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My Team: Clyde

In the following article, well-known sports broadcaster and event host Dougie Donnelly answers a series of questions around his lifelong support of The Bully Wee.

It was originally published in The Sun newspaper earlier this month as part of the ‘My Team’ series and is reproduced with permission.

Why do you support Clyde?

I lived in Rutherglen as a boy and my grandfather worked as a turnstile attendant at Shawfield. He took me every week from the age of nine. We’d watch the first-team one week and the reserves the next week. I helped in the pie stall, I sold programmes and then I became a ball boy.

What is the first Clyde game you went to?

I think it was a Clyde v Partick Thistle game in late 1962. A real Glasgow derby back in the day.

What is your favourite game of all time?

It would be one of two matches against Celtic. Clyde had a 0-0 draw with the Lisbon Lions in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 1967 (we lost the replay). The other game was the win in the Scottish Cup tie (2-1 going on 5-1) at Broadwood in January 2006 on Roy Keane’s debut. That one was even live on Sky Sports.

Who’s your favourite current player?

We have a young guy called Scott Ferguson who is both tricky and skilful. When he can add consistency to his game, he could certainly play at a higher level.

Who is your greatest Clyde hero?

John McHugh, who was nicknamed The Smiling Assassin. John was a schoolteacher throughout his career — and a lovely man then and now. He was a hard but skilful defender and a great club servant.

Do you get to many of the games?

I manage along to about six or eight games a season. I have a season book but I’m out of the country a lot commentating on golf’s European Tour so I follow matches online a lot from various parts of the world.

Do you know any of the players or ex-players?

I don’t know many of the current squad, although I obviously know Barry Ferguson and Bob Malcolm fairly well. I still see a lot of the old players regularly, often at club functions. The 1966-67 squad, the guys who finished third in the league and reached the Scottish Cup semi-final, are heroes who have become friends. And Craig Broon — our greatest-ever manager, as he tells me — is a good pal, too.

What do you make of Clyde at the moment?

It has been a very tough few years for the club but, thanks to a lot of hard work by the board and club officials, we are now debt free, able to plan for the future and we look to have assembled a strong squad for this season. Barry and Bob will also have learned a lot about football at League Two level last year so I am optimistic about Clyde’s prospects in 2015/16.

If you could sign any one player in the world for Clyde who would it be and why?

I would go for Paul Lawrie. He’s always been a good player in the wind so he’d be right at home in the gales howling across the Broadwood pitch.

Your all-time Clyde XI?

Lining up in a 4-4-2 formation, I’d go for: Scott Howie; Ross McFarlane, Brian Ahern, John McHugh, Eddie Mulheron; Pat Nevin, Harry Hood, Ian Stewart, Sam Hastings; Neil Hood, Steve Archibald.