Andy Tod's Testimonial DinnerSunday, 3rd Sep 2006
Andy has always given 100% for the club, he is one of our finest ambassadors ever.
Andy Tod has made 372 appearances in the Pars first team, giving him sixth highest first team appearances in the club's history. The 34 year old who first joined Dunfermline on his 22nd birthday in 1993 has been rewarded with a Testimonial Year. The Testimonial Dinner was an excellent evening; well organised, good food, well served; good speakers in Referee Kenny Clark and former professional sprinter George McNeill. Jim Leishman chaired the night and ran the auction that raised over £10,000 for the cause.
Many players and ex players were in attendance:- Scott Wilson, Scott Thomson, Jamie McCunnie, Darren Young, Gary Mason, Scott Muirhead, Phil McGuire, Mark Burchill, Ian Campbell, Craig Ireland, Jackie McNamara, Hamish French and Ivo Den Bieman. Greg Shields, Gary Locke, Craig Ireland were on video and also there on the night. Describing Andy Tod as a legend, Leish extended a welcome to two other legends in the company, Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew from rockers Nazareth.
Ivo, Andy and Hamish at Keavil House Hotel
Flying in on Friday night, former team mate Ivo Den Bieman travelled furthest to be back in town for the testimonial dinner at Keavil House Hotel. Ivo signed for Dunfermline in August 1993, just three months later Toddy arrived from Kelty Hearts. The tall Dutchman told the website of his recollections of playing alongside Toddy:-
"Andy came into Dunfermline just after I came across from Dundee. I played with him for five years and more recently in May, I have been over to see him. He is a hell of a host because I was staying with him and his wife for a couple of days.
"I knew there was a testimonial on the cards and when he said it was going to be September, I was delighted to come across.
"We had a really good team together and out of that team with Craig Ireland, Stewart Petrie, Toddy and myself we got on really well. I think we got relegated under Jocky Scott and then Bert and Dick came in. The first year we really had a good season but we just missed out to Raith Rovers. Then we had another good season, always scoring heavily and playing entertaining football."
A 0-0 draw at Starks Park handed the Rovers promotion leaving Dunfermline to face Aberdeen in the play offs. Dunfermline failed to overcome the Premier League side but achieved promotion the following season when Andy Tod played in all 36 league matches, Ivo there beside him in 26 of them:-
"We had the season when we won the championship. That was fantastic going to Tannadice with the trophy waiting with orange and black ribbons for United. We just stole it there. 1996 was a really good year.
"The year after, the first year in the Premier League we finished fifth was good because the camaraderie was still there and everyone was fighting for each other. After that for me personally it went a little downhill because I was in and out of the team. We were always trying to get players and it didn't always work out. The last two years in the First Division and the first in the Premier League were fantastic."
Ivo with Toddy and Jackie McNamara
Ivo who is now an Area Manager for Securitas based in Utrecht was full of admiration for the way big Andy is still playing at the highest level:-
"He is a little bit like myself but he has obviously kept it going for a lot longer than I have but he is so versatile, you can play him in any position. Whatever position you play him he always performs and always gives his best. You find out how good he is when you play against him and I played a couple of times against him when I was centre half at Falkirk. He would come up for setpieces and I would have to mark him. Then you know he is so awkward to defend against. When you play a couple of hundred games and ten years with Dunfermline it speaks for itself - he was never bothered that he was in and out of the team, for the coach he is one of the best players to have around. He is never in a huff, he always performs whenever he is asked.
"In the first few years when I played on the right side of midfield he was there a lot for the crosses that Stewart Petrie and I put in. Frenchie was upfront with George O'Boyle, it was really good but that was it. We had a team based on respect and working hard for each other; fantastic days and that is why it is always good to come back."
Ivo and his Scottish wife hope to move back to his home area near Nijmegen to be closer to friends and family, he added "hopefully some of the boys will return the favour when I turn 40 next year (4th February) and come to to the celebratory party in Holland."
An eight minute DVD interview with Greg Shields, now a business partner with Toddy in a company called B-relocated as well as his team mate, gave an insight into the more personal side of the Kelty man. This included comments on their rooming together, shaving habits, hair cuts, Toddy's choice of cars (a bit of a ribbing for the Vectra driver). Greg's message:-
"You have had twelve great years at Dunfermline, you have had some highs, you have had some lows. I have enjoyed the four and a half years that I have played along with you. You are a great player and a good business partner. You are a credit to yourself, your club and your family. Good luck to you."
Dunfermline Athletic Chairman could not be at the dinner but Jim Leishman read out a message from John Yorkston:-
"It is a mark of respect that we all have for Andy that the event has been sold out for many months. Loyalty to one club is something that does not happen too often in football, though at Dunfermline Athletic Football Club we have been particularly fortunate in this respect.
"Andy has always given 100% for the club, he is one of our finest ambassadors ever. He plays where the club need him upfront or at the back, doesn't grumble but gets on with his job. I think this has been highlighted in the last few weeks when despite not being fully fit he has made himself available in our hour of need, giving his all and quite a bit of blood in the process.
"Every club has their special legends. Andy to me you are one of them. I hope tonight goes very well along with your golf day. Have a great night. John Yorkston Chairman and friend."
Joe Nelson, Jackie McNamara and Mo Hutton
Jackie McNamara also gave his thoughts exclusively to the official website:-
"I was at the club when Toddy came in as the shy boy from Kelty and I have known him for a long time. We formed a good friendship and it is good to come back and pay tribute to him tonight. He came as a big strapping lad with a lot of enthusiasm and potential. He is an honest guy who has been a great servant. Any position you put him into he has always done well in that position. That is all you can ask of a football player.
"Early on there were a lot of games that were important to Dunfermline like the play off away at Aberdeen. I know playing alongside him, while he is happy at the back big Andy would go upfront if we were struggling. He is just one of those guys who is going to give his all; he will put his head where it hurts. You can buy players into football clubs but no one is going to guarantee you that.
"I watch SPL on television and I saw the game where he got stitched up and came back with this big bandage on. It took about twenty minutes to stitch him up. I had a wee laugh to myself. That's just Andy, he just sees a ball and goes for it the best he can.
"Things get a bit slower and sorer as you get older but Andy is doing well and doing a good job for Dunfermline at a good level. Look at Andy Millen whose forty playing for St Mirren just now so he should keep going as long as he can."
Jackie keeps a close eye on the Pars fortunes and added:-
"I watched the first game against Hearts and I thought they were unlucky. The sending off (of Andy Tod) was a big turning point in the game. They had a chance at 1-1 to go 2-1 ahead - sometimes these things go for you, that wee break that thy did not get that game, they will get now. It was a good result in the Rangers game so I am sure that they will do well. Every year they are battling away and Dunfermline always do well.
"Wee Burchy was at Celtic with me. He was always a goalscorer and a really good finisher. Last year his goals were vital in Dunfermline staying up so I hope he can do the same this year."
Jackie McNamara is in the last season of his contract at Wolves. He will be 33 in October and missed last season through injury but knew nothing of talk that he might end his playing career back at East End Park:-
"Rumours are rumours, I have not spoken about it."
Jim Leishman described Andy Tod as a 'model pro':-
"On behalf of Dunfermline Football Club, I would like to thank you Andrew for all your goals, all your tackles, all your efforts and honesty from three o'clock until the final whistle. For everything you put into your game. Your fitness, your preparation for games and the build up to Saturday. Your professionalism is something that young players can admire and respond to"
On behalf of Andy Tod who was not allowed to speak for tax reasons, Jim Leishman thanked everyone who had supported the Andrew Tod Testimonial Dinner.
Toddy with Kenny Clark
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