The 1960s

Season 1961-62 saw Vale reach the final of the Scottish Qualifying Cup against Gala Fairydean. The first leg at Victoria Park finished 3-3, with Gala emerging victorious in the second leg 1-0. This result meant that Vale had qualified for the Scottish Cup proper again and resulted in the biggest football match ever to be staged in Innerleithen, when Heart of Midlothian were drawn to visit Victoria Park in the Second Round on the 27th of January 1962.

When small teams drew big guns at that time in the Scottish Cup, the game could, if both sides were agreeable, be simply switched to the bigger team’s ground. The national press – and Hearts too – tried to get the game switched to Tynecastle, which would have been more financially beneficial to both sides but the SFA maintained that they had every confidence in Vale being able to host the tie. The police decided that the game would be all-ticket and set a crowd limit of 3,500, although they later allowed another 200 tickets to be released. The demand locally was so great that only 1,500 of these tickets went to Hearts. Interest in the game was not limited to Innerleithen, as prior to the game, Vale Secretary Eddie Sanderson and Groundsman Willie Brunton appeared on Arthur Montford’s programme on STV and there was another invitation from Border TV for both to appear on a Friday evening show.

The day of the game was a lovely sunny winter afternoon and Victoria Park looked a picture with its 3,700 crowd, which remains Vale’s record gate. The committee had put a lot of work into the ground, installing concrete steps on the southern side of the ground and sleeper steps on the opposite side. Vale nearly caused a sensational opening. Just after kick-off, Hearts conceded a free kick just inside their half and when Vale left-back Stenhouse put a high ball into the Hearts area, the Hearts defence expected the ball to run out for a goal-kick. However, Vale’s outside-right Tommy Graham caught up with the ball on the line and squared it across goal towards outside-left Weir. Unfortunately the ball fell just behind him and Hearts keeper Cruikshank came out to smother the ball. After four minutes, Vale centre-forward Freddie Morrison beat Hearts centre-half Cumming and as Cruikshank came out of his goal, Morrison neatly lobbed him, but the ball bounced agonisingly on top of the bar and over. The excitement seemed to be too much even for the match ball as after six minutes it burst and had to be replaced! Alan Gordon opened the scoring for Hearts in the 14th minute and went on to complete his hat-trick by half time, and further goals in the second half from Willie Bauld and a Bobby Kirk penalty made the final score 5-0. Incidentally, for Hearts legend Bauld, a player so revered at Tynecastle he was known simply as ‘The King’, this game proved to be his last ever Scottish Cup tie for the club. The teams that day were; Vale: Currie, Robertson, Stenhouse, D Weir, Watson, McKean, Graham, Thomson, Morrison, McKinley & W Weir. Hearts: Cruickshank, Kirk, Holt, Polland, Cumming, Higgins, Paton, Wallace Bauld, Gordon & Ross, and the referee was Mr J. Barclay from Kirkcaldy.

Willie Bauld watches Alan Gordon (on ground) scoring one of his goals during the Scottish Cup tie at Victoria Park.
Willie Bauld watches Alan Gordon (on ground) scoring one of his goals during the Scottish Cup tie at Victoria Park.
cover of the souvenir programme produced for the match, which can now change hands amongst collectors for around £25.
cover of the souvenir programme produced for the match, which can now change hands amongst collectors for around £25.

Season 1962-63 saw no honours coming to Victoria Park, but the Vale team contained some well known players such as ex-Hibs right-half Jimmy Thomson, ex-Airdrie players Jimmy Welsh & Hugh ‘Golden’ Goldie and Bernie Kelly who had played for Raith Rovers and Birmingham City. Unfortunately, Duns also had some good players that year and put Vale out of the Scottish Qualifying Cup, winning 1-0 at Innerleithen in the First Round.

In 1964 Secretary Eddie Sanderson was appointed to the SFA council as a representative of the East of Scotland and Border Counties FAs. In all he served on the SFA council for 10 years on the Coaching, Finance and Appeal committees. Season 1964-65 saw Vale reach the semi-final of the Scottish Qualifying Cup, but beaten by Peebles Rovers 5-2 after a 1-1 draw in Innerleithen. However this still meant Vale had qualified for the Scottish Cup and had a visit from Stirling Albion in the Second Preliminary Round. The game was played on a hard frosty pitch in front of a crowd of 550 and Stirling adapted much better to the conditions, winning 5-0.

Season 1965-66 saw Vale finish second in the East of Scotland league, but behind Gala Fairydean, for whom the 60s was a terrific decade which saw them win the championship no less than seven times.
1966 was, of course, the year that England hosted the World Cup and France, one of the competing countries, had a two week stay at Peebles Hydro Hotel as part of their preparations, during which three practice games were set up in Galashiels, Innerleithen and Selkirk. Peebles were not allowed to host a game themselves, since they were playing in the Scottish Junior FA league at the time. As clubs were not allowed to play international sides the opposition to France were billed as East of Scotland Select teams. This meant that Vale, Gala Fairydean and Selkirk had to include a guest player to make it a select and Vale included Alex Steadman, a Selkirk player who had previously turned out for Vale. The game at Victoria Park took place on a Monday evening, with the French having won 8-1 in Galashiels the previous Thursday. The result was an 8-0 victory for the French, with the fast, skilful French players a delight to watch for the large crowd. Included in the French team was Jean Djorkaeff, who would two years later produce a son called Youri, who went on to win the World Cup with France in 1998. France went on to record an 11-2 victory over Selkirk two days later, but in the 1966 finals themselves found scoring a problem and finished bottom of their group, having scored only twice and just a single point gained from their three matches against Mexico, Uruguay and the host nation.

Vale reached the final of the Scottish Qualifying Cup in season 1966-67. In the First Round Vale travelled to Wigtown & Bladnoch and won 4-1. Another away tie in Girvan in the Second Round saw a 2-0 victory. Drawn at home to St Cuthbert Wanderers in the Third Round, Vale only managed a 1-1 draw, then drew by the same score in the replay. A third game at Palmerston Park, Dumfries though saw Vale get through 3-1, and this set up a semi-final meeting with Hawick Royal Albert who were beaten 2-1. The final was against Gala Fairydean but after a 5-3 Gala victory in the first leg at Victoria Park, they completed the job at their own ground winning 3-2.

On December 16th 1966 Vale were at home to Berwick Rangers in the Scottish Cup First Preliminary Round. The famous Jock Wallace was in goal for Berwick and Vale had a second minute goal disallowed and eventually lost 8-1. Berwick then went on to the First Round proper to register one of the biggest shocks the Scottish Cup has ever seen when they beat Glasgow Rangers 1-0.

In the 1967-68 season Scottish Qualifying Cup, Vale were drawn at home against Whithorn – a chance to avenge the 1955 defeat, which they did by winning 11-0. However, Vale lost to Hawick Royal Albert in the semi-final and to the same side in the First Round of the Scottish Cup. Vale got some revenge when they put Hawick Royal Albert out of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup 2-0 after a 2-2 draw at Hawick, but lost 1-0 to Kelso in the semi-final.

Vale reached the semi-final of the Scottish Qualifying Cup again in season 1968-69, and were drawn away to Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup. Ian Whitehead opened the scoring for Vale in the 9th minute, and despite Jimmy Duncan also scoring, the end result was a 3-2 victory for the home side. The following season saw yet another Scottish Qualifying Cup semi-final place and a home tie in the Scottish Cup against Hamilton Academical. In another close game attended by 250, Hamilton won 2-1.

1969 also saw the opening of the Vale of Leithen Social Club, in what was formerly the Liberal Club in Leithen Crescent, which was opened in time for that year’s Innerleithen Games Week. Despite the name, the social club had no formal link to the football club, but obviously some people involved with the football club also served as committee members of both.

Tables from the 1960s
1960-61 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Berwick Rangers Reserves
27
20
4
3
101
42
+59
44
2
Gala Fairydean (Champions)*
27
19
5
3
99
40
+59
43
3
Eyemouth United
30
16
9
5
78
57
+21
41
4
Duns
26
17
6
3
91
46
+45
40
5
Vale of Leithen
30
13
6
11
104
81
+23
32
6
Hawick Royal Albert
29
15
3
11
92
78
+14
33
7
Peebles Rovers
25
14
3
8
88
59
+29
31
8
Chirnside United
28
12
4
12
73
75
-2
28
9
Murrayfield Amateurs
26
13
1
12
78
83
-5
27
10
Coldstream
27
11
4
12
75
84
-9
26
11
Selkirk
30
9
5
16
66
102
-36
23
12
Edinburgh University
23
6
6
11
61
70
-9
18
13
Edinburgh City Police
28
7
4
17
72
83
-11
18
14
Civil Service Strollers
29
4
7
18
43
81
-38
15
15
Ferranti Thistle
27
3
4
20
34
114
-80
10
16
Spartans
26
2
5
19
30
90
-60
9
* Gala Fairydean declared champions.
1961-62 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Gala Fairydean (Champions)
29
25
3
1
130
30
+100
53
2
Peebles Rovers
28
20
5
3
110
42
+68
45
3
Duns
27
19
4
4
88
44
+44
42
4
Eyemouth United
26
19
2
5
80
40
+40
40
5
Vale of Leithen
29
15
7
7
77
42
+35
37
6
Chirnside United
27
11
8
8
67
57
+10
30
7
Hawick Royal Albert
25
12
5
8
82
57
+25
29
8
Edinburgh City Police
28
11
3
14
65
58
+7
25
9
Berwick Rangers Reserves
27
10
3
14
51
64
-13
23
10
Edinburgh University
27
9
3
15
53
94
-41
21
11
Ferranti Thistle
30
9
3
18
57
80
-23
21
12
Murrayfield Amateurs
26
6
7
13
52
92
-40
19
13
Coldstream
30
8
3
19
51
98
-47
19
14
Civil Service Strollers
29
7
3
19
46
96
-50
17
15
Selkirk
25
4
4
17
43
66
-23
12
16
Spartans
27
3
1
23
23
111
-88
7
1962-63 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Gala Fairydean
23
20
2
1
89
26
+63
42
2
Edinburgh City Police
26
16
4
6
74
58
+16
36
3
Peebles Rovers
20
16
3
1
78
30
+48
35
4
Selkirk
23
17
1
5
69
37
+32
35
5
Vale of Leithen
27
12
7
8
74
55
+19
31
6
Hawick Royal Albert
24
12
4
8
56
45
+11
28
7
Chirnside United
23
11
5
7
59
37
+22
27
8
Duns
21
11
2
8
60
44
+16
24
9
Ferranti Thistle
26
9
3
14
54
63
-9
21
10
Eyemouth United
20
7
5
8
48
40
+8
19
11
Coldstream
22
8
2
12
45
63
-18
18
12
Berwick Rangers Reserves
24
6
5
13
50
73
-23
17
13
Spartans
22
6
3
13
43
65
-22
15
14
Edinburgh University
21
3
2
16
38
77
-39
8
15
Murrayfield Amateurs
21
2
4
15
35
82
-47
8
16
Civil Service Strollers
23
2
0
21
24
99
-75
4
NOTE: Season unfinished, no champions declared.
1963-64 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Gala Fairydean (Champions)
30
23
1
6
118
41
+77
47
2
Peebles Rovers
30
20
2
8
107
46
+61
42
3
Eyemouth United
29
18
5
6
80
44
+36
41
4
Vale of Leithen
28
16
6
6
83
55
+28
38
5
Selkirk
27
16
3
8
76
50
+26
35
6
Ferranti Thistle
30
15
4
11
79
72
+7
34
7
Edinburgh City Police
29
16
1
12
91
76
+15
33
8
Chirnside United
27
15
2
10
87
66
+21
32
9
Duns
21
13
2
6
82
54
+28
28
10
Berwick Rangers Reserves
29
12
4
13
69
69
=
28
11
Hawick Royal Albert
26
14
1
11
87
48
-39
29
12
Edinburgh University
26
7
1
18
49
95
-46
15
13
Spartans
29
6
2
21
43
111
-68
14
14
Coldstream
29
4
5
20
57
137
-80
13
15
Murrayfield Amateurs
28
3
4
21
48
115
-67
10
16
Civil Service Strollers
27
2
3
22
21
98
-77
7
1964-65 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Gala Fairydean (Champions)
27
22
4
1
95
22
+73
48
2
Duns
25
18
2
5
105
45
+60
38
3
Vale of Leithen
26
16
2
8
79
46
+33
34
4
Peebles Rovers
25
14
4
7
56
33
+23
32
5
Hawick Royal Albert
22
13
3
6
68
48
+20
29
6
Eyemouth United
26
14
1
11
59
45
+14
29
7
Edinburgh City Police
24
13
2
9
78
64
+14
28
8
Coldstream
24
11
3
10
46
56
-10
25
9
Berwick Rangers Reserves
25
9
5
11
49
61
-12
23
10
Ferranti Thistle
27
10
0
17
61
68
-7
20
11
Selkirk
25
8
4
13
57
73
-16
20
12
Edinburgh University
23
7
2
14
28
61
-33
16
13
Chirnside United
26
6
1
19
33
81
-48
13
14
Spartans
23
3
6
14
20
56
-36
12
15
Civil Service Strollers
28
4
1
23
19
101
-82
9
1965-66 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Gala Fairydean (Champions)
25
22
2
1
81
20
+61
46
2
Vale of Leithen
25
16
3
6
58
41
+17
35
3
Eyemouth United
24
15
3
6
50
41
+9
33
4
Hawick Royal Albert
21
12
5
4
56
32
+15
29
5
Berwick Rangers Reserves
24
10
7
7
64
45
+19
27
6
Duns
20
11
3
6
49
38
+11
25
7
Edinburgh City Police
21
9
3
9
52
42
+10
21
8
Ferranti Thistle
24
9
3
12
50
56
-6
21
9
Peebles Rovers
21
9
2
10
47
52
-5
20
10
Edinburgh University
19
8
1
10
39
44
-5
17
11
Selkirk
25
7
3
15
49
85
-36
17
12
Coldstream
22
6
2
14
41
61
-20
14
13
Civil Service Strollers
25
4
2
19
34
84
-50
10
14
Spartans
25
2
1
22
33
77
-44
5
1966-67 East of Scotland League
The league was split into two sections (Borders & Edinburgh), with the top four in each section progressing to Section ‘A’ to play off for the championship, while the remaining teams went into Section ‘B’.
Borders Section
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Berwick Rangers Reserves
15
11
0
4
52
26
+26
22
2
Hawick Royal Albert
11
10
1
0
35
12
+23
21
3
Eyemouth United
14
10
1
3
41
22
+19
21
4
Gala Fairydean
16
9
1
6
44
28
+16
19
5
Coldstream
15
6
2
7
44
40
+4
14
6
Duns
14
6
2
6
34
38
-4
14
7
Vale of Leithen
12
3
2
7
26
33
-7
8
8
Chirnside United
13
2
0
11
25
52
-27
4
9
Selkirk
14
0
1
13
17
67
-50
1
Edinburgh Section
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
East Fife Reserves
14
10
3
1
39
19
+20
23
2
Raith Rovers Reserves
14
10
2
2
47
26
+21
22
3
Postal United
14
8
2
4
34
30
+4
18
4
Spartans
14
5
5
4
28
21
+7
15
5
Edinburgh City Police
14
6
2
6
33
33
=
14
6
Civil Service Strollers
14
3
2
9
17
31
-14
8
7
Ferranti Thistle
14
3
1
10
29
43
-14
7
8
Edinburgh University
14
2
1
11
22
46
-24
5
Section ‘A’
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Hawick Royal Albert (Champions)
6
5
1
0
8
1
+7
11
2
Berwick Rangers Reserves
6
5
0
1
23
12
+11
10
3
Gala Fairydean
6
4
1
1
13
11
+2
9
4
Eyemouth United
6
3
2
1
15
8
+7
8
5
East Fife Reserves
8
3
1
4
13
16
-3
7
6
Spartans
8
0
2
6
8
24
-16
2
7
Postal United
8
0
1
7
9
19
-10
1
8
Raith Rovers Reserves
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
Section ‘B’
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Duns
8
7
0
1
27
5
+22
14
2
Vale of Leithen
8
5
3
0
22
13
+9
13
3
Edinburgh City Police
9
4
4
1
31
22
+9
12
4
Civil Service Strollers
10
5
0
5
23
20
+3
10
5
Coldstream
7
2
3
2
17
17
=
7
6
Selkirk
8
3
1
4
17
22
-5
7
7
Edinburgh University
10
2
2
6
21
32
-11
6
8
Ferranti Thistle
9
1
2
6
12
23
-11
4
9
Chirnside United
7
1
1
5
14
30
-16
3
1967-68 East of Scotland League
The league was split into two sections (Borders & Edinburgh), with Vale entering the Edinburgh Section to keep the numbers even. The winners of each group met in a two-legged play-off to decide the championship.
Borders Section
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Hawick Royal Albert
10
9
0
1
36
10
+26
18
2
Gala Fairydean
12
8
1
3
54
22
+32
17
3
Coldstream
12
5
3
4
35
32
+3
13
4
Berwick Rangers Reserves
12
5
3
4
39
32
+7
13
5
Kelso United
12
4
3
5
34
32
+2
11
6
Duns
11
3
1
7
27
44
-17
7
7
Chirnside United
11
0
1
10
9
62
-53
1
Edinburgh Section
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Vale of Leithen
12
9
0
3
46
14
+32
18
2
Ferranti Thistle
12
8
2
2
36
14
+22
18
3
Postal United
12
5
3
4
27
26
+1
13
4
Spartans
12
2
6
4
17
32
-15
10
5
Edinburgh University
10
3
4
3
17
19
-2
10
6
Edinburgh City Police
12
2
3
7
22
39
-17
7
7
Civil Service Strollers
12
1
1
8
19
40
-21
6
Championship Play-Off
1st Leg: Hawick Royal Albert 4, Vale of Leithen 1.
2nd Leg: Vale of Leithen 0, Hawick Royal Albert 3.
Hawick Royal Albert won 7-1 on aggregate.
1968-69 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Gala Fairydean (Champions)
20
14
5
2
64
23
+41
33
2
Coldstream
21
14
3
4
56
35
+21
31
3
Kelso United
18
11
3
4
49
37
+12
25
4
Vale of Leithen
16
8
4
4
41
23
+18
20
5
Hawick Royal Albert
15
9
2
4
49
29
+20
20
6
Civil Service Strollers
20
7
3
10
51
68
-17
17
7
Eyemouth United
17
6
4
7
30
35
-5
16
8
Edinburgh City Police
20
6
3
11
43
51
-8
15
9
Edinburgh University
17
6
3
8
31
46
-15
15
10
Spartans
17
4
2
11
34
46
-12
10
11
Postal United
19
3
3
13
27
60
-33
9
12
Ferranti Thistle
16
3
3
10
27
50
-23
9
1969-70 East of Scotland League
Pos
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals For
Goals Against
Goal Difference
Points
1
Cowdenbeath Res. (Champions)
28
20
6
2
83
29
+54
46
2
Arbroath Res.
27
19
2
6
68
25
+43
40
3
Hawick Royal Albert
28
16
6
6
70
33
+37
38
4
Gala Fairydean
26
16
4
6
59
32
+27
36
5
Heart of Midlothian ‘A’
28
16
4
8
66
46
+20
36
6
Eyemouth United
27
13
7
7
62
45
+17
33
7
Vale of Leithen
26
12
8
6
63
45
+18
32
8
Kelso United
28
12
7
9
57
48
+9
31
9
Edinburgh City Police
28
7
5
16
44
59
-15
19
10
Civil Service Strollers
28
8
3
17
55
79
-24
19
11
Postal United
28
8
3
17
41
76
-35
19
12
Edinburgh University
27
6
6
15
40
65
-25
18
13
Spartans
27
6
4
17
36
68
-32
16
14
Coldstream
27
6
2
19
57
95
-38
14
15
Ferranti Thistle
27
4
6
17
20
72
-52
14