A PEEBLES football club was shaken but not stirred as it celebrated its 65th anniversary.
Comedian Bill Barclay told the packed audience at Tweeddale Rovers’ dinner in the Green Tree Hotel last Saturday how the day before he had dismissed a caller claiming to be Sir Sean Connery congratulating him on his 70th birthday.
But it was only when former Rangers owner Sir David Murray called him up later in the evening that he realised it had been a genuine call from 82-year-old Connery.
Bill received the call last Friday from someone purporting to be Connery at his Edinburgh home, or so he thought.
He immediately smelled a rat, unaware that his son-in-law had sent his number to Sir Sean asking him to make the telephone greeting.
When Bill refused to believe it was him, Connery gave in and hung up.
Bill said: “I got this call saying it was Sean Connery here from Bermuda.
“I kept saying ‘Come on, don’t give me this crap, who is it?’ I know a few people who can do a good Sean Connery impersonation, but I couldn’t work out who it was. He kept saying happy 70th birthday and the talk went on for a bit as I was trying to work out who it was.
“But then he eventually gave up with it all and hung up.
“Later on my daughter arrived and she gave me a present from her husband Andrew who had managed to arrange for Rod Stewart to send me an email wishing me happy birthday.
“I knew that was genuine as I had toured with Rod for three months as a support act.
“I said to her to tell him whoever it was that impersonated Sean Connery was good and she replied ‘He would be good, because it was him’.
“David Murray then called asking what was going on, saying that Sean Connery had taken the trouble to phone me from Bermuda and I would not accept it was him and by then the penny was beginning to drop.
“When I realised I made a mistake I got an email address for his personal assistant and sent a message apologising and she said she would pass it on.”
Bill said he introduced Sir Sean to Sir David and they had shared the top table at an Edinburgh Press Club function when he was president and the actor received the freedom of the capital.
He recalled: “I sat next to him at the dinner and we chatted away all evening but I didn’t think he would take the trouble to phone me on my birthday.
“It was one of those unbelievable moments.
“A lot at the people said to me at the dinner I did not look 70, but I replied ‘You should see me inside’.”
Tweeddale Rovers vice-chairman Tommy Williamson said: “Bill’s story had everyone in the hall in stitches and added to a great night.”
New Dundee boss John Brown was also at the Tweeddale Rovers dinner, which marked the birth of the Border Amateur League club.
As well as winning the South Cup a record eight times, Rovers also hosted the French World Cup squad at its ground in June 1985.