Links Park Legends - Alan Lyons
Although Montrose fans were disappointed when Links Park favourite' Stevie Lennox was allowed to join Forfar Athletic in a swap deal in 1986, they might have known that the swap, given manager Ian Stewart's reputation for shrewd dealings on the transfer market, would be to Montrose's advantage.
Of the two players brought in Gary Murray already had a fine Links Park pedigree but the other, Alan Lyons, was something of an unknown quantity to the Dynamo.
A skilful midfield player, Alan became a firm favourite with the home fans during his eight-year spell at Links Park, playing under Ian Stewart and later under co-managers Chic McLelland and Doug Rougvie.
One match that he particularly remembers was the game against Queen of the South on the last day of season 1990-91, when the Gable Endies clinched promotion at Dumfries with a fine three-nothing win.
In his first season at Links Park Alan also played a big part in the famous victory over Hearts at Tynecastle, capping a fine display by scoring the first of the Gable Endies' two goals that night.
Mark Bennet, the quiet man in the Montrose team, scored the second and Alan says that Mark, who rarely showed his emotions, allowed himself a smile when he scored. In fact, Alan says, "We all smiled a bit when the second went in."
Alan points out that fellow midfielder Neil Forbes was something of a quiet man too. Although he was a tough player, he was particularly laid back and rarely got involved in any arguments.
In a derby match against Arbroath at Links Park the player that Neil had been told to mark scored with a header and, at the interval, manager Stewart accused Neil of not challenging the scorer.
Neil wasn't having this at all and, when the manager continued to insist that he hadn't done his job properly, he (unusually) lost his temper and started to pursue the manager round the treatment table. Brave man!
Some of the other players were more inclined to stand up for themselves. Alan recalls a game when he and Colin Maver were having a difference of opinion. Matters got particularly heated and the referee booked both of them, one of the few occasions when two players from the same team have been booked for such an incident.
Alan swears that the player who did the 'take-off' of manager Ian Stewart wasn't Les Barr but goalkeeper Raymond Charles. Raymond was in full flow when the manager returned to the dressing room. The players continued to 'egg' the big keeper on and he continued his 'team talk', unaware that Ian was listening to every word.
Ian took the whole thing in good part saying simply, "Carry on Raymond."
Another of Alan's memories is of a game at Palmerston just after the turn of the year, which was played in driving snow and freezing temperatures. Alan turned round to pass to teammate Alex Wright and, as he did so, saw Alex collapse in a heap. Poor Alex had to be taken off, suffering from hypothermia.
We hope that today's game will take place in more reasonable weather conditions.
© Forbes Inglis 2005