Winton Rovers celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1950.
WINTON ROVERS JUBILEE
Everyone who is anything in the Junior football world was present in Ardrossan Town Hall last Friday night (3 March 1950) - and well into Saturday morning - to join in celebrating the jubilee of Winton Rovers Football Club. Under the chairmanship of Mr Hugh C Simm, president of the club, a brilliant assembly sat down to dinner. Officials of the club, past and present, were there - honorary patrons of the club, men who had worn the club's colours fifty years ago rubbed shoulders with the present bearers of the team's black and white. The Town Council was well represented. Officials of national and area associations together with representatives from neighbouring clubs, hundreds of club members and supporters, all with their partners, formed a gathering to be remembered and one well worthy of the great occasion.
Opening the proceedings, Mr Simm paid tribute to those who had given long service to the club on the management side. He started with Jimmy Wallace - "he tells me he once pulled a jersey over his head" - and founder member, the club's first secretary, and now, after fifty years, vice-president. “It says a lot for his enthusiasm". He praised Gavin Love - "he prepared the field, kept goal and took a collection at half-time, all in one game". With his death in 1921, the club lost a great friend. Others mentioned by the chairman in this connection were James Barclay who served for forty-three years in the committee. Charles Price served for thirty-four years. William Simm, the chairman's father was a committee member for forty years. Each of these men was connected with the club till death and each as president. John Shanks served for over thirty years and John Young - president, player, committee-man and trainer – for close on thirty years. In conclusion, Mr Simm expressed thanks to all who had acted as committee members irrespective of the length of service. "You all helped to keep the club going and, had it not been for you, we would not be celebrating our jubilee this evening.
Dinner over and the toast "The King” proposed by the chairman, Provost John Beggs addressed the company. He said that for fifty years Winton Rovers had been an institution in the town of Ardrossan and no club had a better support. After exhorting his hearers to adopt the team spirit both in football and in other walks of life, he welcomed the visitors to the Town Hall. The credit for this fine building, he said, went to the untiring efforts of treasurer Manuel who would have been present had he not gone to back up the Council in Parliament. Politics apart, he, the provost, was glad to see Manuel in Parliament. In him, Central Ayrshire had one who would do all in his power for them and we in Ardrossan had told him we hoped he would put own our claims as well. In concluding, the provost also paid tribute to Jimmy Wallace for his untiring efforts on behalf of the club.
Mr J L Taylor, twenty years a committee member, ex-secretary and a life member of the Scottish Junior Football Association proposed the toast "the Club”. In doing so, he traced the Rovers back to the Boer War, firstly as juveniles on Ardrossan’s South Shore then into the Junior field in the Kilmarnock and District League "somewhere around 1903”. In season 1910-11, the club reached the semi-final of the Scottish Junior Cup. In 1912, £370 was raised from a bazaar to build the stand, then one of the best in the country. Similar activities through the years made in all a grand outline of the club's history, liberally sprinkled with personalities and incidents abounding with humour. Mr James Cance, secretary, made an appropriate reply on behalf of the club, thanking Mr Taylor for the sentiments expressed and paying tribute, not only to the club's supporters but to the ‘football widows’ who never knew when their men were going to return.
Principal guest of the evening, Mr J Ford, president of the Scottish Junior Football Association, said that he had attended many such functions but never in such congenial surroundings as the Ardrossan Town Hall. Of Winton Rovers he said they had built a name for themselves not only in Ayrshire but in Junior football throughout the length and breadth of the land. He said that with a harmonious team there was no reason why the club should not yet win the Scottish Junior Cup.
Highlight of the evening was a presentation by Mr James Dodds on behalf of the Supporters' Club of a cheque for £300 to the club funds. This sum makes a total of £900 handed over to the club by the Supporters' Club in the space of three years. Thanking the supporters for the gift, Mr Charles Boden, treasurer, gave the assurance that the money would all come back to the supporters in the form of better amenities and better teams. Mr J E Lambert, Mr James Wallace and Mr William Dickson, chairman of the Ayrshire Association, also addressed the company. The speeches were interspersed with a musical programme sustained on a high level by Miss Anna Bannatyne now Mrs Moore, Miss Nora Semple, Mr J McGregor, Mr J Dunlop and Mr A Yarr. Dr E C Macdonald moved a comprehensive vote of thanks at the conclusion of the first part of the programme. The company then broke up, the floor was cleared and the rest of the night was spent in dancing to music provided by Brown's Merrymakers.
Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette, 10 March 1950