Tynecastle’s 1976-7 dream team reunites 40 years on

Tynecastle Under-16s won seven trophies back in season 1976-77. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Tynecastle Under-16s won seven trophies back in season 1976-77. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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IN a single season, a squad of talented teenagers clinched seven of the eight Scottish football trophies up for grabs.

But for many of them that was the last time they saw their Tynecastle Boys Club teammates – until yesterday.

The former Tynecastle Under-16s pose for a team snap on their 40th reunion. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The former Tynecastle Under-16s pose for a team snap on their 40th reunion. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Four decades after their glorious 1976-7 season, they finally gathered to swap stories from their footballing heyday, raising glasses instead of silverware as they met in Angels Share for a three-course meal.

The reunion follows months of painstaking work by old teammates Paul McGlinchey and Alan Day, who tracked down squad members.

And almost all of them were there, with the exception of David McShane, who was killed in a road traffic accident when he was just 19.

Former player Alan, 55, of Trinity, said: “It was an incredible day having all these guys come together after all these years.

“The majority spent four seasons together in the most successful team of its generation and all went their own ways at 16.

“Now we have come together 40 years later with our adult life stories to share. The reunion stirred emotion and rekindled fantastic memories.”

The 1976-7 season saw the squad lift the coveted Scottish Cup, beating Livingston United 4-2 at Saughton Enclosure.

At the time, the team boasted some of Scotland’s finest talent, with players going to Hibs, Everton, Rangers, Celtic, Dundee and Bolton Wanderers.

Captain Paul McGlinchey went on to play for Hibs and was a teammate of George Best during his time at Easter Road, while Steve Richardson was John Greig’s first signing as manager of Rangers.

Willie McDonald and Kenny McLeod both signed for Celtic, and Kenny is now well-known as a councillor in Tranent.

David Hoggan had a distinguished career at Bolton Wanderers, playing alongside Peter Reid and current Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce.

Alex Maxwell and Steven Hay forged successful careers in business, showing that their talents extended beyond football.

And Alan Day was the driving force behind Edinburgh City’s return to Scottish football in 1986. Combining the role of player and chairman, he steered the club into SFA membership and oversaw the move to Meadowbank Stadium, their current home.

Most of the squad had been together since they were 12 years old and won the Scottish Cup in seasons 1973-4 and 1974-5.

They were beaten finalists in season 1975-6, losing 1-0 in the final to Polbeth United.

During those three seasons, they were managed by Douglas Dalgleish, the current chairman of Tynecastle FC.

Speaking ahead of yesterday’s reunion, former manager Graham Bryce said: “It’s been fantastic. They have all been texting each other, but it’s been a long time and I don’t even know if we will be able to 
recognise one another.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com