Dunfermline Athletic

Two Tonys Treat to Ibrox

Sunday, 17th Nov 2013

A magical night in a wee boy's life at Ibrox

TONY AT IBROX

The Club recently heard of the untimely death of Louise Watt, long term partner for 18 years to Pars fan Tony McAndrew, and mother to Tony Jnr (9).Louise also leaves behind a daughter, Bethany (aged 13), who is a promising athlete, being National Sprint Hurdle Champion at Under 14 level.

Tony Snr has supported the Club for over 25 years. The two Tony's ("Big T" and "Wee T" to their friends) have been hooked on the Pars as a partnership since season 2010-2011, regularly attending games together as "Dad and Lad" and eagerly look forward to match days.

Ross McArthur, General Manager picks up the story:-

"The tragic circumstances of the McAndrew family were brought to my attention a few weeks ago, and notwithstanding the fact that such a sad situation is unfortunately close to my own heart, it was widely agreed that the Football Club had to look after one of our own, and do whatever we could in a small way to ease the pain for Tony and his son.

"Jim Leishman, Billy Braisby and I agreed that a trip to Ibrox to see The Pars would be a great opportunity to show our support. The Board then quickly agreed to give up 4 of our 10 Directors box tickets for the game, with Billy agreeing to call Tony Snr to make the necessary arrangements. We were all then really disappointed when the original fixture was cancelled, but luckily the two Tony's could make the rearranged date. I would like to thank Jim and Billy for making all of the necessary arrangements for what turned out to be a magical day for Tony and his son."

Tony Snr explains just how "magical" a day it was:

"Leish picked us both up at our door at 4.30pm, and as we got into the car, Jim went into his pocket and gave young Tony a small box. Inside were a pair of gold cufflinks which he said would give young Tony good luck in his future life, and he told us he had received these when the Pars had been promoted to the Premier League. What a magnificent gesture from a true Pars Legend, it took my breath away.

"We then picked up Billy in Cairneyhill and headed through to Ibrox. Literally inside the door of the stadium, we were greeted personally by Ally McCoist, which was totally unexpected but what a fantastic surprise. We then met the referee and linesmen, got some photographs and they then presented Tony Jnr with a signed yellow and red card (we later joked that they did not put them away all night!). We were then invited pitch side where we had our photographs taken with Josh, Hubby and our favourite player, Ryan Thomson. Jim Jefferies was also great and we also got our photograph taken with him.

"Tony Jnr and I then walked out to the centre circle, and which point we were both quite emotional and just looked at each other as we took in the enormity of everything that was happening. We gave each other a big hug!

"After that we were invited up to the Blue Room at Ibrox, where we met Bob Garmory and Ian Hunter from the new Pars Board, both of whom were proper gentlemen and wished us well. I really cannot thank them enough.A buffet was served, but it was a bit posh for wee Tony!Unbelievably Gordon Durie's wife took the time to go out of her away and look for a special pie for him. It might seem like a small thing, but she did not need to do that, and was just another special touch.

TONIES AT IBROX

"We then took in the match in the Directors box, which was an experience in itself and it was great to see our young team stand toe to toe with Rangers on their own turf. After the match, Leish led us away down the stairs and we thought we were leaving, but then went through another door which turned out to be Ally McCoist's office where Gordon Durie, Ian Durrant and Kenny McDowall were waiting for us!

"These guys were great and offered us more food and drinks, and then Ally himself came in after his press conference. Yet again he was simply fantastic with both Tony and I and the humility of the man was just incredible. JJ, Neil McCann and John Potter also then came into the office and we had the chance to have a further chat and everyone signed Tony's match day programme. It was a great ending to a great night.

"When we got back in the house, Tony Jnr and I just sat there, it was almost surreal we could not believe what had just happened. I simply cannot express properly my heartfelt thanks to everyone at the Club, I will forever be indebted to everyone who made our trip to Ibrox to see The Pars happen, especially Billy and Jim".

Ross added

"From speaking to both Billy and Tony afterwards we all had a good laugh when they recalled Tony Jnr falling asleep in the back of the car on their way through to Ibrox, when Jim was telling them all of his Pars stories! However, it goes without saying that everyone at DAFC sends our sincere condolences to the McAndrew Family and wish Tony, Tony Jnr and Bethany well in future."

However, final words from Tony "The support and best wishes we have received from so many people in our community since Louise's death, has been humbling, and I simply cannot thank both football club's highly enough for giving my wee boy and I such a magical night".

CENTENARY LIFELINE



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