President Garry Farquhar says giving Buckie Thistle’s supporters a day to remember means more to him than the cash the Jags will generate from their clash with Celtic.
The Breedon Highland League side’s reward for reaching the fourth round of the Scottish Cup is a plum tie against the Hoops at Parkhead.
It’s likely Buckie will bank a six-figure sum from the fixture – which will be played on the weekend of January 20 – when half of the gate receipts and a likely television broadcast fee are accounted for.
But Farquhar says rewarding the Thistle supporters is as important as any financial benefits.
The 68-year-old said: “My initial reaction to the draw was disbelief, it’s what dreams are made of.
“Clearly it’s going to be a significant payday for the club.
Buckie Thistle players celebrate drawing Celtic in the Scottish Cup 😂 pic.twitter.com/W0xmQpVIyd
— Fitba Patter (@FitbaPatter) November 26, 2023
“But the bigger thing for me is that we’re giving something to our loyal supporters, they’re fantastic and have backed us through thick and thin.
“I’m so happy that they’re going to get to see their club playing at Parkhead.
“I’m delighted for everyone connected with the club, but the fans really deserve something like this and this is as big as it gets.
“It will be a fantastic day for everyone connected with Buckie Thistle.”
‘You need people who are willing to go the extra mile’
Farquhar first became involved with Buckie in 2004 before becoming president in 2012.
He admits running a Highland League club can be challenging and added: “It’s not always easy.
“Every club in the Highland League, to varying levels, has some kind of financial backing.
“You need good sponsors and people who are willing to go the extra mile and do their bit for the club.
“It goes without saying that over the years I’ve had to put my hand in my pocket at times, but that’s something I’ve always kept private and never wanted recognition for.”
Anxious wait for result
Buckie reached round four by beating Broxburn Athletic on penalties after a 2-2 draw having played with 10 men following Scott Adams’ first half red card.
Farquhar wasn’t able to attend the game and was left with a nervy wait before discovering the outcome.
He said: “Unfortunately I wasn’t there because I was travelling back from a golf holiday in Thailand. It was only when I got to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam that I found out we’d beaten Broxburn.
“Then I heard all the stories about what happened, I was so delighted for the team that they managed to get through.
“I was on a high just being in the fourth round draw and what’s happened since then is beyond belief.
“I was nervous not being at the game and not knowing what was happening.
“I only got into Schiphol about 7pm on Saturday and I checked my phone as soon as I could.”
Farquhar was also keen to praise manager Graeme Stewart, who he appointed in February 2015, and who is now the longest-serving gaffer in the Highland League.
“I’ve known Graeme since he was a player at Buckie and I appointed him as manager and he’s repaid us in many ways during that time,” Farquhar said.
“We won the Highland League in 2017 and we’ve been knocking on the door in terms of winning more silverware in recent seasons.
“I think everyone at the club deserves this, we’ve worked hard to get into this situation and hopefully we can do Buckie and the Highland League proud.”