HE’S received rotten fruit after breaking his leg, led his beloved Pars to successive promotions and a cup final, and is still waiting on a bill from Sir Alex Ferguson.

When you further factor in taking unfashionable Livingston into Europe for the only time in their history, having led them from Meadowbank, before entering politics, it’s fair to say Jim Leishman can tell stories to last a lifetime.

And, in an appearance on the Scottish football ‘Open Goal’ podcast, the 66-year-old Pars legend regaled tales of times gone by that made him wish he was starting again.

The current Provost of Fife has been synonymous with Dunfermline Athletic since firstly joining as a player, on an ‘S’ form, in 1968, before becoming their youngest-ever manager at the age of 29 in 1983.

That began an unforgettable surge up the leagues during the 1980s, which would come to an end with thousands marching through the town calling for his return after his controversial departure in 1990.

As a player, Leishman played 91 times for the club and, whisper it, was the last – to date – Athletic player to hit a winning goal against Rangers at Ibrox.

While that story was relayed on the podcast, Leishman told how his Gers-supporting father – “my mentor” – had some unique words of encouragement before he went off to prepare for a match against the Ibrox club.

“The very first time playing against Rangers - excuse my language but it’s true - my dad was winding me up,” he recalled to host Simon Ferry.

“I was outside at the bus stop and he shouted James - he’d opened the council house in Lochgelly - James! I knew he was going to the game, so I thought I better go and say cheerio to my father. He was sitting in his big chair and he was having a cigarette, and I went well dad, I’m away to the game, I’m away to play against your team today, the mighty Glasgow Rangers.

“He stood up, inhaled his cigarette, blew the smoke right in my face, and he said to me I hope you get ******. Sorry for swearing, but that was my encouragement!”

His playing days, however, would come to an end in a collision with another Pars manager, Jim Jefferies, in a League Cup tie with Hearts.

But it was what happened after that some fans might not know, and Leishman said: “Him and Drew Busby come in (to the hospital). I thought it was the Thursday; the accident was the Wednesday night and I thought it was Thursday, the next day.

“It was the Friday, I was out for the whole day, and they came in with rotten fruit. I think they got it from the front desk! Miserable.

“I was in a full stookie; if I could’ve got out the bed I would’ve rapped them right in the chin!”

However, Leishman and Dunfermline weren’t finished and, after returning to the club in a coaching capacity, he was offered the manager’s job – aged just 29 – after Tam Forsyth left.

With the club fourth bottom in the old Second Division, he rejuvenated the club, leading them to the title in 1985/86, and promotion to the Premier League for the first time a year later.

The start of the championship winning season coincided with the club’s centenary year, and Leishman said: “We played our centenary game at Dunfermline.

“Fergie’s at Aberdeen and I phoned him up and said Alex, would you do us the honour for our centenary game. He said I’ll come down Jim, so I said what will it cost us? What do I need to do? He said pay for the meal and the bus.

“I’m still waiting on the invoice to this day.”

Leishman kept faith with the squad that returned Dunfermline to the top division and, although they were relegated, they bounced back immediately as champions.

In 1989-90, crowds averaged more than 13,000 - one of the highest in Scotland – and the Pars finished just five points off Europe, only for Leishman to be replaced by co-manager, Ian Munro.

“That was a crazy time. The board got that wrong by not talking to me before,” he reflected.

“It was obvious Ian Munro wanted the job, and had made a couple of pals on the board, and they offered me the managing directors job. I was only 40 years old, not even that, and I said no.

“I turned it down and went away and did other things. It wasn’t for me.”

After spells with Inverness Thistle, Montrose and Rosyth Recreation, he joined Meadowbank Thistle – just before their move to Livingston – in 1995.

His journey with the Lions culminated in a third place finish in the Premier League in 2002 and qualification for the UEFA Cup.

However, in 2003, he made an emotional return to East End as the club’s general manager before taking the manager’s chair again in 2005.

With three games to go, Dunfermline were staring relegation in the face when he replaced Davie Hay, but guided them to safety with wins over Dundee and Dundee United.

At the end of that game at Tannadice, Leishman embarked on his aeroplane celebration in front of the thousands of travelling Pars fans, which earned him a talking to with referee, Stuart Dougal.

“Jim, I’ve got to report you to the SFA,” he recalled.

“I said you’re going to report me,what for? Over exuberant celebration. The Dundee United fans got a wee bit angry.

“I was celebrating keeping 13 people in a job, my colleagues. I was delighted for them. I said you’re joking.

“He (the match commander) didn’t like that, and you could’ve incited a wee bit trouble with your celebration, but you’ve got the right to say something.

“Tell the match commander to F Off I says!”

Before stepping down in 2006, Leishman led Dunfermline to the League Cup final that year, in which they went down to Celtic.

Despite the loss, it is one his proudest moments, as he added: “I think getting there was the biggest achievement, to take Dunfermline to a cup final. When you see the likes of Jock Stein, George Farm, Willie Cunningham, taking their teams to cup finals, and here’s this big galoot from Lochgelly. You can’t take that away.”

The full podcast is available on the Open Goal YouTube channel by clicking here.