Montrose legend Bobby Livingstone says Highland League provides stern opposition to Angus clubs

Photo by Phoenix Photo Shop.
Photo by Phoenix Photo Shop.

One of Montrose’s greatest ever players, Bobby Livingstone was delighted to be back at Links Park for the club’s Nostalgia Day on Saturday.

Bobby, a beloved one-club legend at the Gable Endies, was joined by a number of fellow Montrose greats for a day of celebration as the club welcomed some old favourites.

Fans were given the chance to mingle with the heroes of yesteryear before they took in the current Links Park stars’ 2-1 victory over Clyde.

Livingstone, who also managed Montrose, said he was thrilled to see the development of the ground since his playing days in the 1970s.

He said: “It’s great to come down and see the park, the development of it from when we played. The stand was at the far side and there was no stand over here.

“The facilities are far better than they were when we played. The pitch, I’d love to have a go at the pitch.

“When we played the games were always on at Links Park. A lot of games could be off in Scotland but at least at Links Park, the games were always on.

“I remember playing against Kilmarnock in a Scottish Cup tie here, and it was the only game on in Scotland.

“The games were always on because the park was good but this park looks incredible, I would love to have a go on this.”

Bobby, who scored 126 goals for the club, stressed how tough it is for Montrose now because the Highland League offers players such an attractive alternative to Angus clubs.

He added that it was so important for the Endies to succeed in last year’s Pyramid Play-Off Final because the very existence of the club would have been at stake.

Bobby said: “Relegation could have meant the club disappearing forever really, they were that close to going out.

“You wouldn’t want to be in that position again, playing two games from going out of the Scottish leagues and maybe playing in the Highland League travelling to Brora and Wick and things, it would be tough.

“It must be tough for Paul, he’s got no money to spend and he’s probably looking at people on loan.

“It’s tough when you get a few injuries which he has, especially in key positions. Some positions you can get away with it but in key positions it’s very tough to cope.

“You’re surrounded by Dundee, Dundee United and Aberdeen here. My grandson plays here, he’s been at Aberdeen but they released him. He loves the training here and the set-up.

“But it’s tough for clubs here in this league, there’s teams in there with a bit of money. Even the Highland League, they’re paying good money just now like Brora and Formartine. They’ve got backers so if you’ve got that you can attract players from higher divisions.

“You’ve got Paul Lawson there who was playing for Motherwell up until a few years ago. You’ve got guys at Brora getting jobs and leaving the likes of Inverness Caley. The Highland League is a big competitor for Montrose and clubs now. Garry Wood, he saved Montrose in the play-off, now he’s at Formartine.

“I always look for the results, it’s always the first game I look for. Nothing changes.”