Tributes have been paid to Sunnybank’s Scottish Junior Cup final scoring hero Billy Stephen who recently passed away.
Sunnybank legend Billy, who had a trial for Rangers, netted the equalising goal for the Aberdeen-based junior side in the 2-1 final defeat of Lochee Harp at Hampden in 1954.
When triumphing in front of 22,600 fans at the national stadium, Sunnybank became the first North junior club to win the prestigious trophy since its inception in 1887.
Billy, who was on the radar of English giants Manchester United before enjoying a distinguished career in the Highland League, passed away at the age of 85 following a short illness.
Son Robert said: “Winning the Scottish Junior Cup was a huge achievement for Sunnybank as they were the first north team to do that.
“It was played in front of nearly 23,000 which was a huge crowd, but it would probably have been closer to 50,000 or 60,000 if they were playing a team from Glasgow and not Tayside in the final. Lochee Harp were 1-0 up until my dad scored the equaliser before Billy Chalmers got the winner.
“After winning the trophy at Hampden the team got the overnight mail train back to Aberdeen and it was a raucous journey.”
Despite the early morning arrival time of the mail train, the players were welcomed at the station by hundreds of cheering Sunnybank supporters.
That historic cup-winning team included Aberdeen legend Teddy Scott.
Such was the enormity of the trophy success, Sunnybank were rewarded with a civic reception in the Granite City.
Robert said: “My dad was a striker and scored a lot of goals during his career.
“He had a trial with Rangers but failed a medical and Manchester United also watched him.
“He signed for a Canadian team and was all set to emigrate across there.
“Then my mother fell pregnant and my dad decided not to go to Canada.
“After that dad went on to play for a number of Highland League clubs and had a successful career.”
After Billy finished football, he spent many years as landlord of the Copper Beech bar in Garthdee and was very popular in that role.
In the 1970s he moved with his family to Banchory and eventually became senior captain of Banchory Golf Club, excelling on the course.
Robert said: “His other claim to fame was he had eight holes in one in his golfing career, which is quite unusual.
“He said he was going to stop doing that as it was costing him a fortune. He had to buy a round every time he hit a hole in one.”
Billy is survived by wife Dorothy and three sons – Michael, Robert and Bill.
A memorial service will be held at a later date still to be confirmed by his family.