Local Sportsmen's Gallery

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Hughie
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Re: Local Sportsmen's Gallery

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Kilmarnock Herald and Ayrshire Gazette
February 11, 1944

Willie Leitch

While Saltcoats Vics., since instituted in 1911, have produced many fine players, it must be agreed that the best of them belonged to Ayrshire. Willie Leitch, who first played for Vics. in 1922, fast became very popular with the supporters but senior agents had also an eye on him.
He signed for Glasgow Celtic for whom he played many fine games. He was given on loan to another senior club who were interested in the Scottish Cup. Then he signed for Kilmarnock.

After several years as a senior he came back to Saltcoats, and although an outside-left, he could fill any position with credit to him self and the club he represented. Back, half half-back or forward he was a success, and he has filled most positions, but forward was his best position.

At centre-forward he scored many goals as he possessed a powerful shot. Not too big but heavily made and one that was difficult to put of the ball when in possession. He certainly had a successful football career and although he has retired from the game for some time, he still looks fit and attends most important games in the district.
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Hughie
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Re: Local Sportsmen's Gallery

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Kilmarnock Herald and Ayrshire Gazette
January 7, 1944

Wull Reid

Saltcoats Victoria in their early days had many fine players and one of them was William Reid, who was a player above the average. Never had any time for the polished type of player, but always gave of his best. The more important the game the better he played, for excitement never put him off his balance. Strong in defence and could plan an attack which brought him among his forwards acting like a general. His care of a young, player was fatherly and consider. ate, and his words of advice could be heard no matter how exciting was the game. Just one of the players that was all out for the success of his mates as well as himself.

A more honest-to-goodness player never wore the colours of Victoria and he turned many a came that looked like defeat into a victory, and if Vics. had enjoyed many successes during his term with the club, he certainly deserves lots of credit for his never say die method which will long he remembered by those who knew his worth as a Vics, player.
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Hughie
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Re: Local Sportsmen's Gallery

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Kilmarnock Herald and Ayrshire Gazette
February 19, 1943

Jimmy Mitchell

No sportsman has done more for football in Irvine than Jimmy Mitchell, Secretary of Irvine Meadow. For close on thirty years he has taken an active part in the affairs of Meadow. During his long connection with the Irvine club he has brought to light many of the bidden stars in the Royal Burgh. He was successful as a football official owing to the fact that he visited all the schoolboy and juvenile games in and out of Ayrshire and he could spot a player which is a great asset to a club official.

When he brought George Hamilton from the local Boys' Brigade to Meadow Park many held the opinion that he was too light and young, but Hamilton was nursed and made good, and this player is only one of many who can thank Jimmy Mitchell for their success Mr Mitchell takes his football very seriously, if not at times too seriously.

His brother John and his son have played for the 'Dow, and although he has been up against it many times financially and to field a team, nevertheless, he has won through. An engineer to trade, and is also a delegate for the society, and a keen bowler. He has not only been an asset to the Meadow, but to Ayrshire football in general.
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Re: Local Sportsmen's Gallery

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Kilmarnock Herald and Ayrshire Gazette
April 30, 1943

Donald Findlay

In the early days of Winton Rovers they had many prominent players, but none of them were more popular than Donald Findlay, the small bulky centre-half who was a pivot of outstanding ability. Although he lacked inches for the position, still, he could jump to head a ball with the tallest of his opponents. He had in unusual style for a centrehalf, but it was that style that had his opponents guessing. He possessed unusual staying power for no matter how fast the game was, Donald could always last the pace. A very popular player and one who took great care of himself, hence the reason for always being fit. He was one of the very few players who was made a life member of Winton Rovers.

He has spent the better part of his life working for the Templars Lodge and has held the position of Chief Templar. Although it must now he thirty-five years since he stopped playing, he can still be seen walking to the Templars Hall almost every day between his working hours. An honest-to-goodness player of the old Ayrshire type.
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Re: Local Sportsmen's Gallery

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Kilmarnock Herald and Ayrshire Gazette
May 7, 1942

Charlie Nicol

Saltcoats has had many footballers whose names were household words, but none were more often spoken of than Charlie Nicol. He played for several North Ayrshire clubs and for each he always gave of his best. To read of an old football favourite brings back many memories, for Charlie possessed one of the deadliest left foots in Ayrshire. But he was a two-footed player and was at home either on the extreme left or in the centre. A quiet and clean player who relied on his ability to take him through & game; this no doubt added to his popularity. He was the type of player who could pull his team out of a tight corner when least expected, and always a ninety minutes man.

What was the most surprising thing about Charlie was his slight build, and with head or feet he could give that sting to a ball which made every try a danger to goalkeepers. Doesn't follow the game now so much, and his main pastime is now bowling, but his name still stands among the many who made Saltcoats a town of footballers.
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