Willie’s Pier passion

TOP TEAM ... West Pier line up in 1977
TOP TEAM ... West Pier line up in 1977

AS West Pier push for the first division title in the Scarborough & District Saturday League, club stalwart Willie Garnett looked back on his 20 years with the club.

During his time with Pier, the midfield ace won three promotions and lifted the FA Trophy.

Garnett said: “West Pier has been a massive part of my life and I enjoyed every minute playing for them.

“They seem to have had a bit of a resurgance recently and are sitting at the top of the table, which is brilliant.”

Garnett, 57, started playing for Pier in 1975 after landing a job working as a trawlerman.

He added: “I got a job on Tommy Williamson’s boat and he knew I played for Shakespeare on a Sunday.

“He said to me that if I wanted the job then I had to play for Pier on a Saturday and I agreed.

“I soon settled into the club and discovered that they are a tremendous group of lads.

“It was a common thing that if you played for Pier then you became a member of the ‘spider on the leg tattoo gang.’

“We used to be based at the Britannia pub and you found after a few beers that you would be dragged into Arthur Bishop’s tattoo parlour next door and get the spider tattoo on your leg.

“We all had it done though and it was just part of playing for the club.”

Garnett played football from a young age and was an integral part of St Augustine’s sides.

He has worked for Scarborough Borough Council for several years as a street lighting technician and he is also a keen pigeon fancier.

Garnett said: “The best thing about being involved with a club like Pier is the people you meet and the memories.

“We had some brilliant times and I made friends for life such as Colin Ward, Jerry and Timmy Baldwin and Nicky Sheader.

“I still go for a beer with some of them now on a Sunday night and we always have lots of old stories to talk about from our playing days.

“There are also the players you played against who you got to know, such as Stu Osbourne from Barrowcliff and Pat Muir from the Tennyson.

“If I could do it all over again I would and I am just glad I joined such a friendly and successful club.”