AH wrote lest week anent ma wee village’s fitba team, Glenafton Athletic FC, their byordnar season an the furthcomin Scottish Junior Cup final played oan Sunday past. Mind, ah hae tae stairt wi an awfie confession – ah didnae get tae the gemm!

Fir months syne ah’d bin buiked tae dae a poetry event at the Robert Burns Museum in Alloway, Ayr, wi Professor Alan Riach. Ah cuidnae get oot o this, tho ah did get hame in time tae see the Glens's winning goal oan the excellent cuiverage bi BBC Alba.

Things didnae stairt auspiciously fir the Glens tho. Wir arch-rivals, Auchinleck Talbot, scored the first goal o the match, an fir a wee while it luiked lik New Cumnock’s fairytale saison wid syne crash tae the yird. Syne tho, in the 27th meenit Cammy Marlow equalised fir the Glens – an the double wis athin oor grasp agane!

Earlier that mornin ah’d drave up tae the Co-Op fir ma mornin paper, an the streets wir awaash wi rid an white flags an banners!

The fans wir aa stairtin tae gaither up at the various airts whaur they board their coaches. It minded me o thon Where’s Wally? buiks, whaur ye hae tae try an spot the wee character dressed in his rid an white strippit jumber an hat – but here oan the streets o New Cumnock thair wis hunners o thaim!! A richt family affair tae! Grannies an grandpas, mithers an faithers, an weans aa kitted oot in their Glens taps.

Noo, hours later oan the telly, they thranged the stand at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock, roarin their team oan tae glory!

Mind, it wis aiblins a case fir a wee while o Alex Ferguson’s “squeaky bum time”, as the Glens focht aff a determined spell o Talbot attackin. The Glens held their nerve tho, an ye cuid sense thaim settlin intae the weel iled an drilled machine that hus conquert aa before thaim this saison. The clock ticked oan … then, in the 78th meenit the baw fell tae the feet o Glens defender Alan Cairns. He lat flee wi a rocket o a left fuit shoat an scored whit pruived the winnin goal – a goal that wid hae graced e’en the Warld Cup competition itsel!

The Afton Army fans eruptit intil a chorus o upliftin chants that buoyed up their team fir the last 10 meenits as the Talbot attacks wir eidently closed doun. The R]ref blew the final whustle an the Glens hud duin it – the leage an cup dooble! A legendary team completin a legendary saison that wull gang doun in New Cumnock lore!

Eftir giein oor Margaret a hug – an haein a bit dance roond the leevin room, ah made ma wey up the toun tae the New Cumnock Working Men’s Club. Bi the time ah goat there, the fans wir juist stairtin tae arrive fir whit becam a verra lang nicht o celebrations! The trickle o fans syne turnt intae a flude; mothers wi wee bit bairns in pushchairs wir made walcum.

The first caurs arrived back frae Kilmarnock, horns tootin aa roun the toun! Then the coachloads o fans appeared – aa chappin an bangin oan the windaes. The fowk o Auchinleck, magnanimous in defeat, e’en lined the road in droves tae applaud their rivals desairved victory. A sea o rid an white fillt the club tae the gunnels. Then the celebrations really taen aff!

Aroond 9.30pm star player Ryan McChesney an the Glens manager Craig McEwan arrived at the club wi the Scottish Cup itsel. Aabody clamoured fir photies wi the cup an their heroes, an the boys stuid up oan a table as the stowed oot hall serenaded thaim wi a deifenin rendeetion o Queen’s We Are The Champions!!!

As is the wey o these kindae events ah met auld friens an faces ah hudnae seen fir years; boys ah aince warked at the pit wi – Jim Walker an Dawsie Whiteford, wha nae lang syne feenisht up at Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire; Bill Marr wha warks as a pharmacist in Wales an nou sings in a Welsh male voice choir! Aa returnin tae their cauf kintra oan a pilgrimage tae honour their team an their birthplace.

Glens players an heroes frae ither eras aa wir thair; auld Danny McCulloch, in his eichties nou, wha played in the great Glens team o the 1960s; Jim “Meashy” Marshall wha is still a stalwart organiser an commattee man; an diehard fans lik Pim Kerr an Boabby Guthrie wha week in, week oot, gie up their time tae support the team in aa sorts o weys.

Bi this time ah’d made ma wey ower tae Loch Park, the Glens's hame grund, an jyned in the festivities at their newly-refurbished Campbell Hall. Tae say the joint wis rockin wid be a bit o an unnerstatement! Mair auld pals wir met wi hugs, an John Campbell, the Glens's vice-president, goat oot a boattle o special Macallan malt an glesses wir clinkt tae the famous victory!

God kens whit time ah goat hame! Monday wis a duvet day! But whit a day! An whit a nicht! In sic rerr moments the cares o the warld are aa too briefly forgotten – fir a wee while we escaped frae the horrors o this past week. The First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon in his poem Everyone Sang (which captures the moment the war ended) kindae summed it up:

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless;
 the singing will never be done.

Cam awa the Afton! Weel duin the Glens! Truly, the pride o auld New Cumnock!

Rab Wilson is a Scots poet and health campaigner