. He was on the committee o’ Newtongrange Star football Club when they won five cups out o’ six one year (1906/07). And he was in the Masons and my uncle Dave was secretary o’ the Masons. So our people have been active in the village life more or less all our life.
Extract from 'Mungo Mackay and the Green Table' by Ian MacDougall (1995)
Ah've read about minin' and it's a known fact that a hundred years ago they did everything except put a tattoo on you. You were there, you were in their house, you were signed to whatever coal company it was, body and soul. You couldn't move. So it was maybe a backlash from that that the village of Newtongrange remained predominantly of Newtongrange people. And, as ah say, there were rivalries between the village and Gorebridge, where the Arniston Coal Company was run by Viscount Dundas. There were rivalry at football, there were rivalry at everything. After the First World War we, the people who had been born and bred in Newtongrange, referred to the people employed by the Arniston Coal Company who lived in Gorebridge and Arniston, as Germans. They in turn with no love lost referred to us as Chinese. I can remember watching Junior football after the end of the First World War. It was quite common then for Arniston Rangers tae meet Newtongrange Star in the League and very often in the Scottish Cup. There would be at least 3,000 spectators there, for a Junior match. I think it was thruppence ye paid tae get in, old money. And by love! I've seen some kickin' matches in ma time. I never took part in them, because I was too easily knocked off the ball myself. But I always loved football. I followed Newtongrange Star all over the place. And it used tae be the highlight o’ the season when they met Arniston Rangers.
22nd February 2009
I only just found your site today and think it is brilliant, could I just point out that my Grandfather was trainer 1920-24. He is listed as G.Nelson in fact it should be G.Neilson congratulations to the team on reaching Scottish quarter finals I may have to get my bus pass out.
16th April 2009
I just discovered the new Nitten web-site and the updated history section. It's brilliant and now that my son Tommy is playing for the Star, I wonder how many father-son, brother and even grandfather-father-son combinations have played for the club? It's probably too hard a task to research but interesting. You ask for updates,missing info etc. I have an old scrap book my Mum kept of all my athletic pursuits and I'll send you any other Nitten info I can when I find the book in the garage, however there is one glaring error in the 1974-1975 season stats that I would like you to correct. The only game we played against and at Polkemmet was a 7-3 win but Iain Anderson didn't score 2 goals, I did! It was our first league game of the season and Iain Anderson didn't play for the first couple of games. I scored the games first goal and I think the 3rd on a diving header from a Tom Cropley free kick. The reason I remember it so well is that its probably the best headed goal I scored in my short and not illustrious carreer. We started 3 forwards that day, Alan Duthie (Celtic), Chris Robertson (Rangers) and myself, John Britton (Scottish Badminton Team, 20 Caps, USA Badminton Team 40 Caps....does this make me a Nitten Internationalist?) Please may I get my credit? We also had two Bobby Hoggs on the squad that year. One was the goalkeeper and the other, a tricky winger, usually was the other sub wth me on the bench as we were only allowed 2 subs that year. I actually was moved from forward to goalkeeper during one game I started as Goalkeeper Bobby Hogg was injured in the 30th minute of a game we tied, I think 0-0, but there are no 0-0 scores listed. I know I didn't let in a goal!!!.. It would also be nice if on the team roster Albert Britton could be changed to John Britton, so that Tommy knows his dad did play for the Star. Thanks I'll send more info when I have it and lets get promtion again this season like my team did in 1974/75. Like father, like son (though we did make the semi-finals of the Cup that year). Regards to everyone at Nitten.
7th September 2010
I'd like to say well done to my cousin Billy Britton for pointing out the miss-spelling of our grandfather's (papa's) name. I found this out a couple of years ago when doing a little research myself with the help of a certain Mr. Ricky Quinn.
12th November 2010
Hi. I am the left winger in the pic. I came from Rosedale, to replace Alex Hope, who had signed for Morton. also played in game V Loanhead, when Charlie Elms took ill. it was not V Ormiston as the history says. beat Loanhead, which was unusual. real bogey team. I was outside right. Charlie headed the new ball, which had the red painted logo on it. he fell and it was thought he was cut. I had the wing to myself.[hated playing on the wing] after the game. it was all go in the dressing room, till Jimmy Kirkwood. stood on a chair, and said Charlie is dead. a burst ulcer. Alex Young and I never said a word on the bus to Dalkieth, another game Strachan kicked Dalgliesh on the head, again we won and I had the wing to myself. Fergie in goal Mackay at left back. Tom Halliday. was Charlie's brother in law. hope this helps.
22nd February 2011
I just found John Britton's e mail of 16 April 2009 in the 'Comments'. He is obviously endowed with a great memory (better than mine). I don't recollect ever having played against Polkemmet so I'm confident John did score both goals. At the time we never received bonuses as individuals for goals scored so don't let him talk you into backdated loot!!

I played for the Star for around ten years and it was a big part of my life, always a friendly and homely club. It is wonderful to look through the website, recollecting great times, and some disappointments too, it must be said.

I did indeed travel through from the Clydebank area for midweek training and games, except in my last few months when the Star flew me down from Benbecula in the Hebrides while we were still in the Scottish Cup.

I was fortunate to play in some really good Star teams and had the privilege of playing in the 1971 Cup final. Funnily enough I could have been playing for the winning Cambuslang team that day, since their manager, David MacLagen had earlier arrived at my door to sign me on being released by Morton. There wasn't even a discussion. I wouldn't have gone anywhere except back to Nitten and have absolutely no regrets.
25th March 2011
Just a we bit information My father John Forrest played for Newtongrange Star between 19-25 and 19-28
I have five medals he received when playing for the club ,
He went on to play for Nottingham Forest then Belfast Distillery , he died in 19-47 from TB I was only
four years old ,
My fathers brother Jimmy Forrest also played for Newtongrange Star in 19-25.

I hope this information is of help to the history of the club.

I have just found these photos the one Newtongrange Rovers 1924/25 my father is on the front row
left J Forrest ,

The photo of Newtongrange Star from 1925/26 My father John Forrest is on the front row left and his brother
James Forrest my uncle is on the front row right side they belonged Dalkeith ,

It is a good bit of history as in 14 years time these photographs will be 100 years old .

18th August 2011
I went to mine training at Lady Vic, we all would go round to the workshops just to see Dick Whitehead of Hearts, not long after I was playing for Star, he trained there. and used to kid me all the time. well we played them in a friendly in Nitten, right back was Ferguson, bit rough. goalie also named Ferguson, Dick was captain. this goalie would throw the ball up in the air and step back. to get a huge kick of it, I just waited and nicked the ball scored. we beat them. next time at training. Where is he? he called. do you know the trouble you caused me? Tommy Walker was the manager, he was religeous, had even studied for the ministry. and as Dick had used a few (or a lot) of curses at the poor goalie. he was taken to task by the boss, Willie Pryde Jackie Nielson. quite a few senior players trained there, Dick was the nicest, made fun of the way I turned my strip inside out, Jackie used to wring his out, gee he lost some sweat. I did not realise what I was throwing away, Alex Sharp was the coach, very nice man, he was passing me the ball, either shoot cross or cut back. ok after. he said how was that? I said ok but better on the other side, he called them all back, and said I cant believe that. you are not right footed, so we all went back onto the park, Bobby Kinghorn Jim Dalgliesh and a few others, I was not being funny or big headed, just the truth, Sad part the papers said the goalie hit me with the ball
26th October 2011
I found your website on Google when I discovered a pocket book belonging to my late father. He had obviously played for Newtongrange

Star during the late 1930's early 40's. His name was Alexander Downie Watson born April 23 1919.

I have some very faded newspaper cuttings from this period which confirms he played for this team and also a few faded photos - 1936/37.

I think my father went on to play with Leith Athletic but am unable to trace any history through that club,.

His notebook also suggests he played for Norton but again I am unable to trace any history.

I don't know if he played much after the War. I do know that we moved down south in 1953 as my father had a job transfer to Reading.

My father died in 1974 - obviously at a young age of 55.
30th August 2013
I am the son of James Stoddart who played in the 1925/26 season alongside his brother David Stoddart who played for three seasons with the Star. I still have my fathers medals which he won. He was going to play for Rangers but in his last game for Newtongrange tore both of his Knee ligaments and in those days his career was over. He died in 1992 at age 89.
21st September 2013
Having been brought up in Nitten (I now live in Gloucester) I remember watching players like Dave Mackay and Alex Young (Alex married a girl called Nancy who lived next door to me). Met a couple in Munich recently who know Freddie Glidden.
12th January 2014
I came across your site with all the historical results of every game you've played. I'd just like to congratulate you on what must have been an extremely painstaking job to put all that together, a fantastic effort.
11th June 2014
Was just looking over the site, my grandfather was John Slater who played from 50/51 for 10 years. We don't have any pictures from his playing days so its great to see these and I enjoyed all the season write ups.
15th March 2016
I am a good Friend from the Family McCullagh, and I am from the Netherlands and I have visit you club 2015 August Sunday 29th. I want to congratulate with the 125 anniversary of your Football Club Newtongrange Star.

Next time when I come across to visit the Family McCullagh and my close Friends from Scotland Newtongrange, I hope and come for a visit to you football club.

I want to wish you all the best in the football and good luck to you all.

Regards from a Dutch bloke out of the Netherlands Maarssen who love Scotland and the people.
17th May 2017
Hi, enjoyed looking at the website.

Well done, I had great times at Nitten.
17th July 2019
I have just been running through the history of Newtongrange Star, and it is with great pride that I tell you I played for The Star with another 5 local lads back in 1967/68. It was always my wish to play for the Star I had watched them since I was around 10 years old. I used to love watching Frankie Duncan play in goal and also Jimmy Dalgleish another goalkeeper. I am now 75 years of age but my time at the old Victoria Park was really enjoyable I was coached by John Hagart a really special person and the other local boys who played with me were Archie Hunter a really outstanding full back, Alan O'Conner who was a midfield player, Harry Ferguson another special full back, Colin Dickson a centre forward who was signed by Hearts and Andy Fraser a great defender, all Newtongrange lads. We all followed in the footsteps of Tommy Darling another goalkeeper and Finlay McGilvery who eventual stepped up to the senior level. How can we forget Laurie Leslie the Scotland Goalkeeper and of course Dick Whitehead a very smart midfield player.
I would also like to give a mention to Jimmy Kirkwood who was the Secretary of Newtongrange Star, Louis Morrison who was the Treasurer and John Quinn the President. Must also give Robert Whitson and Harry Ferguson a mention. I was terribly upset when Jock Denholm took ill and had to give up his position at the Star, he was a really good friend of mine and I still miss him to this day.
The fun we had with our coach back then John Hagart, you know the committee used to take us to Gullane on a Sunday, we would report to Victoria Park do a bit of training nothing special the bus would collect the wives and girlfriends then come back to Victoria Park to pick up the players. The real training session would begin down on the beach at Gullane, and I am sure it was John Hagart that discovered Killer Hill and not Jock Wallace as everybody thought, we would train for about an hour and then it would be lunch provided by the club, and finally a challenge match Star players versus the committee.
So you could see it was a great time to play with the Star and I would not have wished for any better treatment.
I wish you and Newtongrange Star every success