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Friday 24th May 2013

IRN-BRU SFL End of Season Awards 2012/13

To celebrate the phenomenal achievements of last season, League sponsor IRN-BRU hosted a gala dinner in Glasgow on Thursday night to hand out awards to the top performers in season 2012/13. The winners are..

Season 2012/13 in the IRN-BRU Scottish Football League

There was plenty of drama in the three IRN-BRU SFL Championship last season and it also delivered what fans want to see – more goals.

  • 1,747 goals scored during regular season which was an increase of 82 on season 2011/12
  • 3.24 was the average number of goals scored per game during the regular season
  • 34 goals scored in the 12 Play-Off matches – 4 more than last season
  • The Second Division was the best one for goals – just with 3.28 seeing off the Third by 0.01

The season contained:

  • 552 matches were played in the IRN-BRU SFL Championship when you include the Play-Off matches
  • 1,476, 185 fans watched SFL clubs in the three IRN-BRU SFL Divisions. That was an increase of 867,567. The Third Division was only 42 short of 1,000,000
  • 17 IRN-BRU SFL games were shown live on Sky Sports, ESPN or BBC ALBA
  • 49,680 Minutes of action (not including injury time) which equates to
  • 2,980,800 seconds of action (again not including injury time)
  • Over 2,000,000 people watched 17 IRN-BRU SFL games that were shown live on Sky Sports, ESPN and BBC ALBA
  • Over 1,500,000 people watched the 50 highlight programmes that went out on SFL TV
  • 90 goals were chosen as Goal of the Month contenders
  • Over 5,000,000 pages were viewed on

Some observations:

Home advantage counted for little in the IRN-BRU SFL First Division as there were 70 away wins and only 67 home wins. In the second it was 88 home and 61 away and in the Third it was 81 and 59.

The 12 points that Dumbarton earned in January was one point more than they secured in their entire campaign the last time they were in the First Division in season 1995-1996.

Queen of the South were the first team to win a League in the UK this season. Their 6-0 win over Brechin that clinched the title on March 27 was the third time they had won a Title at Forfar’s Station Park after the game was switched there.

The Doonhamers points tally of 92 created a new record tally after it surpassed the 89 total that Gretna achieved in 2006.

Peterhead’s 10 wins in a row that began on March 16 and ended on May 11 was a club record.

Arbroath’s Player/Manager Paul Sheerin scored more goals than the 7 other Player/Managers in the SFL combined. Sheerin only scored 4 although his goal against Brechin this season was number 100 of his career.

Stirling Albion’s 9-1 win over East Stirlingshire on March 9 was their highest ever League win.

IRN-BRU Scottish Football League - End of Season Awards Dinner - Season 2012/13

To celebrate the phenomenal achievements of last season, League sponsor IRN-BRU hosted a gala Dinner in Glasgow on Thursday night to hand out Awards to the top performers in season 2012/ 2013.

Here are the results -


The Nominations were:

Lee McCulloch (Rangers)
Ibrox captain Lee McCulloch was the figurehead on the pitch as Rangers secured the IRN-BRU Third Division title. McCulloch used his vast experience to play in a variety of positions and he also found the net 23 times including the opening goal in a 2-0 Cup success over SPL side Motherwell.

David Anderson (Queen’s Park)
Often described as the hidden gem in the Third Division David Anderson’s terrific form for Queen’s Park was finally acknowledged this season with an Irn-Bru Player of the Month Award.

David also finally found the net for Spiders this season after two years of waiting. A real players player.

Rory McAllister (Peterhead)
The Blue Toon Goal Machine Rory McAllister ended the season with 12 goals in 11 games. He started with 6 in 6 and ended up with 23 goals in total. Manager Jim McInally said this season – “I love the big guy although sometimes he does not realise just how good he is.”

The Winner was – David Anderson of Queen’s Park
David AndersonDavid said after being presented with his award: “I almost never made it to the Awards Dinner as I was held up at my work. I am delighted I got here now.

I feel great at winning the IRN-BRU Third Division Player of the Year and it is a great boost after the disappointing end to the season we had in the play-offs. With Rangers being in the Third Division this season being chosen as the best player is pretty special.

I am delighted to have scored now at both ends of Hampden and in total I scored 3 times. It is something I need to do more of. I was really pleased as my Dad comes to all my games and was always wondering when I would start scoring.

I sent him a text to tell him about this success as soon as I could. He will be back at Hampden next season and, so will I, as we look to go one better and get promotion this time.”


  • All the nominations for this Award were goalscorers
  • In fact all the nominations were for goalscorers at one club - Queen of the South
  • In fact all the nominations were for one goalscorer
  • In fact all the nominations were for the one goalscorer who equalled a club record that has stood since 1932

Nicky ClarkWith 41 goals to his name this season, Nicky Clark is the Phenomenal 2nd Division Player of the Season.

Nicky said: It has been an unbelievable season for Queen of the South and for me. Winning this award just makes it all the more terrific. To be the only nominee was a surprise as there are a lot of good players in Division Two.

I have now got to hit 42 goals to have a better season. People will think I can do that as I scored 41 this year so expectations will be pretty high but I am confident that I will do well.

Clark was released by Aberdeen 4 years ago and was relegated with Peterhead 2 seasons ago and he said: “Both of these events seem a long time ago. Players sometimes start at a high level and then drop down before going back up the way. Hopefully that is what I am doing.”

The Doonhamer’s assistant manager, Sandy Clark, was delighted to hear that Nicky had won the Award as he is of course Nicky’s dad and Clark Junior said: “I have got in touch with him to let him know and he was delighted to hear. It just keeps adding to our great season.”


The Nominations are –

Chris Erskine – (Partick Thistle)
An exciting winger who is a former Kilbirnie Ladeside team-mate of David Anderson.  Chris can destroy opposing defences when he slaloms his way through on goal as he did to great effect this season.

Chris will always be remembered for scoring a Chris Erskine type goal when the Jags won 2-0 at Falkirk to clinch the Irn-Bru First Division title.

Lyle Taylor – (Falkirk)
Lyle had a fine first season in Scottish Football with the English striker taking over the shooting boots from Farid El Alagui at the Bairns. The former Millwall and Bournemouth hit man scored 29 times last season including hat-tricks against Airdrie United and Dumbarton that saw him win December’s Irn-Bru Phenomenal Player of the Month.

Stevie May (Hamilton Accies* on loan from St Johnstone)
No stranger to IRN-BRU SFL Awards Stevie ended his loan spell at Hamilton Accies in blistering form with 11 goals in the month of April. He was awarded Player and Young Player of the Month for that feat repeating the success he had whilst at Alloa the season before.

The Winner was – Lyle Taylor of Falkirk
Falkirk’s Technical Director Alex Smith picked up the Award for Lyle and he was delighted to do so.

Alex SmithSmith said: “Lyle has been a great player for us on the field and off the field he is a great personality to have about the club. Hopefully he can go and build on this great first year and I would not deny him anything that is in front of him.

He had big boots to fill when he came in to replace Farid El Alagui however they do have different styles of playing. Farid scored a lot of goals with his head whereas Lyle scores a wide variety of goals.

He is back down in London for the summer but I am not sure he will stay there long as he likes the life style up here. He loves Scotland and enjoys being appreciated for the job that he does.

Lyle did really well to win this Award especially when you consider the opposition especially from Partick Thistle’s Chris Erskine. Chris had a great season and scored a couple of terrific goals against us and he would have been a worthy winner as well.

I told Lyle when he moved up, and I told Will Vaults the same thing when he joined, that Falkirk will not give you a load of money but we can promise you that you will go back down the M6 a better player than what you were when you came up.

We have done that with Lyle already.


The Nominations are –

Stuart Bannigan – Partick Thistle
Thistle’s Mr Effervescent started off the season looking to establish himself in the Thistle first team and by the end he was one of the first names on the teamsheet. Stuart also ended the season as an IRN-BRU SFL First Division title winner and a Scotland under-21 internationalist.

Lewis Macleod – Rangers
Rangers midfield youngster, Lewis Macleod, became the first Ibrox player to be voted for an IRN-BRU SFL monthly award this season beating his manager Ally McCoist to the honour by one month. An injury slowed down his progress over the second half of the injury however he made it back to play against Berwick in the final Third Division game of the season.

Stevie May – Hamilton Accies
The 20-year-old was the winner of this Award last season and his form with Hamilton has made him a candidate again this year.  He scored 19 goals with Alloa in 6 months last season to win the Award and after hitting 26 this season will he picked up his second trophy.

The Winner was Stevie May – Hamilton Accies
New Douglas Park Associate Director Andy Caldwell stepped in for the unavailable Stevie May to pick up his second IRN-BRU Young Player of the Season in a row.

Alan CaldwellCaldwell said: “It is fantastic for Stevie to be rewarded in this way and it is a fitting reward for him. We were lucky to get Stevie on loan for the season and he has been terrific for us.”

He ended the season in sensational form and probably like everyone else connected with the Accies felt that the season was ending too soon.

At the start of the season we would probably have settled for fifth place after changing around a lot of players last summer. We improved throughout the season and were going really well when we ran out of games however if we had won our last one to Cowdenbeath we would have finished third which would have been a terrific achievement. It was a great turnaround that started under Billy Reid and then continued when Alex Neil came in. Alex brought a fresh momentum and impetus to us.

We now have young players with lots of games under their belts and we will keep that philosophy going. We believe that when young players go in they stay in as opposed to dipping in and out.

Steve helped their development and being at Hamilton helped his development and it is great that he has won this Award for a second time.

I sat here last year hearing Paul Hartley singing his praises and now we can sing them. He has a big future in the game and if St Johnstone do not want him we will take him. We would have him back in a heartbeat.

I am sure however that they will offer him a new deal as he is good enough for the SPL. He served his apprenticeship in the Third Division last year with Alloa and then in the First with ourselves.

It is great for Stevie and for Hamilton that he has done so well.


Ten cracking goals were selected from the vaults of SFL TV and the judging panel of Craig Stewart, Danny Stewart from the Sunday Post and Lisa Gray from the Press Association had a hard task choosing the winner.

There was great solo goals, great team goals an overhead kick and a Paulo Di Canio style effort flung in for good measure as well.

The contenders were

Andy Rodgers (Stenhousemuir), Jamie Pollok (East Fife), Ryan Wallace (Dunfermline Athletic), Rory McAllister (Peterhead), Andrew Robertson (Queen’s Park), David Gray (Montrose), Nicky Clark (Queen of the South), Bryan Prunty (Dumbarton), Michael Keenan (Queen’s Park), Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle).

Tie in Third Place – Jamie Pollok and Michael Kennan

In second place – Andy Rodgers

Winner – Bryan Prunty

Prunty said: “The reaction to that goal has blown me away. I am still discussing it every day but to win this Award against all the cracking goals that were chosen on the shortlist is fantastic.

Bryan PruntyAny of them would have been a worthy winner so to come out on top is a dream.

I had actually won a Goal of the Month last season for a similar effort against Stenhousemuir in the first minute of a game against then so I can definitely saw that it was not a fluke.

I have scored goals at Parkhead and Ibrox in my career and they were great occasions and great arenas to score in but to score a quality overhead kick like that one is fantastic.

The reaction has probably been world-wide but closer to home as my boy Liam is trying to copy it. He is 6 and a ball boy at Dumbarton and I had to tell him that trying to copy it on the mono-block in the driveway is not the best place to practice. I am pretty sure he is proud of his dad’s effort all the same.

It has been great for the club and for myself to get the profile the goal has brought. We were almost relegated by Christmas but the recognition from that goal and the run we had under Ian Murray has been tremendous.

This is my third award for the goal as I got one from the club, a PFA Award so there is no space on my mantelpiece left and that is a good thing


This is a new award and is given to the shot-stopper who has had to pick the ball out of his net the fewest times this season.

The teams that won the three Irn-Bru leagues lost 23, 28 and 29 goals – an average of less than one goal a game and the three men that helped them do that was Scott Fox, Lee Robinson and Neil Alexander.

The winner not only won a league medal, he also won a Cup winners medal and is probably the most ever annoying goalie in a penalty shoot-out.

Lee RobinsonThe winner was Lee Robinson of Queen of the South

The shot-stopper said: “It is great to be the first ever winner of this award and to be honest I was not expecting it. Goalkeepers do not usually get the credit they deserve so it is another great piece of news in a great season.

I have had a few seasons where I was not enjoying playing football and if it was not for my mum and dad I may well have walked away but this year has made up for it.

My first season at Queen’s was disappointing as we were relegated but in some ways it was good for me as I got a lot of games for the first time in my career. This season however has been amazing and the manager Allan Johnston deserves a lot of credit for the good work that he has done. Everyone has enjoyed this season and looking forward to being in Division One. I had a few games for Morton at that level before so I am looking forward to next season.


The Nominations were –

Gardner Speirs (Queen’s Park)
Gardner has led his amateur side to the play-offs for the past four seasons and it is always done in the manner expected of Scotland’s oldest club. Good passing football played on the ground saw Gardner pick up two IRN-BRU Monthly Awards as his side finished third in the table.

Alistair McCoist (Rangers)
Alistair McCoist navigated Rangers through some choppy waters and led them to the Third Division title at the first time of asking. Their journey reminded him of how he learnt about football as a youngster with St Johnstone and McCoist is hoping that his young players go on and use that experience as well as he did.

Jim McInally (Peterhead)
Two years ago Peterhead fell meekly into the Third Division however over the last 18 months Jim McInally has turned them into a force in the north. Had a fantastic 10 game winning run at the end of the Third Division that saw them finish as runners up in the Third Division.

The Winner was – Alistair McCoist of Rangers

Ally McCoist was unable to attend Thursday’s nights Award Dinner as he was on a charity mission in America and the Ibrox club’s Youth Academy Director Jimmy Sinclair stepped into his shoes on stage.

Jimmy SinclairSinclair said: “Ally knows about the Award and he is genuinely delighted about winning it. It was the club’s first season full season in the SFL and to be honest it has been a hard road for Ally in particular.

Everyone at the club has come through a tough time but Ally has handled it particularly well and I am sure like me for once we are speaking about Awards and football. It is a welcome change.

It has been a season to be endured but Ally has navigated us through the first steps in our recovery and hopefully we can enjoy the second stage.

The Third Division was unchartered waters for a club the size of Rangers. There was nothing to benchmark it against but by the end of it we have done the only thing that could be done and that was to win the league.

It was job done on that front and now Ally is in Idaho doing some white water rapid sailing for charity. That is a measure of the man.

The former Queen’s Park player added: “I was delighted that David Anderson of Queen’s Park won the IRN-BRU SFL Player of the Season Award. He has had a good season and good to have that acknowledged.”


The Nominations are

Martyn Corrigan – Stenhousemuir
Martyn only took over at Ochilview in pre-season when David Irons left due his commitments away from football. In his first season in his first job Corrigan won two IRN-BRU Manager Awards and his team were involved in the chase for promotion until the final day.

Allan Johnston – Queen of the South
Allan Johnston led Queen of the South to the IRN-BRU Second Division Champions and Ramsdens Cup. The Doonhamers also set a new Second Division points record when they overtook neighbours Gretna’s total and finished on 92 points.

The former Scotland player picked up 5 monthly IRN-BRU SFL Awards in his first year in charge with his team scoring over 100 goals

Paul Hartley – Alloa
Back to back promotions have taken Alloa to the IRN-BRU SFL First Division for the first time since 2003 and shown that Paul Hartley is as determined off the park as he is on it. The Wasps finished the season as runners up

The winner was Allan Johnston – Queen of the South

Allan JohnstonJohnston said: “I am over the moon and it is a real honour to pick up this Award. I am only picking up because of what the players have produced on the park. It has been a real team effort and hopefully we can go on from here.

I have had a terrific first season as a manager and it gets better and better but we will not get complacent. Getting awards like this is a great feeling but all it does is make me want to work even harder.

Five Monthly Awards and one overall Award inspires me to do more. My assistant manager Sandy Clark was always kidding me on that he had won a Manager of the Year Award and now I can say I have as well. He will be delighted and he has been a big factor in what we have achieved.

He is a big influence in the club and as a young coach it is great to have someone with his experience alongside me.

We are both now working on next season already.”


The Nominations are -

Alan Archibald – Partick Thistle
Player/ coach Alan took over on an interim basis when Jackie McNamara took up the chance to go to Dundee United in January. An unproven manager he went on to clinch the First Division title finishing the season on a 16 game unbeaten run and picked up two IRN-BRU Monthly manager Awards.

Jackie McNamara – Partick Thistle
Jackie started the ball rolling this season and led them to 8 home wins in a row, the top of the table and a Ramsdens Cup Final place before taking Dundee United into the top six. Jackie won the first IRN-BRU SFL Monthly Manager Award of the season

Ian Murray – Dumbarton
When Ian Murray was appointed at Dumbarton he had a mountain to climb to get them away from the foot of the table. He climbed that mountain and two more as they finished in seventh place. A remarkable achievement for a first season boss in charge of a team that are involved in games where there was an average of nearly 4 goals scored.

The winner was Ian Murray – Dumbarton
Murray said: “This is a great end to my first season as a manager. The team have got me this reward as since Christmas time they have been terrific. We had 5 points from 13 games when I came in and the players have been great.

Ian MurrayWhen I came in I knew the players had ability but what we were missing was belief. My first game in charge was a cup-tie against Hamilton and we played with a formation that never worked and we were a couple of goals down by half time.

We never played like that again and the players showed humongous hunger after that. Looking back our first win 4-3 against Falkirk in my first league game was hugely significant.

That gave everyone a shot in the arm and then when we won at Morton in our next game we had collected 6 points out of 6 and catching teams above us.

We lost to Dunfermline but bounced back with wins and you could feel the belief growing. We never changed things around that much with just Paul McGinn and Scott Smith coming in.

A well-known Hibs fan Murray added: “Hibs winning the Scottish Cup on Sunday would be terrific and cap a fantastic few days. They have had a hoodoo over them in that competition for a long time but it would be great to finally do it. I am taking my son over just in case it happens and he can say that he was there.

However I will say now that if I had the choice of a Hibs’ Scottish Cup win and Dumbarton staying in the First Division again next season I would opt for Dumbarton staying up. I would prefer to be greedy and have both if I can.


The Ginger Boot Winner has already won a pair of Ginger Boots this season for finishing the top goalscorer last November. He has also won an IRN-BRU award for being the Phenomenal Player of that Month and he won a SFL Goal of the Month Award as well.

Nicky Clark

When you add in his PFA Scottish Division 2 player of the year, his IRN-BRU Player of the Year Award, his Second Division title winning medal and Ramsdens Cup success it really has been a phenomenal season for Queen of the South’s Nicky Clark

Clark said: “I have another trophy and I also got my Adidas pair of Ginger boots earlier this season. I wouldn’t mind getting some more in the future. Forty one goals this season will be hard to beat but I will give it a real go.

My favourite goal was the one against Arbroath which was a real team goal in a game when we were down to ten men.

Goalscoring is all about confidence and I had it in abundance last season. I need to build another mantelpiece now after the success I have had this season.


This seasons IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Achievement Award goes to someone who has given his club phenomenal service off the park. The recipient has spent over 40 years ensuring that everything runs smoothly at a unique club.

His love for his club is a family thing as on a very famous day in January 1967 he watched alongside his mum as his team defeated Rangers 1-0 in a Scottish Cup tie as his dad worked on the Turnstiles.

The recipient first got involved in 1970 when former Rangers, Dunfermline and Aberdeen player Harry Melrose asked him to take on the assistant secretary role which he carried out for 6 years.

Dennis McCleary

From 1976 he was Club Secretary and apart from a short period away from the club caused by Boardroom politics he has continued to dedicate hours and hours every week to ensure matters run smoothly whilst always representing his club professionally and making friends throughout Scotland and England as he did so.

This season brought new challenges because of the visits of Rangers to his club’s ground for live TV however again everything went smoothly. This was despite the recipients absence as he was carrying out a prestigious role in another sport that he dedicates time to as he was the Official Time Keeper for the FIM Grand Prix at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on the same day.

The winner of this seasons' Phenomenal Achievement Award is Dennis McCleary of Berwick Rangers.

McCleary said: “I had not got a clue that I was going to receive this Award however as soon as they started giving out the background information I knew it was me.

At one stage I was not even coming as I had been feeling poorly but one of our Directors John Bell told me that I should come along. I am delighted that I did.

I could not have missed this night.

My 43 years have gone by really quickly and I am delighted to be recognised.

I would like to thank everyone at Berwick and thank all the girls at the SFL who I have worked with over the years as well as the two Davids, Anton and Brian. They have all been a great help to me.

I am not used to being in the spotlight as I am usually in the background but I have enjoyed this moment.”


The nominations were –

Partick Thistle:  The First Division Champions are back in the SPL after a 9 year break and they did it in style. They turned Firhill into a Fortress and played with great style to see off the challenge of Morton.

Thistle were also Ramsdens Cup Finalists and a lot of their success was built on giving players a second chance in the game and their players responded with some great displays which culminated in a 1-0 win over the Greenock side in April that took them to the title.

The title was eventually won by 11 points and won by a fledgling manager, Alan Archibald, who took over half way through the season.

Queen of the South:  A record points total and a Ramsdens Cup win means that it was a phenomenal season for Queen of the South. Twenty nine wins from thirty six games helped take the Doonhamers’ points tally to 92 and the appointment of Allan Johnston a year ago has proven to be an astute piece of business.

Dumbarton:  The Sons looked down and out last November and a quick return to the Second Division was on the cards after just one win in 13 games. Under the guidance of new manager Ian Murray and his assistant Jack Ross they rallied and not only survived they finished in seventh place.

Dumbarton can also say ‘We beat you’ to every team in the First Division as Murray’s men took 3 points off everyone as they won 12 of their last 23 games.

Winner - Queen of the South FC

Nicky Clark, Allan Johnston & Lee Robinson collect Queen of the South's 'Team of the Season' awardManager Allan Johnston said: “To win 5 Awards is unbelievable. I came here a year ago having taken Queen of the South for one game and we had lost it. A lot has happened during that time.

You never know how the season will go but ours has gone really well.

We have won the Team Award because of the work ethic we have at the club. Everyone works hard to be successful and there are no passengers in our squad.

I have my own Awards at my house but this one will go to Palmerston as it is one for the team and the club.

It was also great that we were recognised with lee and Nicky winning Awards. It shows you how good our season has been when we have conceded the smallest amount of games and scored the most.

It was a great season and I am delighted to be back at the Awards Dinner a year later being so successful. We have put a lot of pressure on ourselves after winning 5 Awards and it would be great to be here a year from now doing something similar.


Jonathan Kemp from IRN-BRU said: “It is great to be handing over cheques for £10,000 to the Divisional winners of Livingston, Stenhousemuir and Stirling Albion. A sum of money like that is big for any club and I am sure the winners will be delighted with it.”

Getting 27,000 cans gathered is a phenomenal effort and if you laid them out end to end they would stretch for miles.

Every single can collected is recycled and that also sends out a strong message about the importance of recycling.


Adrian Troy, Head of Marketing for IRN-BRU, said: “The IRN-BRU SFL Awards are a great opportunity to get all the clubs together to celebrate the 2012/13 season. It’s about recognising the tremendous achievements of the clubs after what’s been another phenomenal season.”

IRN-BRU SFL First Division
Hamilton Academical
Partick Thistle
Raith Rovers
Airdrie United
Greenock Morton
Dunfermline Athletic
IRN-BRU SFL Second Division
Alloa Athletic
Queen of the South
Ayr United
Forfar Athletic
East Fife
Albion rovers
Brechin City
IRN-BRU SFL Third Division
Stirling Albion
Queen's Park
East Stirlingshire
Annan Athletic
Elgin City
Clyde FC
Berwick rangers