Ex-Broch attacker and Bristol City hero Scott Murray wants nothing more than two teams in blue to be humbled in cup competitions this week.
He was speaking ahead of the Scottish Cup fourth round tie between Highland League Fraserburgh and Premiership giants Rangers tomorrow.
Murray, who was born in Aberdeen and grew up in Mintlaw, played at Bellslea under Charlie Duncan between 1990 and ’94, before embarking on a wonderful professional career in England, with a trial at Liverpool and spells at Aston Villa, Reading, Yeovil and Bath.
It was at Bristol City where Murray really made his name – over two spells the right winger racked up 426 appearances, scoring 91 goals for the Ashton Gate side.
The 43-year-old is now City’s kitman, having returned in the role when Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was manager there.
Of his early years with the Broch and how proud he is to see the club in the spotlight, Murray said: “We were just a young local team and Charlie Duncan had more or less brought in young kids.
“There were a couple of older players, but we had the best time ever.
“Charlie was a brilliant coach and had us running over the beach, anything you could think of.
“There were a few us who came from Mintlaw and some of the others ended up playing for teams like Dundee United as well.
“Charlie did this with a budget of zero. I think we used to just get expenses as well. It was absolutely brilliant and it’s now great to see Finlay Noble as the chairman.
“I saw him on TV and couldn’t believe it.
“We used to run out of the tunnel and the first person you’d see was Finlay, standing in the corner in the same space every week.
“The amount of work he’s done for that club is frightening.
“If anyone deserves this big Rangers game it’s him.
“To see him still there doing what he does was great.
“It’s going to be a great occasion and I can’t wait to sit down and watch it.
“It will be a very proud moment and hopefully Rangers will get some hot water.
“I’ll be watching it 100%, as our game was on Friday this week.
“The people in the pub will have to watch it or I’ll have to chuck everybody out of the pub.”
Murray admitted the biggest teams he remembers playing against with the Broch were Ross County and the two sides who became Inverness Caley Thistle, full-time professional clubs now, but then just fellow Highland League sides.
He was playing boys’ football in Mintlaw when he was picked up by Fraserburgh and, by the time he was 18, was getting his football education between 12-hour shifts at Abacus Fish Factory.
By 20, Murray had been scouted by Liverpool, scoring into the Kop end at an empty Anfield in a reserve game.
However, Graeme Souness’ sacking put paid to any hope of a deal on Merseyside.
But he soon did leave the Broch, to sign for Aston Villa – before moving to Ashton Gate in 1997.
Having found his way back to Bristol in 2012 after retiring from playing, Murray, as kitman, is at the heart of a team on the up, and in the Championship play-off places.
He said: “I’m the kitman and club ambassador here. I start about 6am and during the day I’m getting all the kit ready.
“As club ambassador I go around schools, chatting to kids.
“The day-to-day role changes every day. I really enjoy my job.
“Del (McInnes) gave me a phone and I was worried, but he said: ‘the kitman’s leaving at the end of the season, if you fancy doing the job it’s yours’.
“He’s brilliant and so is Tony Docherty (Dons No2). They’re two of the nicest blokes you’d ever meet.”
Current City boss Lee Johnson, being hailed as a methodical and innovative young coach, also draws Murray’s praise.
Johnson’s team have already knocked Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup and face a replay against Premier League leaders Manchester City on Tuesday, after holding Pep Guardiola’s team at the Etihad.
Murray said: “The gaffer’s done really well, his dad was my manager and I played with the gaffer too. The lads are doing absolutely brilliant as well. Jamie McAllister, the ex-Aberdeen player, is on the coaching staff.
“It’s a very young and enthusiastic team and it goes all the way through the club and coaching staff.”
With his intimate knowledge of the professional and semi-professional games, Murray reckons Graeme Murty’s Rangers would be negligent to write off Mark Cowie’s team in the Scottish Cup tomorrow.
He hopes to see a win for the Broch and then for Bristol to do the business against the blue half of Manchester two days later.
Murray said: “I’ve been up against non-league teams and it’s not easy at all when you’re expected to win three or four nil
“We played Kingstonian once when we were one of the top teams in League One and they were in the Conference. We took them too lightly.
“We ended up having to score a last-minute equaliser to get a replay.
“Rangers aren’t going to enjoy playing at Bellslea, that’s for sure. It’ll be a small dressing room, cold water, bumpy pitch and the Broch lads will be into them straight away.
“There will be a lot of Rangers fans in the Broch team looking to impress.
“It’ll be very tough for Rangers and the whole of Fraserburgh will be right up for it.
“You’ve got to try to make it as uncomfortable as possible, definitely.
“We did extremely well at the Etihad last week and no one gave us a hope. It would be very nice to see two teams in blue go out.
“I trained with Graeme Murty at Reading and we’re on good speaking terms. I can’t say too much or he’ll be after me.
“But, if the Broch and Bristol City can get into the next round of the cups, I’ll be the happiest man out of the lot of them.”