It's been a while since we had a feature for our very popular, My Hero, My Inspiration series. So, when we spoke with Stuart Welsh at the Whitby Town v Scarborough Athletic pre-season friendly earlier this season, we asked if he would like to tell us about his. Thankfully it didn't take much persuasion and Stuart happily agreed. These are Stuart's words, read on and enjoy.
"My Hero, My Inspiration"
Although I don't remember fully, I've been told that I saw my first Scarborough FC game when I was about three or four years old with my Grandad. My first proper memory of actually watching a game and taking it all in was the 1973 FA Cup Final, Leeds United v Sunderland. I sat and watched it with my Dad, it was magical.
It's my Dad who is my inspiration. He wasn't a Leeds United or Sunderland supporter, he was Glasgow Rangers, through and through, but we sat and watched it for just one man, Billy Bremner. Bremner was my Dad's hero and he wanted me to learn to appreciate good players, no matter who they played for.
As I got older, my Dad would tell me football stories about Rangers players, Sam English, Derek Johnstone and my Dad's cousin, John "Darkie" Cumming, who played over 600 matches for Heart Of Midlothian. He took me to my first "Old Firm" game and my love affair with Glasgow Rangers began.
As a teenager, I began to watch Scarborough FC with my friends and I soon found a serious rival for my love of Rangers. I don't think my Dad minded, as it was something that made me happy. Soon I was travelling home and away, never missing a game, but I always had one eye on the Rangers result and was always happy to travel up to Glasgow for an "Old Firm" game with him.
It wasn't until my Dad retired that he started to attend 'Boro games with me and I think he then started to understand just why Scarborough FC had such a hold on me. Some of my happiest memories of my Dad are of going for a pint before the match along with my nephew Michael, who has followed in our footsteps and is a die hard Seadog and Rangers supporter, walking down to the McCain Stadium, watching 'Boro and then into the clubhouse afterwards.
Even though my Dad passed away quite a while ago, whenever I watch Rangers on the TV, I still see him out of the corner of my eye, sat on the sofa holding out his glass for another whiskey, whilst I sang "Follow, Follow" for him.
That was my Dad,
MY football inspiration.