Last orders for Alex

280212  Alex Gardiner retires from the football and cricketers pub, linlithgow.
280212 Alex Gardiner retires from the football and cricketers pub, linlithgow.

HE is unique! That is a comment served upon a barman in a Linlithgow pub who has pulled pints for more than 30 years.

Alex Gardner (70) will serve up his last pint for customers today (Friday) after 32 years behind the bar at the Football and Cricketers.

He took the job on part-time 32 years ago to supplement his labourer’s job in the building trade to tide him over the winter months. But he grew to like the job so much, within two years he was full-time and has never looked back since.

A former midfielder with Linlithgow Rose, he was a member of the winning 1965 Scottish Junior Cup side. He also played with Airdrie- onians for a season and even crossed the Flints to become a coach at Bo’ness.

But it is behind the bar where Alex is most at home, saying: “I have loved the job over the years and will miss the banter and gossip.” He joked: “I know the local news before the Journal and Gazette hits the street on a Friday.”

Not a man of many hobbies, he has no plans as yet for retirement but he is certain he won’t stray too far and will no doubt make a return to the bar on the odd occasion or two to meet up with pals!”

Colin Sinclair, licensee at the pub said of his long-serving employee: “We will never be able to replace him, Alex is unique! He started of as a part-time barman around 32 years ago and took on the job full-time. Since then he never had a single day off up until last year.

“He is a great guy, a really nice person and he always keeps the regulars happy with his jokes.”