Back where it all began

04/12/12. John Devlin.  BO'NESS. 76-78 South St, EH51 9HA. Inkspot and Silverleaf Booksellers. Ex footie player John McGovern's book signing. John McGovern.

04/12/12. John Devlin. BO'NESS. 76-78 South St, EH51 9HA. Inkspot and Silverleaf Booksellers. Ex footie player John McGovern's book signing. John McGovern.

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FOOTBALLING legend John McGovern retraced his steps to Bo’ness on Tuesday, the place where the twice European Cup winner first kicked around a football.

The former Nottingham Forest captain was at Inkspot and Silverleaf Booksellers meeting fans and signing copies of his autobiography “My Story: From Bo’ness to the Bernabeu”.

“I used to stay with my grandmother (Mrs Mitchell) in East Castleloan across from the Learig Pub.

“I lived in Hartlepool at the time, where my dad moved down for work.

“He died when I was 11 and my mum had to be the breadwinner,” said John.

“I spent Easter and summer, Christmas and half-term holidays with her.”

John - whose aunts and uncles, Bessie and Eddie Mitchell, and Brone and Jock Johnston, also lived in Bo’ness - had kickabouts with Patrick Duffy and Bert Corvi at Douglas Park and Threemiletown. They remain good friends.

“It was my first attempts to try and kick the round ball,” said John. “At school I captained the cricket and rugby teams.”

John’s subsequent rise through the footballing ranks is charted in the new book, with a few extra signed copies left at Karen Millar’s bookshop, where he spent a couple of hours.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people that came along. As usual all Scots are very friendly. I told them a few stories and had a chat.”