Southern Premier League
by Nev Watson, round 1

Round One
Farewell Malcolm

Big day yesterday, 10 hours drive to Chch and back for Malcolm Ferguson's Funeral,
he was held in such high regard in Dunedin, and OTAGO that
Neil and I made the effort to attend.
Neil spoke well to the assembled guests about our old friend at the Service.

As is usual at Funerals, we found out more about this iconic man's past,
his military record, his sporting and athletic prowess, and his family,
especially his son Malc jnr who achieved All White status.

They don't make 'em like that anymore,
96 years old when he passed away,
his regiment was the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders
whose motto is ' Without Fear.' nuff said.
Respects to the Ferguson family and RIP auld friend. ...

Rab says,' I was lucky enough to travel to OZ a few years back ( in 1991 )
with an OTAGO team that played Queensland at Perry Park
and Malc Ferguson as Otago physio was there.

The support staff were challenged to a wee game by the Queensland Masters
and we accepted the challenge, expecting a casual knock-about.

The Queensland Masters, however had their own Stadium and floodlit
ground complete with restaurant...... so we hurriedly borrowed a First team strip
to look tidy. and tried to look the part.

The OZ Queensland Masters team - composed of many assorted nationalities
were really 'nice' chaps and pointed out that any swearing would earn a red card.

Predictably we were reduced to 10 men very early....
but battled on, and eventual won 1-nil
- our scratch team included the old and I mean old - Master Malcolm
cruising allong at centre back - brilliant.

AND this was a rare overseas 1991 tour for Otago, under coach Roger Brooks,
the Englishman had plenty of worries... access to training fields, and warm up matches
but a 'she'll be right attitude' solved problems, and matches
against The Gold Coact Gamblers and other exotics...
got the lads tuned up.

What goes on tour may Stay on Tour...
but we had a few laughs, such as when NZ councillor Dave Lamont
tried to run home after a late night binge, but was heading exactly 180 degrees
the wrong way towards Ayers Rock, when a friendly taxi corrected his compass.

Coach Brooks too, had his problems when the Tour Bus broke down
and as the players poured out of the sizzling hot broken down bus
to get fresh air and have little five a side.
'Watch out for Snakes,' yelled Brooks, with has hankie knotted on his head
to prevent sun stroke.

The main game against Queensland was played at Perry Park under lights
and with a big crowd - including many Kiwis - the stage was set.

AND what a game...

Tago 1991 OZ

Travelling squad : Grant Mawston, David Cunningham, Kevin Scoullar, Phil Kelly
Gary Clark, Brent Stevens, Chris Della Rocca, Barry Still, Dougal McGowan,
Ian Guild, Warren Gould, Steve Fleming, Barry White
James Letts, Paul Bardwell, Peter Verwaey.
Coach, Roger Brooks, assistant George Morris,
Physio Malc Ferguson, Manager Dave Lamont.

ODT Match report :The final moments of the Otago soccer team's brilliant 2-2 draw
with Queensland in Brisbane, in June was certainly not for the faint hearted...

Despite not having key players Michael McGarry and Otago captain Graeme Carr
Otago filled the gaps with a crop of promising youngsters.

We went ahead when Barry White and Paul Bardwell interpassed, before Dougal McGowan
unleashed a dipping shot that left Q. kpr Stu Woodruffe clawing thin air.

Tago went on to lead 2-1 after Warren Gould left footed
a flighted shot against the Qland crossbar - and while defenders stood...
Chris Della Rocca darted in to head home - 2-1

Final Drama was when
Otago still had to survive a 94th minute penalty as former Liverpool player
Frank Mengotti stepped up and hit a crisp spotkick -

but Tago keeper Mawston leapt to his right and beat the ball away to safety...
Signalling a pitch invasion by the 5000 crowd
mainly hordes of school children seeking autographs...

Those were the Days - we even got a $7000 appearance fee for that match ! !

Oldie 1991

Aye - Undefeated... and note : Malcolm middle front row.

This classy but ancient side won 1-nil with Moris Minor
hitting the winner. Which signalled a victory stagger rather than a sprint
- well done the old guys - names on pic.

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