Dunfermline Athletic

There's only one Petrie

Sunday, 23rd Feb 2014

Legend returns to East End but in the opposition dug out.

Stewart Petrie at Arbroath

The Assistant Manager with Tuesday night's opponents, Arbroath Stewart Petrie still holds a big place in his heart for Dunfermline Athletic. Stewart who will be 44 on Thursday said:-

"Dunfermline provided ten years of memories for my family and that's from my dad, to my wife to my kids.  I love coming to Dunfermline, as soon as I drive in, I can't wait to get to the stadium. It is a special place for me and it doesn't matter where I am or who I am playing for, it is still the first result that I look for on a Saturday."

Stewart Petrie joined the Pars in August 1993 and he describes the next ten seasons as "Great! Fabulous times where the vast, vast majority was spent with good footballing people and I feel privileged to have been there."

Another former Par who was at Arbroath but recently left is Graham Bayne. The 34 year old has been appointed Assistant manager to Barry Wilson at Elgin City. The pair were team mates at Caley Thistle and Graham played a couple of games at Wick Academy for Wilson before he took the move to Boroughbriggs.

STEWART PETRIE ARRIVES

Dunfermline did well out of the relationship as well with Petrie scoring the goal that turned the 1995/96 First Division Championship race on its head. Dundee United, Morton and the Pars were locked in a three way fight for the title however, if the Tannadice men won on the penultimate Saturday of the season, at home against Dunfermline, they would be crowned Champions.

Stewart Petrie tells a little more about his career at Dunfermline and beyond starting understandably with that special Saturday in April 1996:-

"We knew the trophy was there to be handed over to Dundee United if they won but I scored the game's only goal. I was later sent off but still remember that day really fondly."

The following week, Dunfermline were in the driving seat and with United facing Morton at Cappielow, they knew that a point would see them lift the title. Petrie could not take the field as he was suspended following his red card the previous week but he kicked every ball.

"That was a really nervy game," said Petrie before adding: "And I certainly was not a good spectator! We were losing 1-0 but thankfully, the boys were fantastic and a Mark Millar penalty and a goal from Andy Smith gave us a 2-1 victory.

"Morton and Dundee United drew 2-2 and there was a massive crowd there to celebrate and it was great to pick up a Championship medal."

STEWART PETRIE v DUNDEE UTD

Petrie's time in Fife ended in 2003 just four months after he enjoyed a Testimonial to mark his ten seasons of service to the black and white striped side. He remains grateful for the honour saying, "I had a great night back in January 2003 when Dunfermline took on Dunfermline All-Stars with the likes of Istvan Kozma and Andy Rhodes coming back to East End Park.

The next stop in Stewart's career became a longer than anticipated stay Down Under as a three month busman's holiday in Australia ended up in a four year stay.

"My wife, kids and I decided to try Australia for three months," said Petrie before adding: "I took my boots thinking I would play some games and that we would enjoy the weather for a wee while. That break became a four year stay as I played there for longer than I anticipated and that included a spell in Singapore.

"When the A-League was being formed, there was something like an 11 month break so I popped over to Singapore and kept myself fit by playing there."

STEWART PETRIE

In 2007, it was time to head home with Petrie saying: "Basically, my contract ran out and as clubs were only allowed five players with visa's by that time, I had to come home."

Dick Campbell had also moved about during this time as he managed Brechin City, Partick Thistle before moving to Ross County in 2007 and he quickly arranged to bring Petrie in as a Player/coach during their stay in the Second Division.

The Manager was not at Victoria Park long however, but Petrie earned another Championship medal as he explained: "I went there and things changed a bit., unfortunately Dick didn't last as long as I did.  However, I played enough games to get a medal and it was great to do so, some 12 years after my first one.

"I was a coach only under Derek Adams for the next season and we reached the Alba Challenge Cup Final although Airdrie United beat us in a penalty shoot-out in November 2008. Again, a great family club to play at where I was made to feel welcome from day one and another ex-club I like to see do well."

STEWART PETRIE AT THE ALHAMBRA
Stewart at the Alhambra with Allan Moore and Andy Smith

Two months after the McDiarmid Park showdown, Petrie and the family were on their travels again as former Dunfermline team-mate and former Clyde, St. Mirren and Rangers midfielder, Ian Ferguson, asked if he would join him back in Australia.

"I had been a player at a club in Australia where Ian was the Assistant Manager and our relationship grew from there. He was appointed Head Coach at North Queensland Fury and asked me to help him out.

"It was a big challenge to move again for the family however, it was too good an opportunity to turn down and with a three year contract in place, they would allow the children to finish school without moving again. It never turned out that way," Petrie adds ruefully.

"On the football side, things were going well but just over a year after starting, there were severe money problems at the club. Basically, all the players and management team had their contracts cancelled. It was not a nice time.  I came back and started applying for jobs but there was not much happening."

"Paul Sheerin got the Arbroath job and Dick as well as Tommy Campbell recommended that we get together for a chat. I am delighted they did as we hit it off straight away and I am really lucky to be at Arbroath as there a lot of coaches out of work in Scotland.

"I am enjoying it; they are a nice bunch - part time so it needs a bit of adjusting too but there is good camaraderie."

STEWART PETRIE



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