THE founder of one of amateur football’s powerhouse teams has been left devastated after the club he formed nearly forty years ago was forced to fold.

Wellhouse Amateurs was founded in 1976 after a kick-a-bout with friends in an Easterhouse school yard inspired Robert Noble to start a brand new team.

But now, just a few months short of its fortieth birthday, the east end club has been forced to wind-up due to a lack of players, leaving 68-year-old Robert heartbroken.

He said: “It’s been very, very hard. I’m still very sore about it, for the two weeks after we folded I wasn’t able to watch any games – I just couldn’t face it.”

“We tried to keep it going but most of our players left at the end of the season and we just haven’t been able to get a team together.

“For nearly forty years we have competed so it’s just really hard not to be there.”

After starting out in the YMCA league the club progressed to the famed and now defunct City and Suburban league before ending up in the Scottish Central Amateur League.

They won the West of Scotland Cup in 2004 and picked up the Scottish Amateur Cup in 2013 and Robert says the clubs roller coaster journey has been worth it.

He said: “Some of the memories have been unbelievable. Winning the West Cup was special and the Scottish Sup a couple of years ago was also a huge highlight.

“We’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve been relegated and bounced back a couple of times but the journey has just been unbelievable.”

Robert, a retired plasterer from Springboig, dedicated 40 years of his life to the club - first as manager and later as secretary - hopes one day it will come back.

He continued: “I was 28 when the club started, so it’s been a huge part of my life. I was organizing games, referees and parks every week so it took up a huge part of my life.

“Toward the end it was just getting harder and harder to attract players but who knows what will happen in the future? If we get a strong committee then we could start recruiting and get it going again.”

With four other amateur teams also folding in the Central league this season, Robert fears for the future of the beautiful game.

He added: “Teams are finding more and more difficult to get players these days. Kids are more interested in computer games so there aren’t the same numbers as there used to be.”

But he’s philosophical about his own time in the game.

“I can’t complain, I’ve had a great journey. I had a really good run so I’m proud of what we have done.

“I’m an honorary member of the Central League so I will still be out and about watching games and who knows what will happen in the future.”