05: William Bodin




WILLIAM BODIN: ord. (ass. and suc.) 12th May 1920; trans. to New Ardrossan (q.v.) 31st May 1926




Glenafton Athletic begin the defence of their Scottish Junior Cup this weekend (weather permitting) with a trip to face Dalry thistle. The sides have met twice before in the competition and coincidentally each time in the 2nd round with the outcome resting at 1 win each.

However, Glenafton’s predecessors New Cumnock United also faced Dalry and you’ve guessed, at the 2nd round of Scottish Junior Cup. The “U’s” were formed in 1920 and played at Connel Park in the heart of the miners’ rows. This has been home to senior side Lanemark FC from 1875 but this club found it financially difficult to reform after the war and United inherited not only their ground, but their strips and some players.

It was in 1920 that they hosted Dalry in the Scottish having defeated Catrine after a replay (and survived a protest too) in the 1st round. That year of 1920 also marked the arrival of a new minister, the Reverend William Bodin, to the New Cumnock Parish Church following the death of Rev James Millar the year before.

Willian was born at Kilmartin, Argyllshire in APR 1891 the son of Coatbridge-born tailor Hugh Bodin and his wife Anne Hastie from Govan. By the time he was 10 the family had settled in mother’s home parish of Govan with his father finding work in clothing warehouse. William wasn’t cut from the same cloth and after graduating from University of Glasgow he was destined to make his mark as the Rev Wm. Bodin M.A. Not long after his move to New Cumnock he married Elizabeth Marr, daughter of master mariner and Martha Seaton.

Elizabeth would soon become a football widow as hier husband’s goalkeeping skills came to the attention of New Cumnock United and it the good minister who pulled ont the goalie’s pullover the day they faced Dalry.

In the first round the U’s had defeated Catrine 1-0 at Connel Park in 2nd replay courtesy of a Keegans spot-kick and then survived a Catrine protest and so on to the 2nd round

The Cumnock Chronicle Report reads—
United 1 Dalry 0
Dalry Thistle supplied the opposition in the delayed Scottish Cup second round game at New Cumnock on Saturday. The ground team had Bodin in goal; Joe McHallum deputised for Dunsmuir (injured); Martin came in for Clapperton at left-half; Gibb was back in his old place; and a Glasgow lad, Flynn, acted as a pivot. McDonald took a corner-kick, then cut in and netted before the ball was cleared. There was no more scoring. United’s last defences was strong and the goalkeeper clearing everything easily.

The league fixtures were not completed that season but United won the Ayr & District Cup and Coylton Cup (shown in the photo above – the 1928 is a mis-print it should read1921). A Grand Social was held in the Town Hall in July 1921 with the Rev Bodin as chairman, his place as first choice keeper taken by Sandy McDonald.

The following season United won the league and four cups and went on to completed a hat-trick of league titles. They failed to reached these heights again and suffered financially during the General Strike of 1926 and eventually folded in 1928 when Afton No.1 Pit was closed. The coal market would recover and New Cumnock United were reincarnated in 1930 under the new name of Glenafton Athletic.


In 1926 the Reverend Bodin and his wife along with their two young sons Hugh and Ian had left New Cumnock for the minister to fill the vacancy at Barony Church, Ardrossan. The family expanded to three sons with the birth of Cyril.


Three years later the family was on the move again after William filled the vacancy at St. Luke’s Parish Church , Lochee. He was chosen by the Church to carry out the experimental work in the seaside missions at Millport in 1933 and it was during this time a fourth son David was born.

During the war he was appointed to organise the Church’s big venture in industrial chaplaincies bringing in the idea of the padre for the munition worker as much as the padre for the fighting man.

The idea of industrial chaplains had been in Mr Bodin’s mind for about 20 years, and he was determined to make the work continue after the war. Two hundred and fifty ministers of the Church of Scotland became disciples in dungarees, with Mr Bodin as their leader.

He still had time for football though !R

In 1936 Glenafton travelled to play Dundee Harp in the Scottish Junior Cup and the local newspaper suggested that his “sympathies my lie with the Ayrshire side . In his early days he was a playing member of New Cumnock United, and Glenafton are an off-shoot club”. Glens lost 2-1 in front of a crowd of 10,000.

The Reverend Bodin also featured in the annual charity match between Dundee Ministers and Dundee Butchers at Dens Park. The report from the game in May 1937 . He walked the length of the pitch to score a goal for the ministers. Back in his own goal he was forced to “drew the feet” of an opponent at the expense of a penalty , which he duly saved.

The Reverend William Bodin retired in 1948 and passed away in Northamptonshire in 1953, aged 62 years.