The day Sir Stanley Matthews came to Kirkliston

ONE summer evening in June 1966 a sleek black car snaked its way through Kirkliston and pulled up outside No. 20 Toddshill Road.

Out stepped the legendary Sir Stanley Matthews, one of the world's all-time greatest footballers and by then manager of English club, Port Vale.

He had come to Kirkliston to clinch the signature of a promising 16 year old, Gordon Logan.

Needless to say, Sir Stan's arrival caused quite a stir. Two of Gordon's younger brothers, Eric and Raymond were "quite beside" themselves as the great man made his way into their home for signing talks with Mr and Mrs Logan.

He spent about an hour with them before securing Gordon's signature, after which he gifted Gordon's mum an inscribed tea set which she still has.

Logan had an outstanding schools and juvenile career.

Playing out of Broxburn High School, he captained the county schools team to the final of the Scottish Schools' Cup.

Apart from the inspiration of having a footballer father, Rennie, who played for Hibs and Falkirk, Gordon credits Peter Reid, his PE teacher at Broxburn, and the late Conn Dougall of Bathgate St. Mary's and the county school's team with having a big influence on his development.

As a juvenile he played for Tynecastle Athletic, then a prolific nursery for the seniors and sometimes for a Hibs under-17 team which also featured one Peter Marinello.

At Port Vale Gordon soon became captain of the reserves and played in the team that reached the FA Youth Cup quarter final.

At the same time he earned three Scottish Youth caps alongside players such as Asa Hartford and Tommy Craig.

By 1968 he had broken into Vale's first team and remained at the club till 1971.

Matthews, despite his playing pedigree, was not a successful manager.

In Gordon's view, despite his enthusiasm and dedication, he was far too decent to be successful, and lacked the necessary edge.

He never lost his temper or swore, "flipping" being about as close as he got – not quite the Alex Ferguson 'hair dryer' treatment!

When Gordon left Vale he played a season at Kettering Town before returning here to join the police and play junior for a spell at Bo'ness United.

Thereafter he turned his attention to bowling where he became a well kent figure, like the whole Logan family.

But he still relishes the memory of his time as a professional footballer, particularly the occasion when he played in the same team in a testimonial game as Sir Stan and Sir Tom Finney.

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