A GLASGOW five-a-side football club is celebrating its 30th birthday.

GOALS nine-pitch club in Shawlands will be marking three decades of operation this Autumn,

To celebrate the milestone, Brian McGee of Simple Minds has recounted his favourite memories of the club.

The musician has spoken of the health benefits of playing regular 5s, what changes he has observed in the five-a-side operator.

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GOALS: What’s the best thing about playing regular 5-a-side football?

BM: Well for me the best thing about playing 5s regularly is the obvious health benefits as long as you come off the park unscathed! It’s also very therapeutic on a Thursday night just before the weekend and how important it is to get a win. I’m a very competitive person at everything and I am always buzzing after coming off from a win on a Thursday night. Makes my weekend.

GOALS: What positive changes have you seen at GOALS Glasgow South over the years?

BM: When GOALS was first opened it was portakabins that were on the site for showers and the office, it was all a bit rough around the edges. So the changes over the years have been amazing. Now we have a state-of-the-art surface and lighting, a function suite added for parties, bar facilities and food, phone apps for booking and paying and also finding players has become a lot easier. The building has had an enormous investment on the whole including the surrounding area such as the car park being resurfaced. There’s also a lot more females playing too which is great. Overall GOALS has become a family place and I see a lot more mothers and fathers coming with their children for training sessions and all sorts.

GOALS: What do you think 5-a-side football will look like in 30 years’ time, or even 10 years down the line?

BM: I honestly can’t imagine what the next stage will be. Obviously the surfaces will keep getting better and better till they are hard to tell if they are real grass or not. Undersoil heating maybe for the cold winter games? No need then for shovels and hard work salting the pitches.

GOALS: Which 5-a-side prototype do you fit?

BM: I am your archetypal team leader – the one that is talking all the way through the game to my team-mates encouraging and pushing them to never give up even if we are ten down. Talking to each player knowing what makes them tick and saying things to them to motivate. I’m not shy of a tackle either but I hate going in GOALS so take my turn reluctantly!

GOALS: Who would make up your dream 5-a-side team?

BM: My dream 5s team is easy. Best player ever George Best as my main striker. Terry Butcher as my captain. Gordon Banks as my goalie. Eric Cantona and Ronaldo as my other two. You can tell I’m a bit older than most with my choice but I’ve seen these guys in action and my team would be unstoppable.

GOALS: Favourite 5-a-side team name you’ve heard?

BM: Some of the team names in the leagues are hilarious, some I can’t mention because they are a bit on the cheeky side, but my favourites are 1. Borussia Teeth 2. Murder on Zidane’s floor and 3.Petr Cech yourself. There are loads and loads. I’m always checking the league tables for new ones.

GOALS: What would your message be to people about the benefits of playing regular 5s?

BM: I love it and get a buzz from playing outside in the fresh air still. As long as you stay away from injuries you will be fine. I play two games a week still and I will be 60 next year but it does take that wee bit longer to recover.

GOALS: And finally, anything you want to say to the many people who have played 5s with you over the years?

BM: I would like to thank all my friends and friends of friends who have passed through the GOALS gates and played alongside me and for showing up and being involved in all the games we have had over such a long period of time. May there be many more to come.

I am hoping GOALS will rename the pitch in my name at some point as I have paid for it years ago!

GOALS’ Head of Marketing J.P. Murphy said: “It’s amazing that 30 years have passed since the first game of football at GOALS Glasgow South and to hear from one of the players who has enjoyed a weekly football fix through all those years was a pleasure.

“Modern life is unrecognisable from 30 years ago thanks to all the advances made possible by technology but at the end of the day, a game of 5-a-side football will always be just that. What we’ve managed to do at GOALS is enhance the experience of players on and off the pitch, from the quality of the surface and our changing rooms to investment in our clubhouse and the ability to pay without that messy exchange of coins two minutes before a match.

“From 1988 to 2018, the commitment shown by 5-a-side footballers from Glasgow and those who play at our 36 clubs across Scotland and England has been a constant. We wish GOALS Glasgow South a happy 30th birthday and thank all the players like Brian who have enjoyed their football during those decades – here’s to another 30 years of 5-a-side football ahead.”