THE iconic Netherdale stand finally reopens tomorrow (Saturday October 29) ahead of the visit of Rangers B.

Today we look back 58-years to the formal opening of the Peter Womersley designed building when Gala Fairydean managed by former Hearts favourite Bobby Kirk took on Jimmy Bonthrone’s East Fife in a ‘Glamour Friendly’ on November 21 1964.

READ MORE: Gala Fairydean Rovers hoping for bumper crowd to see stand reopen

The stand was officially opened by Mr A. Wilson Strachan, chairman of Heart of Midlothian F.C and treasurer of the Scottish Football Association who was introduced by Mr T. Adams, chairman of Gala Fairydean F.C.”

Border Telegraph: Netherdale stand under construction. Photo Gala Fairydean Rovers FCNetherdale stand under construction. Photo Gala Fairydean Rovers FC (Image: Gala Fairydean Rovers FC)

It was described at that time as “modern and incorporating two turnstile houses at each end, one for admission to the ground and the other to the stand.

The interior of the building provides accommodation for four teams. The Fairydean and their visitors will each have a changing room adjacent to showers and plunge baths and each room is equipped with twelve lockers for the players’ personal belongings.

The other two dressing rooms were to be used by Gala Rovers when they were using the pitch.

READ MORE: South of Scotland Challenge Cup results

Other accommodation included a room for the referee, a trainer’s room and a club room measuring 30 feet by 15 feet with glass walls on two sides overlooking the playing area and the rear of the stand.”

The match resulted in a famous 4-2 victory for the Fairydean with the Border Telegraph reporting; “Congratulations are extended to Gala Fairydean for what was without doubt their finest victory for several years…a magnificent achievement and it was no wonder the large crowd saluted their heroes at the end of what had been a rip-roaring match pulsated with excitement.

Border Telegraph: Photo Gala Fairydean Rovers Photo Gala Fairydean Rovers (Image: Gala Fairydean Rovers FC)

“Not even the most optimistic supporter could have expected such a fitting result. Every player gave of his best and although perhaps lacking the polish of their opponents it was their opportunism that led them to success.

“The Fairydean had fallen behind to a Stewart goal on 8 minutes before Peacock of Gala headed an equaliser.

“The Fifers re-took the lead when outside –left Waddell shot past an unsighted Duncan in the home goal. The game was turned on its head in a two minute spell just before half time. 

“First Peacock after a brilliantly engineered move between Cuthbert, Newman and Cornwall, headed past Paul.

“Two minutes later Cuthbert put the home team ahead with a really cheeky goal. East Fife left-back threw the ball into Paul but Cuthbert intercepted, flicked the ball over Paul’s head, rounded the goalkeeper and swept the ball into the net.

“A goal ten minutes after the interval sealed the match for Fairydean. From 15 yards outside the penalty area, Cuthbert unleashed a terrific shot which flew past Paul.

“This saw the dominance of the proceedings by Gala Fairydean who although had pressed in the closing stages held on for a magnificent victory.”

Gala Fairydean: Duncan, Kirk, Peden. Lyall, Ross, McGuire. Wyles, Cornwall, Peacock, Cuthbert, Newman.

East Fife: Paul, Stirrat, Smith. Walker, Young, Donnelly. Rodger, Dewar, Christie, Stewart, Waddell.

Referee. Mr A Croerman (Edinburgh)

Our thanks to former Gala Fairydean Rovers secretary Graeme McIver for his research.