Ron Marquis - Longstanding Contribution
TIME TUNNEL INTERVIEW - RON MARQUIS
If you are in Links Park reading this then you will certainly know our tunnel featured guest today. Ron Marquis is our Groundsman, kitman and general ‘hod carrier’ around the place but make no mistake, clubs like ours simply can not do without the Ron Marquis’s of this world. I see him at every game home and away that I attend. He usually stands beside the home dugout but occasionally comes and sits beside us fans just behind – and that’s where he feels he can ‘let rip’ at the officials without being sent to the stands – he’s already in there! Here’s a few words from the man himself.
Ron, tell us a bit more about yourself, where you are from originally, family, etc.
Born & bred in Montrose, married to Pamela and we have two children and six grandchildren.
I think you are employed full time by MFC but what do you do otherwise and what did you do for a living previously?
Yes I am now but previously worked at Chilvers as a forklift truck driver and then at Fettercairn Distillery as a gardener and doing whatever else needed to be done.
When did you become involved with Montrose FC and how did it come about?
Stepped in to cover holidays 1985’ish, cleaning boots etc. Then helped with kit for the Reserve team when we had one. Brian Leiper, George Ferris and Dod were there then.
Did you play football at any level yourself?
Pub football on Sundays – that was my limit!
What do you do in your leisure time – if you have any?
When you have six grandkids you don’t have leisure time to yourself but they are great to have.
How different is maintenance of the artificial pitch, particularly in very cold weather?
Well I don’t have to cut the grass but I do have to put on the big jacket in cold weather and get on with salting the pitch to keep the frost and ice off it.
Take us through your typical week at Links Park.
There are matchdays to prepare for plus training twice a week. Also two youth teams playing games on the main pitch. All the kit for all those teams plus the training kit is to wash and get ready for the next time. Not just kit to wear but other kit like enough footballs, are the nets Ok, anything needing painted or doing around the stadium. Always something and some days we have a cup of tea.
Talk us through your preparations for a home game.
First thing is to brush up the pitch to make it look pretty! It’s not just the seagulls who can mess it up! Then me and Robert Ogg set out the Manager’s kit and the kit for the playing squad. Next it’s off to Frosts the Bakers to collect the pies for the pie hut and the bars in the grandstand. Then the players start to arrive and general chaos ensues.
Think back, who were the real characters or nightmares in the dressing room during your time?
Les Barr, Mr General Chaos himself! He was a nightmare and still is. Ted (Dave Larter) was always good for a wind up.
And, who were or are the players who impressed you most and could or did go on to a higher level?
Martin Boyle and Simon Murray. At present Kieran Thompson has a great chance I think. He’s from the under 17’s but is potentially a great talent.
A word about the fans. Knowing the dressing room as you do, how can the fans affect things good or bad?
When we the fans get behind them it sure helps the players. No doubt at all about that.
Last season there was a much better turnout of fans at away games – how important is that to the players and staff?
It’s always a boost to the players and staff to hear and see Mo fans at away games. We always know when Hamish is there as he’s heard above everybody.
Which games home or away recently or in days gone by stick out in your mind for all the right reasons?
Recently has to be the games against Brora to stay in the SPFL. In the past, games against Hibs at Links Park and all the cup games against Hearts are up there as well.
And which stick out in your mind for the wrong reasons?
The game when that lot from 13 miles down the road won the league. Fortunately when they won the league again last season we won there.
Which away grounds are your favourites and why? Equally which ones do you not look forward to?
Favourite is Berwick Rangers where the hospitality is good in the kit room. Stranraer not so good and it’s a 10 minute walk for a cold one before the game.
On a long away day, talk us through the logistics, how it all starts, on the way, the return journey, atmosphere etc.
Morning starts about 7am, we load up the van with all the kit, then head off to pick up the team bus in Dundee. Things can get a bit noisy if the result is right, if not then it’s very quiet.
Which is the very next result you look out for?
Celtic and Liverpool.
Do you keep any memorabilia?
Yes, just ask my wife Pam about all my programmes and the few dozen strips I have in the house.
Do you prefer 10 team divisions or would you go back to 16 or 18 teams?
I think a 16 or 18 team division would be more interesting. As things are it’s a bit stale now.
Anything else you would like to mention?
I enjoy my job but it’s all been made possible by the boss (Pam) at home. Xx
All we fans need to do is to turn up and keep the turnstiles ticking over but we mustn’t forget all the work that goes on off the pitch to make it happen on the pitch. Ron Marquis and part time assistant Robert Ogg play their part without a doubt. Unsung heroes in my opinion without a doubt – where would we be without them. Ron is a very busy bloke and it took Time Tunnel quite a while to ‘nail him down’ but we got there. Thanks Ron.