Football has recently featured high up in the news, perhaps with more coverage than some clubs would wish. Top clubs’ poor performances, the behaviour of individual players on and off the pitch, and of course some tricky financial dilemmas have resulted in less than glowing headlines!
But there’s a whole other world in football at the grassroots level which matters just as much to its players and supporters and is certainly as fiercely competitive as the professional leagues. This was a world the Sentinel regularly reported on, highlighting the achievements of local teams and the volunteer coaches who often gave up huge amounts of time to support their club’s development. Many young people took part in Wester Hailes based teams over the years, benefitting from their involvement and enjoying notable successes along the way.
Back in 1982, the Wester Hailes Boys Club defeated Currie Harts 5-2 in the final of the McKay Shield. It was their first full season as a team and they stormed home despite strong opposition. You can read about their win here at Sentinel July 1982.
During the 1990s, Murrayburn Primary School showed that they had the best school team in Edinburgh when they won the Inspectors Cup by a convincing 5-0. The Inspectors Cup is regarded as one of the top trophies in Edinburgh and has been in existence for 102 years. Murryburn has won it an incredible seven times, at that time more than any other school in Edinburgh. In 1995, they were presented with the cup by the famous Alan Gordon who also took the time to visit the school and talk to the pupils about his life and career. You can read all about Murrayburn by clicking here on Sentinel June 1995.
More recently the Sentinel featured the under 12s Clovenstone Boys Club when they won their section in 2002. This achievement was after a long campaign to progress and was the first big win for the club. They were going on to play Easthouses Boys Club in their quest to bring home the league’s crown but sadly there are no more reports about the team so we don’t know if they succeeded. You can read about their winning match by clicking here on Sentinel June 2002.
Of all the teams that had their roots in Wester Hailes, the most successful was Hailes United which was of course a women’s team. The Sentinel first reported on them back in 1985 when the youngest player was 13 years old and the team was called Young Ladies Hailes United. The club was established in response to the lack of girls’ teams in Britain and was set up by Jim Brown a local Play co-ordinator. The team went on to win a series of cups and tournaments across Europe, including the Italy Cup three times in five years. You can read this first report on the team by clicking here on Sentinel December 1985.