TIME TUNNEL ………. In the Tunnel today is John Sheran
If you followed MFC in the 1980’s you will undoubtedly remember John Sheran and for all the right reasons. He first came to Links Park as a player in 1978 whilst Bobby Livingstone was Manager and since then had further spells at Montrose both as a player and latterly as the Manager. I suppose he will be best remembered by older Mo fans for the championship winning season in 1984/5 when he was an ever present. He also played in that famous win at Tynecastle in 1986. In all John played over 300 games for Montrose and rightly will forever be thought of as one of our best ever.
It is a privilege to catch up with John and put him in the Time Tunnel today to get his recollections of those goings on in one of our halcyon periods.
Briefly summarise your career in senior football.
Montrose player - 1978-83, 84-88, 89-92
Assistant Manager – 98-2000 and Manager 2000-2003
Manager Cove Rangers – 2004 – 2009 and Manager very briefly at Peterhead 2011
What are you doing these days?
I have my own business which keeps me very busy but most weekends I go and watch a game at Pittodrie or a Highland league game. I still look out for the Montrose result first on a Saturday.
With your vast experience do you still have aspirations of getting back into Senior football or has your career moved on now?
Football has been a huge part of my life and I would love to get involved again if the right opportunity came along.
Daft question maybe but what were the highlights of your days at Montrose as we want them in your own words. Go on as long as you like – our halcyon days are few recently.
The main highlight was winning the league in 84/85 and there were some fantastic matches that season away to Dunfermline, beating Arbroath home and away. The day we won the league was memorable celebrating with fans. I will never forget marching through the town between the social clubs and all the pubs and seeing Willie Johnston in tears of joy at the end of the night. Even the hangover the next day felt great and then the following week we beat Raith Rovers at Starks Park to round off a fantastic season.
For one game it would have to be the game at Tynecastle in1986 when we defeated Hearts who had just missed out on winning the premier league the season before. Even Malcolm Watters bought a drink that night so it must have been something special.
Who apart from you do you think were the best Montrose players in your day?
Wow that’s a question there were some fantastic players over the years so here they are -
Les Barr, Ray Charles, Harry Johnston, Bobby Livingstone, Chic McLelland, Neil Forbes, Innes McDonald, Martin Allan, Gary Murray, Steve Lennox.
Any regrets about your time at Montrose?
No I don’t believe in having regrets you have to make it happen yourself and no one is successful for ever in football.
Who was the joker in the dressing room?
There is only one Leslie Barr although wee Mick McManus tried hard to keep up.
Any cringe moments you care to recall?
The whole time Steve Murray was the manager he got rid of a lot of really good players.
Which was your favourite away ground?
East End park, Dunfermline.
What are you most proud of in your football career?
Playing and managing Montrose including winning the league and winning back to back highland league titles with Cove Rangers
How would you like to see Senior football in Scotland re-structured, or are you happy the way it is?
I think we have to go to regional leagues to reduce travelling costs for clubs and fans which would increase crowds and make games more interesting with playoffs, promotion/relegation which would allow a team to progress up through all the divisions.
Many people are worried about the future for Scottish football. Do you see it like that or do you feel we should concentrate more on getting our domestic game in better shape rather than try to hang on to the shirt tails of ‘bigger’ European clubs?
The only way to improve our game is by having better Scottish players playing in the top teams and youngsters getting a chance to play you can only learn so much by coaching players they have to play to learn and gain experience to become better players. As a country we still need better facilities and the government and the local councils have to work with the clubs to provide these but they have to include all levels of football.
Anything else come to mind?
I would like to thank all the fans for their support over the years and to wish them and the team all the best for the season and to keep believing in miracles.
I don’t know about you but although there have been some other fantastic stories told in the last couple of seasons in this column and its predecessor, I found John Sheran’s comments totally absorbing. He is clearly a deep thinker who ‘cares.’ Life in Senior football is full of ups and downs especially in the lower levels of Scottish football where there is a limit to what you can aspire to with one of the smaller town clubs. I sincerely hope John finds another way of getting into the game as his undoubted talents and his deep thinking mindset are a loss to the game at present.
It might be that he could help ‘upstairs’ at some club to assist a new and upcoming Manager
but whatever John does in the future and wherever he goes I’m sure Mo fans wish him well apart from if he comes here with another lot trying to nick points from us of course. He will always be welcome at Links Park and it would be lovely to see him in the stands now and again and even down on the pitch side to give us a wave. I for one would appreciate that, he did a lot for our club and who knows – is the story finished yet?