In a slightly blatant copy of the Football Ramble’s Dean Windass Hall of Fame, I thought I’d start an irregularly regular series in the same vein, describing those players who for some reason hold something of a special place in my brain and stomach. There are no special entry criteria, and like the Ramble I might branch out into tournaments, stadia and squads as time goes on. Plus, it gives me something to write about when I haven’t been to see Linlithgow Rose in a while, or nothing otherwise piques my interest.
The obvious place to start then is the man who the Benny Andrew Hall of Fame is named after. Benny Andrew. Mr Andrew has earned his eponymous Hall of Fame for one reason – on an October afternoon in 1996, he scored an absolute screamer against a Chris Waddle-inspired Falkirk to help East Fife, the team I have supported since 1990, to their only home league win of that season at the sadly-missed old Bayview Park.
To go into it in a little more detail, from what I can remember 18 years later, after a long ball forward and a Falkirk defensive header, the ball sat up beautifully for Andrew to strike on the volley from quite a distance outside the penalty area. That he did, and the ball arced magnificently into the keeper’s top left corner to give the Fife a 1-0 advantage after 11 minutes. That 1996-97 season was otherwise a disaster, the first and only one we have had in the Scottish second tier since I became an East Fife fan. We finished that season with a record of P36 W2, but to be able to witness THAT goal and rip it out of Chris Waddle was magnificent, on the way to a precious 3-1 win.
What of Benny Andrew himself? That goal was such a shock because, though a forward, Andrew didn’t score many goals at all. A tendency to miss the target saw him grab only 8 goals in 109 league games for the Fife, despite ostensibly being a striker. Though that’s what made the Falkirk goal all the more special – it was wonderful and a complete surprise.
After his time at East Fife and a spell at Montrose, Benny arguably found his level and stayed at Glenrothes FC, the new town’s representative in the Scottish Junior ranks, for more than a decade. He has now become the manager of said Junior team, who are currently struggling a little at the lower end of the East Premier League.
In any event, whatever comes of his managerial career, and I’m sure we all wish him every success in that, as far as I’m concerned Benny can dine out on that magnificent goal for life. Anyone with a good photo or story about the man himself, as well as any suggestions about future posts, feel free to leave a comment.