Question: what do Real Tuesday, Inverurie Locos and Coventry
City have in common?
In our case, the 'work' in question was the Bank of Scotland IT Centre, located in sunny Sighthill on the western edge of Edinburgh. In the early 1990s, a group of guys working within a department there called Productivity Services decided to start a weekly 5s game. Various mates from within the Bank were enlisted, and the team started playing every Tuesday evening at Saughton Sports Complex, located a couple of miles towards the town centre. We've been playing there ever since, with 5s every week and 11s games whenever we get round to organising them.
In the early days, 'Mr' Real Tuesday was John Gordon Sinclair lookalike, Finlay Scott. Along with his mates (and alleged fellow Airdrie fans) Stuart 'Perpetually Injured' Reid and 'Rich' Scott Logie, Finlay was at the heart of all things Real and Tuesday, collecting the weekly subs (probably about 75p a week in those days) and organising the post-5s trip to the Wheatsheaf Inn for a pint and a punch up.
Other players from the early days included:
- Lindsay Plenderleith, both the oldest and hardest man
ever to turn out for the Real
Present day Real players Simon, Bill, Frank, Stevie and Mike 'Non Sheepy' Boyle all got involved fairly early on, too, proving that they are, indeed, old bastards.
Bit of a mystery, this, although Simon (ever the penalty box predator, claiming anything he can) reckons he came up with the name in the pub one night. A cunning combination of the day of the week on which we played, in case we ever forgot, and the 'Real' out of Real Madrid to suggest that we could actually play silky football, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The 'lucky' white jerseys we wear for 11s games were selected for the same reason.
Prior to adopting white jerseys, we used to wear a particularly manky Derby County top of indeterminate vintage (see above) for our 11s games (and every other game, in Finlay's case). Finlay has, in fact, suggested that we wore Derby tops because an early incarnation of the Real was known as Dynamo County, although cynics might suggest that he found a job lot of the tops going (understandably) cheap in Thompson's Sports and came up an explanatory team name thereafter.
Few of the founding fathers are still playing at Saughton, having either hung up their boots (Eric, Lindsay, Ian Neville), moved away (Stephen) or got loved up (Ian Mowat, Finlay). We've therefore had to cast our net a wee bit wider than the Bank to keep player numbers up, recruiting Murray (Bill's cousin), Keith (Bill's mate), James (works for Keith) and John (Keith's mate).
There is, however, still a strong Bank of Scotland (or HBOS) 'core' to the team, with pretty much all the other present day players working for the Bank somewhere in Edinburgh. Even Stevie and Zyco, those twin titans of the Real midfield, used to work for the Bank before moving on to pastures new.
We may get around to going on tour sometime soon, though, in the meantime, there are increasingly close links between Real Tuesday and Scotlandnil, the latter a veterans' side of Scottish bankers that has been touring overseas for many years now. For those who lack the Brownie Points to tour, there's every possibility that the Real will continue to (dis)grace the astroturf of Saughton with their weekly 5s games for many years to come.
COME ON THE REAL!