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Fort William FC: Britain's Worst Football Team... For Now.
I've always been a fan of Loch Ness and it's inhabitants, but now the BBC bring to light a small town that sits on the
Atlantic side of the Great Glen that leads to the mysterious expase of water. Fort William has a football team and
it holds a continuity that some may scoff at.
But in my books, it's the trying that counts.

Quote:The unlikely manager and Britain's worst football team.

'At the beginning of last season Russell MacMorran had no idea he would end up as a football manager let alone the
boss of a club with the worst record in British league football. Russell was not even involved in football when Fort
William FC kicked off last summer.

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Russell MacMorran did not expect to find himself managing Fort William FC. Fort William's ground lies close to Ben Nevis.

The club started the season as it had ended the previous one - in crisis, having just gone a full season without a win
and yet again finishing bottom of the Highland League, the fifth tier of Scotland's league structure.

The part-time club, which pays its players an average of £20 a week, had been bottom of the table for 14 of the past
20 seasons but because there is no relegation it managed to hold onto its place in the Scottish football league structure.
However, the pressure was taking its toll and there was talk of throwing in the towel and dropping into junior football.

Fort William were down to just five signed players and the existing management board had announced they were packing
it in so an emergency meeting was held to find new blood to save the club.
This would be a task as huge as the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which looms over the club's Claggan Park ground.

Russell went to the open meeting and stuck up his hand to volunteer. Before he knew it he was the club secretary, taking
responsibility for the organisation of the whole set-up. The 43-year-old had played football when he was younger, mainly
in the Highland League reserves, but a serious knee injury ended his career when he was in his early 20s.

The father-of-five, originally from Inverness, had moved to the Fort William area a decade earlier to work as a police road
traffic officer but he had been off sick for months after being diagnosed with PTSD due to years of dealing with crash scenes.
He tells The BBC Scotland documentary, The Fort, he was feeling isolated, "staring at the four walls", and it was his wife
who suggested he should get involved with football again.

His idea was to work behind the scenes, trying to improve the way Fort William worked and hope a new professional approach
at the club would transfer to performances on the pitch. By January, Fort William had lost 21 games, drawn two and conceded
165 goals.
They had also been given a nine-point penalty for fielding an ineligible player three times at the start of the season, before
Russell took on his role.

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Fort William FC board (left to right) Colin Wood, Peter Murphy, Russell MacMorran and Willie Edward.
(Imagine playing with that backdrop!)

The club's new board had a crisis meeting and team manager Kris Anderson was sacked. They decided the best man to take
over as caretaker manager was Russell. "It was a bit of a whirlwind to go from secretary to manager," Russell says. "But the
basic principle was to put a bit of stability into the changing room because of what had been happening."
"The morale of the guys was, as expected, really low."

But why did a man with PTSD and no experience as a football manager agree to take on the team with the statistically the
worst record in Britain?

Russell says: "I have the illness and that's a long road to recovery. I can't do my police work at the moment because of that
but the football gives me the chance to still be able to do things on a social level and an occupational level. It gives me some
form of identity, if you like. It has helped me massively."

He says being the manager of the worst club in Britain does not bring any stress, in fact "it is the polar opposite".
"There is no expectations," he says. "There are no stresses. It is not like sitting in the Premier League where it really is
your job and you have to make a massive difference."

Russell says he has taken the young players "under his wing" and tries to be as positive and calm as he can.
"To be at rock bottom yourself, you can look at these kids and see in the broad scheme of things it is only a game,
he says.

For the first three weeks Russell was undefeated but that was only because the terrible weather meant all the Fort's
games were cancelled. When he finally saw action it was away against Lossiemouth, the second worst team in the league.

They had only won one game all season and that was against Fort William.
Could this finally be The Fort's first win in almost two years? Well, no. They lost 5-0.

The Highland league is harder than it looks, says club treasurer Willie Edwards, especially for a team with no money.
Willie says the top three or four teams in the league are competing to be in the Scottish third division and even mid-table
teams have ex-professionals from the upper levels of the Scottish league. "Money talks," he says and Fort William does
not have any.

The occasional small donations help. They come from fans around the world who have heard of their plight and as the
season wore on more became aware of their unenviable record.
Interest in the club on social media rocketed, as did sales of merchandise but it did not translate to success on the pitch.

In February The Fort were leading 1-0 just before half time when the match was abandoned because of a water-logged
pitch. Not only did they miss out on the elusive first win but they also lost the revenues from the half-time pies, says Russell,
still thinking like the club secretary, a role now filled by his wife Laura.
The Fort ended the season in April with a record of two draws in 34 matches, scoring 21 goals and conceding 245.

The new season kicked off on Saturday when they were defeated by Brora Rangers 6-0, despite the loan of nine players
from Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Last season, Brora beat them 11-0 and 9-0.

Russell remains the manager despite losing all his games so far. He says the team have worked hard on their fitness in
the close season and he has tried to instil more professionalism into how they approach the game.

"We are not going to be the same side that teams faced last year and they know that," Russell says. "I expect the guys
not to be the whipping boys like they were last year and to challenge all the way.

"It has to be that we look to finish off the bottom of the table. All the lads and myself are really positive going into the
new season and last season is well and truly behind us."...'

Go lads, give it some hammer.

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@BIAD - Are you sitting down???

The "Mighty" Fort just WON their first game in ages.... 5-2 against Nairn County!

Miracles do happen! (Maybe it was your support that gave them the extra push they needed??)

PS - Skip to 11:52 for the final whistle celebrations!
tinybighuh Being Rogue is WEIRD, But I LIKE IT!tinyfunny 
(08-09-2019, 09:50 AM)gordi Wrote: @BIAD - Are you sitting down???

The "Mighty" Fort just WON their first game in ages.... 5-2 against Nairn County!

Miracles do happen! (Maybe it was your support that gave them the extra push they needed??)

PS - Skip to 11:52 for the final whistle celebrations!

Forgive the delay, but I had to do some running around the room with my hands in the air!

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[Image: attachment.php?aid=6200]

This is it... Fort William, it's the place for winners!

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To be honest I dont like football, does this mean from now on Gordi and BIAD will be  minusculebonker minusculechairshot me ?
(08-09-2019, 10:10 AM)Wallfire Wrote: To be honest I dont like football, does this mean from now on Gordi and BIAD will be  minusculebonker minusculechairshot me ?

No my friend, it's just occasionally nice to see someone do well without the need for vast inputs of money
and control. I believe it's the equivalent of Finland's TPV Tampere.
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IF,,, I was a Liberal/Progressive, Lived in California, New York or New Jersey or another Socialist State or a Elite, Politician or Hollywood Type,,,,,,,,
[Image: attachment.php?aid=6200] I would have to call you all Racist, White Supremacist!
All White Faces,,,,,,,, I was Be Ashamed of My Whiteness.

BUT, I'm NOT a White Male Hating, Heterosexual Hating Ignorant Liberal/Progressive.
So,,,,  minusculebeercheers
Once A Rogue, Always A Rogue!
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