A UNIQUE fundraising system is going a long way to help provide a stable base for Cowdenbeath Football Club to develop its future.

138 years of history was celebrated at a ceremony at Central Park on Saturday with the unveiling of Cowdenbeath FC’s Club 135 Roll of Honour Board before the match with Elgin City.

The Board lists the names of almost 500 people who have donated £10 or more to Cowdenbeath FC’s Club 135 appeal – fans, well-wishers and over 100 famous folk such as former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, tennis guru Judy Murray, former Scotland striker Ally McCoist and Hibs boss Neil Lennon.

Club 135 is an initiative intended to help Honour the Past and Ensure a Future for Cowdenbeath FC.

Before the unveiling by former director, Sandy Ferguson, whose family have been involved with Cowden for more than 100 years, chairman Donald Findlay talked about the history of the cub.

It was recalled that in the 1880s, the three Miller sisters came with their families from Cumnock in Ayrshire to settle in the mining ‘boom town’ of Cowdenbeath. The three sisters were Margaret Pollock, Gibson Dougary, and Agnes Ferguson.

Margaret Pollock was a second hand furniture dealer and her family included 8 sons. The boys discovered that football had not yet found its way to Cowdenbeath and as one son Dave Pollock recalled in 1952, ‘Mither decided that we’d got tae hae a ba’ so she went tae Glesgae and brocht ane back. That ba’ was really the start o’ footba’ here’. This was the first time the leather sphere had been seen in Cowdenbeath. Two of Margaret’s sons, John and James Pollock, along with their cousin John Dougary then established a football club in town in June 1880 – now Fife’s oldest football club, Cowdenbeath FC.

The descendants of the three Miller sisters over the years include John Pollock, the World Bowls Champion at Crystal Palace in 1907 who also built the Grand Theatre in Cowdenbeath; John Dougary, the local headmaster who also managed Cowdenbeath in two spells in the 1930s and 1950s, plus signed the great Billy Liddell for Liverpool FC when he was scouting for the Anfield club; Jack Dougary who for many years was editor of the local newspaper, the Central Fife Times & Advertiser; Jennie Lee, the Labour MP, later Baroness Lee of Asheridge, who was the founder of the Open University and wife of Nye Bevan, the founder of the National Health Service; and Ron Ferguson well-known journalist, author, and former Church of Scotland Minister – Ron wrote the classic Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil which told the story of both the Cowdenbeath club and the local community – widely celebrated as a football cult classic.

Mr Findlay added: "The club's history has certainly been one of fluctuating fortunes, and indeed the last 10 years has seen three promotions, three relegations and two play-offs to stay in the SPFL so that indicates who up and down it can be.

"However, we needed to get a formula to ensure that we could have a sound financial base and Club 135 was born, with us setting a target of recruiting 13,500 people to donate £10.

"That could see £135,000 raised over a period of time and the way it has turned out we have seen some people donate a lot more than £10 and we have had a great number of very well known people support the cause.

"We hope to soon give an update on how the Club 135 fund is developing but this is all geared to providing a sound base for the future while the month to month raising of funds is what the board has to do.

"It is brilliant to see so many people back our Club 135 initiative and it is something we hope to continue to see develop in the coming months."