Dunfermline Athletic

Brunch for Nelson

Sunday, 1st Nov 2015

Memories of dancing with bears as the new Nelson is launched

A Sunday Brunch was held at East End Park on Sunday 1st November ahead of the lunchtime SFA Youth (The Little Big Shot) Cup tie against Inverness Caley Thistle. A packed Purvis Suite was welcomed by Jim Leishman to a day to honour late kitman Joe Nelson.

Fans and supportive businesses have rallied round to sponsor a new kit van, named "Nelson" and Mo Hutton had organised the event to raise further funds. As a consequence the keys of the new kit van were handed over at the lunch to DAFC Managing Director, Ross McArthur by Barbara Ann Nelson, daughter of Joe Nelson.

Jim Leishman paid tribute to Joe Nelson who was a well known and much loved character around East End Park for almost four decades. Joe was a Kelty man who had played junior with Steelend Vics, Newburgh and Lochore Welfare. Joe's relationship with Dunfermline Athletic went back to the George Farm era and stretched through sixteen different club managers.

At East End Park Joe was the jack-of-all-trades. He was the kit man and the cleaner; he was the trainer and the youth coach. He was also the 'go for', a role which Joe took it on with good grace and a sense of humour.

Barbara Ann spoke on behalf of the Nelson family describing how her dad always had two families. To us he was always a legend but he also had his football family. His football family meant an awful lot to him and it is really comforting to know that he was a legend to the Dunfermline fans as well:-

"His football family meant an awful lot to him right up until the day he passed away. He did love the Pars and he is still here every Saturday in spirit. He would love watching the football that we are playing this season.

"We are touched that the association with the kit van because it means that he will still be helping the team that he loved get to the games. He always felt that if you wanted the guys to perform well on the park you have to look after them well behind the scenes and a kit van is absolutely crucial to make sure that the guys have everything."

DAFC Managing Director, Ross McArthur is presented with the keys of Nelson from Barbara Ann Nelson.

Requested to tell the company something that they had not heard about Joe Nelson, Barbara Ann related a story about him attending a European match at Ibrox. Sitting in the main stand watching Rangers playing Dinamo Kiev, Joe was the only person on his feet applauding when the opposition opened the scoring with amazing footballing skills and an amazing finish. When challenged by all the Teddy Bears round about him he just said "Come on boys, you have to celebrate guid football!"

Barbara Ann closed by thanking the fans for their continued generosity. "It never ceases to amaze me how Dunfermline fans when asked step up to the plate, they do it every time and without that the van would not be a reality. My last comment I attribute to Magic Par who wrote 'Mo will be driving the van but Joe will be in the passenger seat'."

Former Pars player and current Assistant Manager of Northern Ireland, Jimmy Nicholl and Paul Reid entertained the assembled lunchers with an after dinner speech.



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