Move over Jim Leishman, nephew Shaun is the new man in town. Just about everyone the planet has heard Jim talk about his winning goal for Dunfermline against Rangers at Ibrox in 1972. That 4-3 win was the last time the Pars beat Gers on their own patch and, 40 years on, he still goes on about it. Shaun kept up the family tradition with two goals in the Tennent’s sponsored and Sun Sport-backed Could Have Been a Player match at Ibrox. He scored twice in the second half with his performance, and 25-yard screamer, earning him the man of the match award.
A jubilant Leishman said: ”Jim has never let anyone forget about his goal against Rangers. He is my great uncle but we are close and he has been to a couple of my games. He may have scored in the past but I won’t let him forget that I scored TWO at Ibrox."
Shaun’s display for the Rangers Away side, managed by Gers legend Andy Goram, has earned him a day with the Rangers first team squad in pre-season. Leishman said: "Andy Goram gave us that bit of inspiration. That helped me along the way and I just kept thinking about it. It is unreal and it just keeps getting better for me." His sensational goal in the 62nd minute put the Away side 2-0 up and he couldn’t have struck it any sweeter. He said: “I jinked to my left and then took a step right before hitting it. A couple of the boys said as soon as it came off my boot, they knew it was in. It was a brilliant feeling.”
The scoreline may make it look as though the Away side coasted it but that was far from the truth. There wasn’t much between them and the Home side, managed by Derek Ferguson. It took time for the game to settle but then it exploded into life when the Home side’s Derek Reid saw his shot tipped over the bar by Martin Wright. Amazing. At the other end, all Jonny Love had to do was tap in but it was a great block from goalie Willie Magee just before half time.
The second half was more open as the pitch became heavy in the constant rain. The Away side went 1-0 up when Russell Taylor slipped the ball through for Andy Gibson to slot underneath the keeper and then Leishman blasted into the top corner. It was 3-0 in the 69th minute when Derek Fulton netted from Gibson’s cross. Just two minutes later, it was four when Leishman showed composure with a neat finish.
Ferguson’s men pulled one back in the 78th minute when Darren McGregor slotted underneath Martin Wright. But it just wasn’t the Home side’s day when Denis Barclay’s whack off Graeme Allan bounced back into the net in the 86th minute. Leishman admitted he is not known for his goal scoring. He said: "I can’t even remember the last time I scored two goals in a game. The hat-trick was in my mind and when I had a chance, the keeper made a good save."
"The whole experience was unbelievable from meeting up at the Hilton, getting the team bus to Ibrox and then playing, it was just all unbelievable. I will never forget it and it felt like being a proper footballer. I felt important. It was a great day. I was just glad even to get to Murray Park so to play, score and get man of the match...It has been an amazing experience."
"I was buying tickets online and I saw the ad pop up. I put down the fact Jim Leishman was a relation and that I wanted to be the next generation. I played all the way up through from Under-13s to Under-19s at Kingdom Thistle. I now play for a team called Strathmiglo who are also based in Fife. I am hoping to make the step up to junior football so I will see how that goes."
By Ronnie MacKay, The Scottish Sun