McCathie's Football FocusSaturday, 26th Dec 2009
Son of Norrie fighting fitness to find a new club.
It will be 14 years next month since Norrie McCathie died, the Dunfermline Athletic Club Captain died tragically from carbon monoxide poisoning at his home on 8th January 1996. He was only 34. His son, Paul McCathie returned to East End Park to play in the Match for Mary back in November and on the eve of that attended the Dunfermline Athletic Hall of Fame at Keavil House Hotel.
In an interview exclusive to the website Paul explained how he still hopes to follow his father's footsteps into professional football.
"From the age of 15 I played at Falkirk in the youth set up under John Hughes and then with Hearts got to the final of the Milk Cup in Coleraine Northern Ireland where we lost to Racing Club from Argentina."
In that 2003 Milk Cup Paul played was alongside David Gray who is at Manchester United. Paul is left footed and plays mainly at full back or in midfield.
"I played in Lee Wallace's team at Hearts when I got moved up but I then fell out with the coach and ended up with Berwick Rangers. I had a couple of training sessions with Dunfermline's youth team but kind of lost interest."
At the age of 21 Paul is trying to regain his fitness with a view to getting back into football.
"I have been training for the last few months and now have a trial at Gateshead. We shall see how that goes. My focus is to get back into full time football, I believe I am good enough. My ability is there but my fitness level needs attention. Plenty of people have said to me that they do not understand why I am not playing full time.
"I had a chance to go over to America to get a scholarship in Jacksonville, Florida but I lost a bit of focus. I am now running every day in an effort to get myself fit."
Paul feels that he needs a bit of space to develop into a footballer in his own right without having to try to meet expectations created by his surname.
"When I was training at Dunfermline, people were thinking I was only there because of my dad. I get it everywhere I go - at every Scottish team - even before I kick a ball. If I go down to a lower league club, get fit and play then hopefully I could come back up here on my merit."
During the summer of 1981 the then Dunfermline Manager, Pat Stanton was surprised to receive a phone call suggesting that Cowdenbeath might be interested in swapping Norrie for Pars forward Craig MacFarlane. Norrie agreed to the move and became a Pars player going on to make 497 league matches for Dunfermline. Young Paul was only eight when his father died but is hugely impressed by the reverence in which he is held:-
"Obviously when my dad passed away I was pretty young and I don't remember an awful lot. The Hall of Fame was a proud moment to hear and see what everyone thought of him. Because I stay in Edinburgh I don't experience what people think about Dunfermline but now I can see what he means to fans and what he did for the club and the community."
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