0 Hughie and his green fingers

Committee man, chairman, groundsman and linesman. Four different jobs within a football club, varied positions they may be, but all are cogs in the wheel that drives the team.

On the Hawick football scene however, Hughie Robson has really been turning the wheel round as he has covered all of these spots during his 43-year association with Hawick Royal Albert.

It's a period in which he has seen the highs - and lows - of the Royalists.

And it's a period which Hughie would not change for anything.

The 77-year-old told TheSouthern: "Being with the Albert has been a big part of my life. It's just 'aye been', I suppose, and the club is just in my blood now.

"I have seen good times and bad times, and in the last few years there has not been much to shout about.

"But I am still with the club, and rarely miss a game, so that tells you something."

Hughie started his association with his beloved club in the season of 1965-66, when he became a committee member.

The club had just moved from their first home in the pastures of Wilton Lodge Park to Albert Park and things were thriving.

Hughie recalls: "There was a big committee in those days, and there were some great men on it, such as Wullie Bunton, Jim Younger, Eddie McGovern and Frank Hall. Everybody worked hard, and had their different jobs to do.

"The season after I joined, the Albert - to my mind - had their greatest side ever. Wullie McFarlane was the manager. He had played for Hibs and the team was full of ex-Hibs players. During that season we won the league, the Scottish Qualifying Cup, the East of Scotland Cup and the King Cup.

"The next season we did really well again, but McFarlane left to become manager of Stirling Albion and took most of the team with him.

"And that was the end of the Albert's best ever era.

"Since McFarlane went away I have seen many managers come and go. Jim Jeffries, who is now manager of Kilmarnock, was with us for six months before going to Gala Fairydean. Ian Whitehead, Jim McLean and Bob Muirhead all did well for us, but for me McFarlane was the top man."

In his long spell with the Albert, Hughie has twice been club chairman - a post he took great pride in filling.

A position that he has really made his own, however, is that of Albert Park groundsman. For Hughie seems to have been minding the turf of the football ground since time began.

He said: "I became groundsman just after going on the committee and I have been doing the job ever since. I might be slowing down a bit now, but I still do the job the best I can, and it's something I have always enjoyed doing.

"If the Albert had a big game on a Saturday like an important cup tie or something, I would take a day off work as a holiday on the Friday to to make sure the ground was in perfect nick.

Source:-Southern Reporter

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