Ex-Bruntsfield pupils reunite to mark 50 years since 1971 school board cup victory

In 1971 they were Bruntsfield Primary's fresh-faced invincibles, the team that defied the odds to lift the coveted school board cup.

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Now, 50 years on, and in spite of challenging circumstances, the original line-up has reunited to mark their important anniversary.

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The unlikely meet up was made possible by one safe pair of hands in particular, David Larter the '71 side's trusty goalkeeper, who, after leaving school, would go on to carve out a record-breaking number of appearances for Scottish league club Montrose in the 1990s.

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A couple of years ago, a photograph of the team with their cup appeared on the Lost Edinburgh Facebook group, providing the catalyst for Mr Larter's ambitious quest.

In the knowledge that four of this old teammates have sadly passed away, Mr Larter, 61, pulled out all the stops in rekindling contact with his old P7 pals, successfully rounding up 7 of the 13 players who were part of the squad that day.

At 1pm on Friday, Bruntsfield's magnificent seven reunited in the school playground to recreate their team photo – School Board Cup included. Aspiring young footballer Aidan McInally, 9, took the place of his granddad, the late Brian Gordon.

The former Bruntsfield pupils met up on Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of their 1971 school board cup victory. Youngster Aidan McInally, 9, joined the line-up in place of his granddad, the late Brian Gordon.

With Covid restrictions having relaxed enough for the lads to meet up – some travelling from as far away as York and Kent – Mr Larter spoke of his delight at reuniting the majority of the line-up.

"It's been a real challenge but definitely easier than I thought, Mr Larter told the Evening News.

"Sadly three of the guys, Brian Gordon, Simon Kennedy and John Millar, had already passed, and we lost another teammate, Donald Lindsay, last September, but I'm pleased that we managed to find seven out of the 13."

Played almost half a century ago to the day of the reunion, the Edinburgh School Board Cup Final took place at Warriston in May 1971.

Footballers from Bruntsfield Primary School meet up to mark the 50th anniversary of their 1971 Bruntsfield boys School Board cup win. Back Row left to right. Nine year old Aidan McInally grandson of the late Brian Gordon, David White, Gordon Mckenzie, Alan Watson. Front Row L-R Stuart Smith,David Graham (captain) David Larter, Brian Mclean.

Nobody expected Bruntsfield, who had never lifted the trophy before, to defeat their highly-fancied opponents, Drumbrae.

To everyone’s surprise, however, Bruntsfield would emerge victorious by two goals to one, courtesy of a brace from diminutive forward Stuart Smith.

Mr Larter explains: "We were underdogs. Drumbrae was a top side and they were the clear favourites.

"We went absolutely daft at the final whistle."

The Bruntsfield Primary boys won the school board cup back in 1971.

Treated like heroes upon their return to school, the boys enjoyed a presentation on stage with the cup, and paraded the trophy round the classrooms.

Mr Larter adds: "We even got a half day off that Friday - which wasn't a thing back then. It was a big thing at the school.

"To be able to reunite like this, it’s just brilliant. The stars aligned for us.”

Commenting on the special reunion, Carol Kyle, current headteacher at Bruntsfield Primary, said: "As teachers we absolutely love finding out where our former pupils have gone in life and what they're up to.

"The fact that our footballers after 50 years want to come back and recreate events at the school is just fantastic."

The team photo recreated, the lads headed off to Meggetland, their former stomping ground where they played most Saturdays, for a socially-distanced round of drinks for a further opportunity to wax lyrical about that their proud springtime shot at glory all those years ago.

Goalkeeper David Larter, team captain David Graham and goal scorer Stuart Smith are reunited with the coveted school board cup trophy.

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David Larter in action for Montrose in the 1990s.
Mr Larter holds the record for most appearances for Montrose FC.
Mr Larter holds the record for most appearances for Montrose FC.

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