MEMORIES of watching The Haws as a young boy have come flooding back for one football fan after commissioning a special piece of artwork.

Desperate to rekindle childhood memories, Tom Johnstone reached out to artist Paul Town who created a "fantastic painting" for the 76-year-old.

Tom's uncle, Tommy McDonald, used to play for Hill of Beath Hawthorn in the 1950s and he would go on to play for Dunfermline Athletic.

A Pars fan ever since McDonald joined Dunfermline, Tom told the Times that he loved going to Keirs Park to see his uncle prior to the move.

"My grandma used to stay in one of the pre-fabs overlooking the football park," he said.

"She was Tommy McDonald's mother; he played outside right for Dunfermline in the season they won the Scottish Cup (1960), although he came down with appendicitis before the cup final and replay, unfortunately.

"He started at Hill of Beath, so when I was at Hill of Beath School I went to watch the Haws up until the age of about 12.

"When my uncle signed for Dunfermline, I was about 14 or 15, so it was after that I started going to Dunfermline games.

"But I'm a Hill of Beath boy and football's been part of my life since I was just a wee boy, and I thought it'd be great to have a memory of that time.

"When you compare then to what Keirs Park is like nowadays, it is completely different.

"It was an open field where anyone could stand around and watch. There was no entrance fee.

"There was either a raffle to raise some money or a bucket for the collection to buy the oranges or whatever."

Paul, who lives in Bradford, has become renowned among football supporters since setting up his business after around 30 years of working in the construction industry.

His attention to detail is present in his painting for Tom, which showcases the park's old Anderson Shelters which were used for changing rooms, Tom, who now stays in Cowdenbeath, recalled.

"They had no showers, obviously, but the shelters had a big coal fire in the middle of it and that used to heat the water for the tin baths for the players if they were muddy and needed to wash," he said.

"Oh dear, I couldn't see many players nowadays playing in the conditions those boys did.

"It's brought back a lot of memories for me.

"He practically picked my brain and put everything onto the piece.

"I told Paul what I would like, and he's really captured what I remember of Hill of Beath from the 1950s and early 60s.

"I'm over the moon with it."

Paul also used some artistic license to include a pit head and chimney in the background, as well as adding a nod to those who worked in the mines but have now sadly passed.

He explained: "I asked Tom about the area's mining history to begin with, but when I started working on it I said to him that we needed something in the skyline, so I included the pit head and the chimney, and it really brought it to life.

"The reason I placed the sun right in the middle of the piece was so the lighting from it could create shadows of the people standing on the side of the pitch and the players themselves to resemble and pay tribute to the miners who are no longer with us now. The sun's rays acts like a miner's lamp.

"You have to remember what has come before you and remember the history of an area and I think that's what people (on social media) have liked about it. It's not about the football park, but the area itself.

"It's a real honour for me to be able to do these for a living and for people like Tom.

"The nostalgia, learning and meeting people means so much to me. From that initial contact when someone reaches out, you build up a relationship with that person and I've made some real close friendships, mainly with people in Scotland, actually. Everyone has been very warm."

To view more of Paul's work, please visit: