It was the devastating fire which wiped out a chunk of Arbroath FC’s history.
All the photographic records of Arbroath’s great teams from the past – including the club’s 36-0 heroes – were lost when the main stand at Gayfield went up in flames 60 years ago.
The fire in 1958 destroyed the west and central portions of the main grandstand at Gayfield, with damage estimated at between £6,000 and £7,000.
The home and away dressing rooms, treatment room, referee room, secretary’s office, treasurer’s office, board room and press box were all ruined, along with playing kit, training kit, boots and footballs.
Arbroath FC chairman Mike Caird said: “The devastation and destruction the fire caused must have been very difficult for the club to recover from at the time.
“However I’m sure the spirit of the community would have shone through and the club was rebuilt to where it is today.
“It is also particularly sad that so many past treasures in the club’s long history including photos of the great teams of yesteryear went up in smoke and were lost forever.”
The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning following a match against Partick Thistle.
A fox terrier named Susan raised the alarm after scratching at her owner’s bed.
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The woman, who lived at Tutties Neuk across from Gayfield, saw the stand well alight and phoned 999.
Fire crews from Arbroath and Carnoustie managed to prevent the blaze from spreading.
So fierce and high were the flames the playing field was clearly illuminated as if floodlit.
Timbers and beams cracked noisily and there were great showers of sparks.
People living a quarter of a mile away were wakened by the noise.
When daylight came the following morning the destroyed part of the stand was described as a “forlorn sight”.
Among the embers and twisted girders lay charred jerseys, boots and shinpads, mute testimony of the fierceness of the blaze.
The community spirit shone through in the aftermath with offers of help including from one schoolboy who sent the club his pocket money.
Written in a neat hand, the letter read: “Please find enclosed my pocket money which I am sending you hoping to will help to build another stand.
“I am a Maroons supporter. I travel to Gayfield every home match and know what your team means to Arbroath.
“Wishing you and your team good luck.”
A postal order for two shillings was attached to the letter from Wilson Petrie of Montrose.
The letter was described by secretary Mr W E Forrester as “a wonderful spontaneous gesture”.
The stand had been in existence since 1925 when the reconstruction of Gayfield was completed.
The next game against Berwick Rangers went ahead despite the setback and the players changed at Arbroath Lads Club’s pavilion which was quite near the ground.