In Conversation With: Martin Anderson

With 115 years of history behind us, many people have passed through the doors of Newlandsfield, with some leaving more of a mark than others. Many remember the goalscorers, the no-nonsense defenders and the trophies, but behind every Pollok squad is a committed team of volunteers, many of whom have given decades of service to the club. One of those is Martin Anderson, a supporter of five decades, and a two-time committee member. He sat down to reminisce about his time at Newlandsfield.



What was it that first brought you to Newlandsfield as a supporter?

I had been a Third Lanark supporter from childhood until they were dissolved in 1967. Like a number of Thirds supporters, such as Stuart McCulloch, I eventually ended up at Pollok but it wasn’t immediate. My son Edward had started going along to Newlandsfield with his friends, and my late wife Margaret thought it would be a good idea if I joined him. That was in season 1977/78 I think. After that I fell in love with football again.


A view from the terrace at Cathkin
Third Lanark were two-time Scottish Cup winners and former Division 1 champions but financial mismanagement saw them go out of business in 1967 with Cathkin Park falling into disrepair. Many of their supporters found a new footballing home at Newlandsfield, helping to steadily propel Pollok into the upper echelons of the Junior game.


When was your first Pollok game and what are your memories of it?

I had been along as a teenager to see a home Scottish cup tie with Irvine Meadow at Newlandsfield in January 1954. Pollok won 1-0 with Sonny Best scoring the winner. Irvine Meadow protested and returned, winning the replay. Attendance was reported as 12,000 and Newlandsfield was packed. People were watching on the platform at Pollokshaws East station.


Newspaper coverage of the fiasco following the Meadow game recalled by Martin. Follow the link above for Mark Donnelly’s piece on the event which does not rate among Pollok’s finest hours.


Who is your favourite Pollok player of all time?

Jim Mullaney who was part of our Scottish cup winning team in 1981. A stylish, cultured inside forward and a really nice person as well.


What has been your best moment as a Pollok supporter?

Winning the Scottish Junior Cup in 1981, being at Hampden with my Son Edward and celebrating in the social club afterwards.


Pollok lift the Junior Cup for the first time against Arthurlie in 1981. (Photo: Stephen Mansfield)


When did you first join the committee, and what jobs have you done in that time?

I have had two stints on the committee. The first time I joined was, I think, in 1983 at the same time as George Patterson and future president John MacFarlane. Due to work commitments I resigned in the 1990s and rejoined in 2015, having been forced back on by Wilma Gillespie. Due to work commitments I have never held a major role in the club, but have plenty of experience doing the menial tasks like gates, prorgrammes and raffle tickets. Although my Grandson is now Match Secretary and it’s great to see Jack and so many other younger committee members with an interest in keeping the club going forward.


If you have come through the gates at Newlandsfield, then you will have come across Martin selling half-time draw tickets at every match. (Photos: James Graham)


How was it watching Pollok beat SPFL side Annan Athletic in a televised Scottish Cup tie last season?

It was quite emotional, and it mattered a lot to me, which was a surprise as I have felt less emotionally invested as I have gotten older. The occasion, TV build up and a glimpse into the future for Pollok was exciting. Plus it was a really good game of football!


The 4-3 win against Annan Athletic was Pollok’s first ever competitive victory against SPFL opposition, and was watched by 100,000 BBC viewers. (Photo: SNS)


What do you think the future holds for Pollok, and what should we be aiming for as a club?

Football has changed and the game is in flux in Scotland, particularly at our level. Listening to Stewart Maxwell at the recent AGM, I think that we have to try and play at the highest level possible. So the initial aim would be promotion to the Lowland League.


Finally, alongside young John you were the face of Pollok’s 2023-24 season ticket campaign. How did you find being in front of the camera?

It has opened up a whole new career for me. If anyone is interested then speak to my agent.