Part 3 of our Shipping forecast series sees us travel through the areas of the North Sea.
Buckie, in the north of Scotland, are home to Buckie Thistle of the Highland League. They were formed back in 1889 and it’s believed that they wear green and white hoops thanks to Glasgow giants Celtic, who reputedly donated the club a hamper of shirts and balls in the early 1900’s.
Thistle have been champions of the Highland League on ten occasions, including back-to-back successes in 2010 and 2011. The period between the two World Wars and the 1950’s were also golden eras in the history of Buckie Thistle.
Home games are played at Victoria Park in the town which has a capacity of 5000 – more than half of the town’s population of just over 8000. Buckie is a port town and also has excellent access to whisky producing areas Glenlivet and Speyside. MG
No clubs exist in this area
The Norwegian club known as SK Brann or simply, Brann were founded in 1908. They play at the Brann Stadion in Bergen which has a capacity of just over 17,000. Bergen is Norway’s second largest city. Historically, they are one of Norway’s major clubs but their title win in 2007 was their first for 44 years. In all they have been Norwegian champions three times, finishing as runners-up five times. In the Cup, they have been more successful, lifting the trophy on six occasions and beaten finalists on a further nine. Their best performance in European competitions came as cup winners when they reached the quarter-finals of the Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1996-97 when Liverpool put them out.
In the season just finished, Brann ended mid-table 8th from a Premier League which holds 16 teams.
There was a suggestion last November that Alex McLeish might take over at Brann, but in the end he turned the offer down. Brann were involved in some controversy last season during their match with Lillestrom. A Lillestrom player went down injured and so they kicked the ball out of play. Everyone expected Brann to give the ball back but Mjelde horribly missed his kick and he scored from 60 yards as the ball bounced over the keeper into the net. To make amends, Brann allowed Lillestrom striker, Sigurdarson a free route to goal although the keeper made every attempt to save the shot. PS
Founded in August 1899, Viking Fotballklubb hails from Stavanger in Norway. They are one of the most successful clubs in Norway having won eight Premier League titles, including four in a row between 1972 and 1975. In addition to their League success, they have won the Cup five times appearing in the Final another five times. They wear blue and white and play at the Viking Stadion which has a capacity of 16,300.
After their greatest period in the 1970’s, the end of the 1980’s brought their worst. They were relegated in 1987 and needed a complete change in personnel to fight back. They did so and won the Cup in 1989 and then the League in 1991, which remains their last title. In 2004, they appointed Roy Hodgson as manager but he left at the end of the season to manage Finland. They later appointed current Wigan boos, Uwe Rosler, as manager.
The Norwegian season runs from March to November, and the latest season saw Viking finish 5th, 5pts away from a Europa League place.
Well known players for English fans who have played for the club include Egil Ostenstad and Thomas Myhre. During their short period in the Second Division in 1988, they needed to win their final match against Vard to secure promotion. Deep into injury time with the game poised at 2-2, Viking striker, Alf Kare Tveit, headed the ball out of the hands of the goalkeeper who promptly fouled him. The referee blew for a penalty and Arild Ravndal calmly took it and scored. It was a controversial moment but one which meant everything to Viking in a match which is still known as the miracle in Haugesund. PS
There may be plenty of oil rigs and fishing boats here but no football clubs.
Founded in 1903, East Fife FC are based in the Fife town of Methil. The club relocated in 1998 to Bayview Stadium, sited across town from their previous ground of the same name.
The club are currently in the third tier of Scottish league football (SPFL 1) and have spent most of their recent history bouncing around the country’s lower echelons. They have experienced Cup success having won the Scottish Cup in 1938 and the Scottish League Cup in 1948, 1950 and 1954.
New chairman, Lee Murray, is trying to bring new investment into the club via a ‘crowd-funding’ scheme. The club runs practically debt-free but have little ability to raise capital to improve facilities and earning power and therefore are attempting to raise £100,000 to fund the building of a new club shop, a refurbished café/restaurant at Bayview and a brand new 750 capacity stand.
Supporters and investors who pledge between £100 and £10,000 to the project will be rewarded with several incentives including match tickets, club merchandise and a share in East Fife. MG
Blyth Spartans are currently plying their trade in the EvoStik Northern Premier League having been in the Conference North for five years previously. The Croft Park club were formed in 1899 by Mr. Fred Stoker, a prominent physician who was based in London’s Harley Street.
Having joined the Northern League in 1964, Blyth were champions 10 times in a 29 year period before promotion took them up the non-league pyramid.
Spartans name is most synonymous with the FA Cup, having reached the 5th round in 1977-78 (a post-war record for a non-league club jointly held with six other clubs) where they were heartbreakingly knocked out by Wrexham, having beaten Stoke City in the earlier rounds. The game with Wrexham was played at nearby Newcastle’s St.James’ Park where the 42,167 crowd was the highest seen at that stadium in the 77-78 season.
Blyth went on another famous Cup run in 2008-09 when they knocked out league clubs Bournemouth and Shrewsbury before narrowly losing to Premier League Blackburn Rovers in the third round.
The club’s kit was once famously sponsored by the locally-born humorous comic-magazine, Viz.
The town of Blyth is an old mining and port town currently undergoing regeneration and is now something of a hub for the wind and renewable energy industries. MG
There are no teams….and as far as we know, no doggers here.
If you’ve come this far, don’t forget to tune in for the fourth and final part tomorrow.