Dunfermline Athletic

A Great Pars fan

Thursday, 27th Feb 2014

In the same week that DAFC lost one of its most loyal and dedicated servants, in Joe Nelson, the Club received a very poignant email from a long standing Pars Fan,

In the same week that DAFC lost one of its most loyal and dedicated servants, in Joe Nelson, the Club received a very poignant email from a long standing Pars Fan, outlining the outstanding loyalty and dedication shown by another great "Pars Man".

"To the Pars Family,

I would just like to tell you about my Dad, Reg Banning.

He is 82 years old and has now watched the Pars for 72 years after being asked by two school friends in 1941 to go to a football match which he had never seen before, but after that game he was hooked and his love affair with Dunfermline Athletic began.

The passion grew and grew as he got older, and he even gave up some promising career chances as it would mean working away, and not being able to see his beloved Pars on a Saturday.

The 1960s is of course an era he always talks about, and stories off all the glory nights has filled many a family occasion and not forgetting those of his favourite ever Pars player, Charlie Dickson. In the 1970s it was his time to introduce me to the Pars. Even though the success wasn't the same, he still took me every week including driving to all the away games from a wet Wednesday night at Stenhousemuir, to sunny Saturdays in Dundee!

You always knew in our house if the Pars had won, because if not, he always said defeat ruined his weekend and he would be a right crab wherever he was on a Saturday Night.

Unfortunately my Dad died last Sunday after a near 18 month illness, but his passion for the Pars never diminished during this period and he even got to see a few of the home games at the beginning of this season. He said these young lads made him feel proud as they gave the club some new energy, after one of the hardest seasons he had ever seen. He stated at the time that the people who saved our club should be said in the same breath as the great cup winning teams.

Even when the illness prevented him from going to the games, he would be stuck to the Radio to get the scores, checking the updates and then waiting for me to show him the Highlights from Pars TV.

Right up to the end he was still asking if there was anything in the papers about the Pars. In what turned out to be his last game, he even asked for a radio, so he could try and listen in the hospital to the Rangers Cup game, though his mood changed when he heard it was 3-0 down at half time!

Saturdays for me, and his two grandsons will never be the same, knowing he isn't at the game with us or that he won't be sitting in the house waiting for us to get home, so he can quiz us about the game and talk about the results that day in general.

I may have lost a great, great father but Dunfermline Athletic and the Pars Family in general have lost one of the most devoted and loyal supporters any club could wish to have.

Thanks for listening to my story

Grant Banning,
Son of a True Pars Legend Reg Banning"

Ross McArthur, General Manager commented:-

"When I read Grant's email, I was really moved by his story and immediately contacted him to pass on our condolences following his Dad sadly passing away. The fact that Reg followed the Pars for 72 years is quite incredible, and he certainly sounds like a true "Pars Man." Grant's story also exemplifies why we have all worked so hard to save our Club as it means so much to so many generations of families across West Fife. It is also further proof that following the Pars is in your blood!

At short notice, we arranged for Grant and his family to visit the boardroom on Saturday, for a pre match drink so that the directors in attendance were able to pass on their best wishes to the Banning Family on behalf of the wider Pars Family. I also asked Grant if we could publish his story to the wider Pars Family, as his words would resonate I am sure with so many other Pars fans"

ARBROATH 250214 Reg Family

Grant stated that the Banning Family believe it would be an honour and a fitting tribute to his Dad to have his story on the Club's official Website. Grant, along with his son Jay and Nephew Allan are pictured in the boardroom with Jim Leishman, before Saturday's game with Ayr United. Jay played for the Pars youth teams for 3 seasons from Under 10 to Under 13 level, and this was another very proud moment for Reg, seeing his grandson representing the Club.

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