Max Christie: Dad’s iconic duffle coat was an unwanted birthday gift

Bonnyrigg Rose manager Max Christie prepares for their Scottish Cup clash with Brechin. Picture: SNS
Bonnyrigg Rose manager Max Christie prepares for their Scottish Cup clash with Brechin. Picture: SNS
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Max Christie has revealed the story behind the iconic duffle coat worn by dad Terry, insisting the jacket which would enter Scottish Cup folklore was actually an unwanted birthday present for him.

This weekend, sporting his own version of the famous brown garment, the manager of junior side Bonnyrigg Rose is desperate to create his own piece of cup history with a win over Brechin City. It may have been a lucky charm as Terry led Stenhousemuir to one of the most famous cup shocks of all time, defeating Aberdeen 2-0 in 1995, but originally the coat was a gift for Max’s 21st birthday.

Christie was too embarrassed to be seen in it, and handed it to his dad. It has since become the stuff of legend, currently taking pride of place in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden. “[My dad’s] duffle coat is in a cabinet in a museum now,” laughed Christie. “It was actually a present for me from my mother, for my 21st birthday, but I got too much stick for it – so I gave it to him!”

Minus the famed coat, Terry Christie is no shrinking violet according to Max: “He comes to watch us and shouts the odds. He’s never been backwards about coming forwards, and he is a keen supporter. He was a very organised man and put out structured teams, and I have taken that on board as the first thing we need to do up there against Brechin.”

Christie junior, formerly a midfielder at Stenhousemuir, Dundee and Alloa, played in the cup-tie of 1995, as Roy Aitken’s Aberdeen were shocked at Ochilview. In a bizarre twist of fate, current Brechin manager Ray MacKinnon was in the Aberdeen side swept aside amid raucous scenes at the home of the Second Division minnows.

Christie continued: “Ray was one of the best young players in Britain, one of the most skilful players you could ever wish to see, but we got the better of him on that occasion. Those were great days. You had 5,000 crammed into that little ground to watch it, and it was a really memorable game. At the time it was massive. It was at a time when there were not as many shocks kicking about.

“We beat St Johnstone that year on the way to the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup. It shows it can be done, and I can tell you there will be bigger shocks than Bonnyrigg beating Brechin. Us winning would not be as surprising as Rangers getting beat by Stirling Albion, for example.”

As Christie and MacKinnon prepare to renew hostilities, Bonnyrigg midfielder Stuart Roseburgh is relishing the opportunity to do battle with his best pal, Brechin star, Johnny Stewart. Roseburgh has already started piling the pressure on the former Hearts youngster insisting the Rose, with hordes of support from Midlothian, travel north with nothing to lose. He said: “I spoke to him today and asked him if he was getting nervous yet! All the pressure is on them, there is none on us.

“There’s been some good banter flying about between us. Before the draw was made I told him I wanted Brechin and since then we have been winding each other up. We grew up together and when I was in the juniors and he was at Hearts I never thought I’d get the chance to play against him.

“We’re the wee team - they’re the big team, I was reminding him of that. But I think we can go there and win or least get a draw. He said Brechin sometimes only get 200-300 a game. I told him we’re taking 500 with us, so that’s amazing.”