THIS week's trip down West Fife's Memory Lane features photographs of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club.

The team is more commonly referred to as 'The Pars', with various theories as to the origin of this nickname. Some believe that the name arose from the team using parallel-striped shirts, their drinking habits or their style of play which was at times described as 'paralytic'.

The earliest theory claims that in the early days, when the football club was connected closely with the cricket club, the footballers were renowned for their performances at the bar and were hence called 'The Paralytics'.

Another school of thought involves English workers who came to work at Rosyth Dockyard and kept their association with their local team by forming the Plymouth Argyle (Rosyth) Supporters Club (with the letters spelling 'PARS' on banners that they displayed when attending East End Park).

The first photograph is from the most successful period in the Pars' long history and shows manager Jock Stein with the 1961 Scottish Cup-winning side. The legendary Stein took over in 1960 with the following words addressed to the media: "The team is in a precarious position. I have no magic wand but I will do everything in my power to save them from relegation." Not only did he fulfil that promise, he went on to lead the team to their first-ever Scottish Cup win the following year, defeating Celtic, the team Stein would later go on to manage, in the cup final.

Dunfermline flourished in this period and one result of this success is still visible, the Main Stand that was opened in 1962. Our next photograph shows it under construction in Halbeath Road.

The following photograph shows four great players from this era displaying some of the basic, but obviously successful, training methods employed at the time, an early form of step exercise using a plank of wood and some crates from Dunfermline lemonade manufacturers Woodrows. The players, from left to right, are Willie Cunningham, Jim Kerray, George Peebles and George Miller.

The final photograph is from one of the most notorious games ever played at East End Park on Tuesday, April 30, 1968. Dunfermline had won the Scottish Cup for the second time in their history the previous Saturday and many fans wanted to see them parade the trophy at the end of this final league fixture against Celtic. The gates were locked with 27,816 fans inside, many of whom had forced their way into the ground through the west gate or scaled walls to get in and who perched on top of the stands and on the floodlights throughout the game.

There were two stoppages, the crowd spilled onto the pitch after crash barriers broke and 49 people were injured. However, some sort of order was maintained with the game finishing with a 2-1 victory for Celtic.

More photographs like these can be seen in Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries (an appointment to do so has to be made at present due to COVID restrictions) and also at 'Old Dunfermline' DVDs are available online from

With thanks to Frank Connelly