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St Roch's FC - first season 1920-21

Football was the main sport of the area and then as now was discussed with some fervour. St Roch’s Junior Football Club was established in 1920 following a meeting called by Father Lanton in St Roch’s Primary School. St Roch’s won the Scottish cup in their 2nd season and have produced many players who have graced the senior game. Happily, despite ups and downs, St Roch’s are still alive and kicking. Most famous was the legendary Jimmy McGrory who played for Celtic and Scotland. He learned his football on a piece of ground called the Brickfield. This field was surrounded by the back courts of Millburn St, Rosemount St and Gargadhill. When I was young this was our field of dreams too and we all imagined ourselves to be another McGrory. He never forgot the Garngad and the Garngad never forgot him. His conduct was always exemplary off the field as well as on. It is possibly unique that three Scottish International centre forwards came from Garngadhill. As well as McGrory, Jim Forrest played for Rangers and Scotland, and ‘Lisbon Lion’ scoring hero Stevie Chalmers, Celtic and Scotland, came from James Nisbet St. Other Garngad men who starred in senior football include:

John Carragher (Bury), Hugh Miller (Grimsby T), John Rollo (Rangers), Con Hilley (Crystal Palace), Hughie Hilley (Celtic), John Connor (Celtic), Davie Marshall (Rangers), Joe Baillie (Celtic), Owen Cosker (Falkirk), John Wallace (Rochdale), John Hales, Chic McInally and John Docherty (Brentford), Willie Dolan (Morton), Richard Lowrie (Brentford), Hugh McLauglan (Brentford), Jim Mannan (Airdrie), Syd Cousins (Brighton), Charlie Cullen (Celtic), Tommy McGonnigle (Falkirk), Dominic Sulllivan (Clyde, Celtic), Hughie McGrory (Blackburn Rovers), Malcolm McDonald (Celtic), Wm, Donnelly (Celtic), Peter Flynn (Leeds), Tommy Flynn (St. Mirren), Alec Willoughby (Rangers), Willie MeEwan (Gillingham), henry Gordon (Bury), John Docherty (Hearts), John McKenna (Clyde), Pat McKenna (Aberdeen), Joe McAleer (Wrexham), Mick Skivington (Bury), Hugh Darwood (Clyde), Sam Henderson (Celtic). John McQueen (Stirling Albion), John Mullen (Stirling Albion), Peter Buchanan (Chelsea and Scotland), Stephen Lynch (Celtic), Jimmy Connor (Third Lanark), Willie Jack (Kilmarnock), John McFadden (Dunfermline), George Gallagher (Kilmarnock), James McGonnigle (Bolton Wanderers), J, Boyle (Preston N end).

Most of the churches and schools in the area had great success over the years. There were also famous juvenile sides like St Mungo’s and Mick White’s Germiston Star who both won the Scottish cup on more than one occasion. There was also St Roch’s Juveniles, Provan Star, Bellevue hearts, Townhead Benburb (?), Townhead Emeralds and many others. Sadly these teams have all gone.

Boxing was also very popular sport and Sanny McKenzie from Garngad was a prominent professional.

Greyhound racing, quoiting and pigeon fancying were also popular. These sports are traditionally associated with mining areas. The desperate poverty in many mining areas, especially in the aftermath of the General Strike, brought many families from Lanarkshire and Stirlingshire into the city and this may have led to the popularity of such sports. Herriothill Quoiting Club was situated on the canal bank at Millburn St just below ‘The White Brig’.

Read about Provanmill and Blackhill
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Read about Garngad characters (Mick McLaughlan by Michael Keenan)
Read about politics in the area
Read about entertainment in the area
Read about schools in the area
Read about churches and religion in the area
Read the 'Farewell to Garngad'
Read about a poet from 'Little Ireland'
Read the conclusion by writer James Friel


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