Time Tunnel - Brian Petrie
In the Time Tunnel today is Brian Petrie who is Secretary of Montrose Football Club and consequently a member of the Board of Directors. As a relatively new club Official Brian is probably not as well known as longer serving gentlemen like John Crawford, Malcolm Watters and Andrew Stephen so we thought it was about time we found out a bit more about him and what he does so here we go:-
Brian, tell us a bit about yourself e.g, are you a Montrosian or how long have you been here and if not where are you from originally?
I was born at Charleton Maternity Hospital, which used to sit on the outskirts of the town, and I have lived in the town all my days.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Communications Manager with GSK, a company I joined straight from school at the tender age of 15 as an engineering apprentice.
How long have you supported the Mo?
I have always had a soft spot for the club, but in my younger days I followed Montrose Roselea more as my Dad was manager there and once I had kids of my own I got heavily involved in Montrose Youth for many years.
Tell us about how you came to be involved with MFC and what your involvement has been since.
When our kids were growing up they routinely attended coaching at Links Park run by Craig Ferguson (what is now the LPCT) and so my wife, Brenda and I found ourselves regularly spending time at the ground with them. Through this we got to know the ground staff and players and our interest in the club as a whole grew from there. We were then approached by the club to create a small fundraising committee, which we did and this has been running successfully for a few years now. About 3 years ago I was approached by the board and asked if I would be interested in becoming a Director. Whilst a complete shock and totally unexpected, I felt honoured and privileged and was delighted to accept the offer. I was only on the board for one season when the retirement of Malcolm Watters as Secretary after 30 years left a vacancy to be filled and I was again shocked when the Chairman offered me the position. I have been on a very steep learning curve ever since but I must thank the other board members for their advice and guidance and in particular a huge thanks to Andrew Stephen for his ongoing and never ending support.
We assume as Club Secretary it’s vital you get things right but what are your main tasks at Links Park?
On a game to game basis we have to make contact with our opposition and allocated officials. On match days Andrew and I run the office dealing with the production of teamlines and the handling of complimentary and guest admissions. During the week I can spend up to an hour a night dealing with emails that arrive in their hordes from the SFA and SPFL. These full time organisations clearly don’t appreciate that clubs like ours operate on both a part time and voluntary basis.
What do you do in your leisure time away from football?
In my spare time, which between catching up on club matters and helping out with fundraising activities is not that much, I like to watch TV (mainly football), have a go at some DIY or try and keep my garden looking reasonable.
Do you manage to get to any away games – if so which are your favourites?
I manage most away games and without doubt my favourite is Annan, for two reasons. One, they are a terrific bunch, very friendly and really welcoming and two I used to work with their Chairman, big Henry McLelland who is a top bloke.
Which other teams result is the first you look for?
My three teams are Montrose, Aberdeen and Man Utd, as these were the teams my Dad supported. So my weekends consist of trying to reach 9 points from these 3 games – a feat that unfortunately is very rare. In the last couple of years I think it has only happened on a couple of occasions – not helped by the recent trials and tribulations that Utd have been going through.
Recall a magic moment or a game you will always remember, and why.
I will never forget being at Ibrox for our second league game against Rangers two seasons ago. Watching David’s long range screamer hit the back of the net I jumped out of my seat to celebrate but when I turned round I discovered we were the only row in the main stand on our feet and everyone else was looking at us in disgust – brilliant day!
Looking away from Links Park can you see Scottish football ever competing well again on a bigger stage?
I think for the game to succeed the authorities need to recognise and acknowledge the difficulties currently being faced by part time clubs and make allowances for these when introducing new policies. They need to make it easier for smaller clubs to run youth teams and organise them into regions to minimise travel and costs. Bringing through more kids at this level can only be good as we should be seeing players from our league regularly progress through the divisions.
There is no doubt that having local people on the Board is a good thing because local pride can matter a great deal. Having a ‘sugar daddy’ from somewhere else might help as well of course but much better if that ‘sugar daddy’ was already a Mo fan. Brian is clearly a local Mo fan so Brian, it’s up to people like you and me to keep buying those lottery tickets! Thanks for all the background work you do to ensure the smooth running of this football club.