Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Daily Mail, Alan Fraser, Lauriston Park 1690 and Fitz


What links these four?

What links CalumCarr to these four?


Let’s take the first two – Daily Mail and Alan Fraser

I discovered today that Alan Fraser is a Daily Mail sports journalist – through this article - No Rangers? It is simply unthinkable.  There’s nothing unusual in this: many journalists are writing about the falling - or should it be the ‘driving’ - of Rangers into administration.  He starts as follows:

“‘What team do you support?’

Other than polite enquiries about health, there is probably no question more frequently asked when two Scottish strangers meet for the first time.
It demands one of two answers. There is little point replying ‘Raith Rovers’.

‘Yeah, but what team do you support?’ the questioner would insist. There would be no need to provide the prescribed alternatives, Rangers or Celtic. The stark choice is implied. Deep down, it is said, you have to be one or the other, Rangers or Celtic, protestant or catholic. For this is not just about football. This is about religion and, completing the holy trinity, politics.

The Rangers-Celtic rivalry forms part of Scottish life based on a twisting of religious preference dating back centuries. Prejudice has endless stamina.”

This just sets the background for what follows.  What made the difference for me was Fraser’s mention of ‘Lauriston Park 1690’.  He continued,

“While a student in Edinburgh almost 40 years ago, I played football for a team called Lauriston Park 1690. 1690? The year of the Battle of the Boyne, where, in the words of a song still sung by Rangers supporters, ‘the Orangemen with (King) William did join’."


Now this is where I come in.


I too played for ‘Lauriston Park 1690’ in the early to mid 1970’s.


What an admission!

How did I reach this low?


I was doing my PhD in Chemistry at Edinburgh University and 5 or 6 colleagues stayed in a flat in Lauriston Park.  Many of us played football each week for the Chemical Society but, in the summer term, there was a different competition and some of those from the Lauriston Park flat formed the team named after the street and the Battle of the Boyne.  It’s straightforward really if you are a diehard Rangers fan …. as some were.

For my sins I was a Pars fan – Dunfermline Athletic; a delighted Pars fan because we’d just had our most successful years ever.   I should state that I didn’t see any religious bias within the team, strange as that may seem, nor even within their flat. 

I digress though.

Clearly Alan Fraser and I played in the same team but, although the name is familiar, I can’t place him with certainty.

Many of us, in those days, were known by nicknames.  One of the organisers who lived in Lauriston Park was ‘Renard’ and named after the fox.  Somehow, I can’t understand how this came about, mine was ‘Strop’.

Now we’re getting closer to this post’s title.

Another nickname was ‘Fitz’ – no idea where this came from – and I think that was Alan Fraser’s nickname.

I’ve looked for photographs of Alan Fraser and the only one I can find I can’t publish here unless I’m prepared to have Getty Images come after me.  I’m not and so I can only link to the pic.  The picture will mean  nothing to you.  It means little to me …. except this could be Fitz aged almost 40 years.


I think we deserve to know the answer to this question.


Is Alan Fraser, of the Daily Mail, the Fitz who played for Lauriston Park 1690?


  1. Well, by my calculations when you were just starting your first degree I was playing for the BBs in Inverleith Park and my nickname was "Eusabio". It took me a while to realise the lads were being ruthlessly sarcastic. But as a naive young chap I preferred Celtic over Rangers, only to be accused of being "a Fenian" (which I wasn't) and most unsuited to being in the BBs. It was all very confusing, especially when it then emerged I was also being called a "left-footer" when I could only ever attempt to kick with the right. As it all began to make sense to me, so it all began to make no sense whatsoever... You will know what I mean.

  2. I know God moves in mysterious ways but, despite the apparent religious connotations her, God has nothing to do with bigotry.