On Sunday 19th May Dunfermline Athletic were relegated to Division Two after failing to recover from a first leg play-off deficit against Alloa Athletic.
To have had a chance of survival, they could have done with someone in the mould of legendary striker Charlie Dickson, who was well known for chasing lost causes. And it paid off handsomely as he hit an amazing 215 goals in 340 appearances for the club.
Amongst his remarkable scoring feats was hitting a double hat-trick against St Mirren in 1961. Charlie remembers having a very good reason to be especially fleet of foot against the Saints.
He recalls: “Our previous game against St Mirren was a Scottish Cup semi-final, and I ended up in hospital after a clash with Jim Clunie.
“It nearly wrecked my season, but fortunately I was able to recover and play in the Cup Final victory over Celtic.
“It means that when I came to play St Mirren again, I decided I wasn’t going to let their defenders get too close to me.
“I only scored once in the first half, with the other five coming after the break.
“My game was certainly all about chasing for scraps, having plenty of enthusiasm and really working for my goals.
“It was always in my mind that I was part of a team, and you had to work hard for your team-mates.
“I wouldn’t have scored half the goals I did without the support of others. I had Harry Melrose on one side and George Peebles on the other. They did great work in providing me with inch-perfect passes.
“It’s really disappointing to see the current Dunfermline side struggling so badly on and off the field.
“Maybe they can survive if they can summon some of that fighting spirit.”
Charlie’s goals are real landmarks in the history of Dunfermline. He scored two goals on his debut against Stenhousemuir in 1955.
“I played my first 11 games in Division Two, and that season we won promotion,” says Charlie.
“From there, I spent nearly 10 years in the top flight with Dunfermline, winning the Scottish Cup and having some great adventures in Europe.”
Jock Stein’s first game as Dunfermline boss was against Celtic.
Charlie got him off to the best possible start. He ran onto a Jim Kerray pass to score within 10 seconds and inspire the Pars to a 3-2 victory.
“Jock Stein had an amazing impact on Dunfermline,” continues Charlie.
“We won our first six games under him and went from second bottom to finishing in 13th place.
“And from there we had great success at East End Park.”
When the Pars beat Celtic to win the Scottish Cup in 1961, Charlie was there to tap home the second goal in their 2-0 triumph in the replay after Frank Haffey dropped the ball.
In 1964, Charlie moved to spend a couple of seasons with Queen of the South.
He adds: “I then went to Australia for a job interview, and ended up playing for South Coast United.
“Frank Haffey was playing there. I’m not sure how happy he was to see me!”
After football Charlie was a publican and hotelier before returning to his trade as an electrician.
He now lives in retirement in West Lothian.
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