A new feature that we have brought to the BAJFC website is ‘An Interview With…’, a light hearted small insight to who the BAJFC players and management are. Our next interview is with the BAJFC assistant manager Ray ‘Jinky’ Farningham. Read below what Jinky had to say when he sat down with our website admin team over a bottle of Shiraz…
Well Ray, it’s been 37 years since you started playing senior football with Forfar Athletic back in the day, do you remember who it was against and the score?
Has it been that long? Feels like it was just yesterday… My debut at senior level was against a team I later had a few involvements with, Dundee FC, in the final of the Forfarshire Cup, played at Station Park and we won 3-1. I happened to score too, the third goal to wrap up the game. It was a great debut to remember especially winning a trophy and scoring.
Did you have any game day rituals or superstitions before a match?
Funnily enough, I didn’t have any before a game to be honest. But what I did do was made sure I wore different items of clothing before going to a match, as in I wouldn’t wear the same socks, tie, y-fronts that I wore the game before etc… I always had to make sure. Sounds weird but that’s the way it was back in my day…
Who was your toughest opponent in Senior game and why?
That’s a tough one, played against so many different tough players…but the one that sticks out was Graeme Souness when he was at Rangers during my three years at Motherwell. He was a tough guy on the pitch, dreaded playing against him. Always went in hard and committed to a tackle, sometimes too hard for some. But a fantastic player all the same.
Having played just over 600 times throughout your career, what’s your most memorable happy moment that sticks out in your career?
The final figure is actually 628 games in my career, you need to check your figures mate! The happiest moment would have to be scoring the winner for Motherwell at a packed Ibrox Stadium against Rangers in the league back in November 1986. There were two minutes left to go when I scored. Shockingly I was fined by the gaffer, Tommy McClean, for over celebrating in front of the Rangers fans, nearly causing a riot, but it was well worth it.
Who, in football, was your boyhood hero when and why?
I’m a big Liverpool fan so it would have to be the likes of Steve Heighway or Kenny Dalglish. Brilliant players in their day and a joy to watch. I also admired my nickname namesake, Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone of Celtic, what a player he was in his day.
Did you play for any school football teams or local Junior teams before turning senior with Forfar Athletic?
Yes, I certainly did that… There were two teams I played for before turning professional…Celtic Boys and Duncraig Boys, both based in Dundee. But don’t ask me to talk about any previous games for then, that was far too long ago now haha… Not even sure if they are still on the go today though.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your footballing journey?
I could say a few things here but don’t want to bad-mouth certain people or club!!! But for me, it would be watch who you room with when away with your club. One time recently when away with Broughty, I roomed with Tony McAuley, I was a tad worried when he walked out of the ensuite toilet in the room naked and holding a bag of baby wipes!!!
Another time, when I was at Dunfermline, I roomed with the late Norrie McCathie, a Dunfermline legend in those parts of the country. We were in Ibiza with the squad and after a late night out, we missed the last boat back to our island so we thought we’d steal a boat and row ourselves!!! What a state we were, trying to row this boat with paddles and three case of Budweiser! We never managed to get far out of the port as the local Police arrived, and with their guns drawn, searching for us. We jumped ship and had to stay in the water, hiding between boats, so not to get lifted. We must have been hiding for about forty minutes or so! Luckily enough Hull Kingston Rovers, the rugby team, were staying nearby and were out for a night out, they saw us and helped us escape by giving us money for a taxi…what a night that was!
Plenty of other stories I could tell, but I’ll save them for my upcoming novel I’m planning on writing and publishing.
Broughty Athletic are you first Junior Football team in management, how has it been so far?
It’s been great, to be honest. I’m really enjoying myself along with the lads at the club. It gives me great pleasure knowing that I trained and coached our manager Gibby when he was a youngster at Dundee and seeing him progress and into the position he is now as the manager of the club. We have a great set of lads here and we’re doing our best to stay in the Super League this season.
Broughty training sessions, do you go easy on the lads or do they get pushed to the limits?
Hahahaha They get it bloody easy…they wouldn’t know hard work or being pushed to the limits. I have my training routines and set-ups and we get along great during the sessions. They are a great bunch to be alongside, even my fellow Coach, Tony ‘Babywipes’ McAuley. That image still haunts me to this day I tell ya…
Finally, tell us a bit more about the legend Ray (Jinky) Farningham outside of football?
I am happily married to my lovely wife Poppy of many a year. We have two kids, Darren who is 32 and Holly who is 30. We are proud grandparents also.
I’m a wine connoisseur too and I happen to own my own Vineyard in France. It was gifted to me as a present and I love it. I’ve promised the boys if we stay up in the Super League this season, I’m up for taking them across for a visit and a night on the vino…but I’ll not be sharing with Tony ‘Babywipes’, that’s for sure!!!