If they ever assemble the highlights package of Neilly McGowan's playing career, you can bet on the maroon shirts of Petershill figuring prominently.

Not an altogether surprising statement to make about someone who is fondly remembered by Springburn followers for 10 years spent as captain and left-back (1966-76) in which he held aloft every conceivable silverware prize barring the Scottish Junior Cup.

The Peasy faithful tend not to forget easily and whenever he is back in their company, Neilly, even at 68 years of age, is assured of the warmest of welcomes as befitting one of their favourite former luminaries.

And the respect is mutual because Neilly makes a point of stifling an urge to shout "C'mon the Pollok" whenever taking in games between the long-standing Glasgow foes even though his youngest son Chris is nowadays ensconced at the heart of the Lok defence.

"Giving my backing to Chris is one thing, but it just wouldn't be right for me to be heard shouting on Pollok given the rivalry between the clubs," he said.

"Yet not a lot of people know that I grew up in that part of Glasgow and actually played my first-ever Junior game as a 16-year-old Pollok trialist in a game away to Rob Roy.

"I had been playing with St Mirren Boys' Guild and was invited in to train at Newlandsfield before being thrown in against the Rabs out of position as an outside-left for no other reason than the fact I was left-footed and possessed a turn of pace.

"Rob Roy's full-back was a veteran so my instructions were to hit the ball past him and use my speed.

"However, referees in those days only stopped the game for unarmed combat so I was booted black and blue by the full-back and ended up terrified to go anywhere near him.

"Afterwards I remember thinking the Junior game was too much of a roughhouse and not for me."

A year further down the line brought a change of heart and full-back Neilly was enticed into stepping up from his Boys' Guild team by Benburb manager Jimmy Cooper and he joined a Tinto Park side whose star turn was inside-forward Jimmy Smith, later of Aberdeen and Newcastle United fame.

His only trophy success in a two-year stay was in the end-of-season Erskine Charity Cup, so an ambitious Neilly was only too willing to accept an approach from Petershill along with Bens team-mate Walter Zimmerman.

An inglorious Peasy beginning ensued as the Jimmy Kiddie-steered side were relegated and knocked out of every cup competition at the first-round stage.

However a redoubtable Neilly earned his spurs and was team skipper when he and his team-mates came back up as Central 'B' Division champions the following season.

The West of Scotland Cup was also claimed with a 5-1 rout of Irvine Meadow and for good measure Petershill lifted the Evening Times Cup with victory over Pollok.

Neilly said: "That Keanie Park victory over Irvine Meadow is a game I always look back on as one of the finest Petershill displays during my time at the club.

"We were simply unstoppable with great players in the team like goalkeeper Andy Geoghegan, George McKay, John Pullar and Jim Traynor, who all went Senior at the end of the season.

"Yet probably the outstanding player of them all was the under-rated Dick Lowrie, who worked alongside me at the Inland Revenue and was later to become a two-time Scottish Cup winner with the great Cambuslang Rangers side of the early 1970s."

He went on: "A feared frontman in those days was Norrie Fulton of Johnstone Burgh, who was later to sign for Petershill. You wouldn't know he was on the park until the ball came into our penalty box, however I enjoyed testing myself against him.

"I had been the Under-15 Scottish Schools sprint champion over 100 yards when I attended Lourdes Secondary in Cardonald and was blessed with the recovery pace to get me out of trouble against guys like Norrie.

"Losing that turn of speed was the reason I eventually hung up the boots.

"The club awarded me a testimonial match and I never played anywhere else in the Junior game ... how could I have done that after those great times?"

Neilly's retirement saw him pursue the playing careers of his two sons, left-back Neil who turned out for Albion Rovers, Ayr United, Airdrie and Queen of the South and is currently with Super First Division promotion hopefuls Troon, as well as Pollok centre-back Chris, who previously featured with Irvine Meadow and Cumnock.

The proud father said: "The two lads have enjoyed terrific careers themselves but, from a totally biased point of view, I believe my grandson Chris, who is only 14 and plays with Kilmarnock Youths, has the vision and natural ability to be the best of us all."

Neilly may have descended from his Petershill heights, however he still retains a competitive spirit and plays five-a sides weekly at Queen's Park with other Glasgow taxi drivers, where he is a spring chicken compared to the likes of 72-year-old goalkeeper Jack McAndrew.

Well, it is in their make-up to be daft ...