Longside secretary Alan Davidson honoured again for 51 years of service

Alan accepted his award from SFA first vice-president Alan McRae at the Deveronside match.
Alan accepted his award from SFA first vice-president Alan McRae at the Deveronside match.

One of the most dedicated men in North East football was honoured once again this weekend, this time by the Scottish Football Association.

Though there has been little to enthuse about in terms of results at Longside FC this season, Alan Davidson, who only last year stepped down as secretary after 51 years of service, received an award in recognition of his contributions to Longside and to football in general.

The presentation at the recent home game with Deveronside gave Longside a timely reminder of its previous achievements and the commitment which has brought the club to the position it holds today.

It was the third such award for Davidson in the past 12 months.

During 2013, the Scottish Junior FA presented him with an award which marked fifty years in the position of club secretary at Longside.

Peterhead FC also marked his achievements when they made a presentation at the pre-season friendly with Ross County which marked the opening of the Les Taylor Lounge.

Davidson worked for Taylor before his retirement.

He has also received written congratulations from Glasgow Rangers manager Ally McCoist.

The presentation was the precursor for more good news for the club when, only a few days later, their impressive new floodlighting system was installed.

Before becoming secretary, Mr Davidson played nearly 500 games for Longside as a goalkeeper.

Davidson had just turned 17 when he became secretary of the club on March 15 1962.

Amazingly, he continued in that role until last year when, in keeping with his eye for meticulous detail, he stood down on March 15 2013 - 51 years to the day.

Over the years, Davidson combined his standard secretarial duties with those of Treasurer and he was also an innovative and creative thinker when it came to fundraising initiatives.

The club held a player reunion in 2012 and to celebrate his 50 years with the club, Davidson was presented with a photo book charting memorable moments by former Longside player, coach and team manager, Doug Milne.

Before taking up a secretarial role within the club, Davidson first took to the pitch as a player in July 1961 aged just 16.

Since then, he and his fellow committee members have presided over many milestone moments in the club’s history.

During this time, Longside have moved from borrowing fields for pitches to owning their own official ground - Davidson Park.

The area around the ground has seen various development projects completed to bring the ground up to the standard it is today.

A pavilion was erected during 1971 and was officially opened in 1972, when a Peterhead team which included Aberdeen’s very own Willie Miller, then farmed out for experience, provided the opposition.

As years passed, the pavilion was modified, a perimeter wall was built around the pitch, floodlights were first installed in 1978 and were upgraded several times throughout and a Social Club was built, all in the area of ground purchased by the club from J. Sainsbury Limited.

Fixtures and match reports were placed in newspapers and alongside them was the name of football grounds however, Longside didn’t have an official title.

Residents of the village were invited to put across their suggestions and the most popular names were put up for a vote.

Suggestions included the names of trees such as Glades Park and another was The Alan Davidson Endeavour, but Davidson Park was selected as one of the favourites.

Davidson and his brother Harold humbly voted against the name but the overwhelming majority of votes deemed Davidson Park as the winner - quite fitting for the time the secretary had devoted to the club.