Football writing and commentaries are awash with clichés, and the term “one club player” is one of them, albeit one which is used less and less frequently in the modern era. In these post-Bosman days when players can move freely at the end of their contracts it is hardly surprising that such individuals are few and far between, and yet Queen’s Park have seen three players who have done just that in the current millennium: Ross Caven, Richard Sinclair, and Anthony Quinn. This is even more surprising because we are an amateur Club, and the temptations to move on and make some money from playing football are, for many, huge.
Ross Caven holds the record for total appearances for Queen’s Park. He combined a long playing career with the establishment of a successful consultancy business. He won a 3rd Division Champions’ medal in 2000. Richard Sinclair, a former captain of Scotland Youths and Club Captain of Queen’s Park, was also part of that championship-winning squad and of the squad which won promotion via the play-offs in 2007. His career was ended by a combination of a series of frustrating injuries, plus the time requirements of setting up his own plumbing and heating business.
And what of Anthony Quinn, also a plumber and heating engineer, who announced his retirement from playing last week at the age of 35? He came to us from amateur football in 2001 and during the course of the last 15 years he has been part of two promotion-winning teams, and has won Player of the Year awards on three occasions. He has scored many important goals for Queen’s Park (who will ever forget his extra-time winner against Arbroath in the 2014/2015 play-off semi-final?). He has also had the strength (mental as well as physical) to recover from two broken legs and a series of severe hip injuries which culminated in him requiring surgery earlier this year. He has worked amazingly hard to try and regain his playing fitness but unfortunately has had to admit defeat (probably for the first time in his life). Fortunately, he will continue with us as part of Gus’ coaching staff.
I cannot overstate my admiration for these guys. All of them had chances to turn professional yet stayed with us. Why was this? It is difficult to say. Loyalty? Love for the Club? The realisation that the grass may not be greener? Who knows. There is no doubt that each of them are proud men with a strong personality; perhaps that is important. Ross is a Past President, Richard sits on the Club Committee, and perhaps it is possible that one day Quinno will follow them onto Committee. All I can say is that the Club are immensely grateful to them.