FORTY years ago in 1969 Ronnie Balloch, Jimmy Hunter, Jimmy Blyth and Willie Hendry were the founding members of the club people would soon come to know fondly as EKYC.
The club were originally named Steadfast Boys Club as most of the original team were members of the Boys Brigade, but that name was soon changed as some people were led to believe you had to be in the BB to get a game.
But this was not the case and EKYC thrived under the new name as they clinched the East Kilbride League and Edinburgh International tournament during their infancy.
Through the years the club had their ups and downs but the major turning point in the club’s history came in the early nineties when EKYC looked set to collapse.
In the late eighties/early nineties a lot of East Kilbride clubs ceased to exist due to the lack of players progressing through the younger age groups and EKYC looked like following suit.
However, the intervention of Denny, Bobby Savage, Dom McCluskey, George Lawrence and George McCracken – along with the help of this newspaper – ensured a health future for EKYC.
And as Denny explained, it was a pivotal moment in the club’s history.
He said: “Good people is the secret to the success of this club and over the years we’ve had a lot of good people here.
"A bit of luck helps as well and if we didn't do what we did when we only had one team left we might not be here.
“Robin Blackwood had an under-17 team and when his team finished that was going to be us in 1993. We came down to Robin's team and YC's Dom McCluskey convinced me to start up an under-11s team and that was a major turning point for us.
“We placed an advert in the East Kilbride News and in the end about 12 or 13 teams were spawned from a wee advert asking for players at all age groups and the rest, as they say, is history.
"I was helping out with what looked like the last team we would have but after that advert guys like Alex Lawrence, Bobby Savage and George McCracken turned up and stopped it from happening.
“We’ve now got over ten youth teams and things have never been better. So many kids are playing with us and that’s down to a lot of hard work from a lot of people.”
Denny has been with YC for 25 years and has managed his fair share of teams. But the one that stands out the most for him is his successful 2001/02 side.
He added: “My best memory has got to be winning the league and cup double with the under-16 team in 2001/02. Winning the two trophies and getting our big presentation at Hampden was fantastic.
“It was a great team we had then.
“The captain, Ross Matthews, came to us at 10-years-old and left when he was 19, but he was captain of the team that whole time.
“We had other good players that formed a great nucleus in the team like Gary McGrath, John Senior and Scott Williams.
“That's probably my favourite team because we kept a lot of the squad together for many years and we had great times.
“I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve always been a manager of a team and there are plenty of other teams that I’ve really enjoyed being with.”
In its 40 year history, EKYC have seen some of their players really flourish and make waves on a national stage.
The likes of former Motherwell and Scotland stalwart Rab McKinnon, Inverness defender David Proctor and Kilmarnock hero Craig Bryson have all passed through the doors of EKYC and that’s something Denny is proud of.
He added: “Out of all the team's we've had Rab McKinnon, David Proctor and Craig Bryson are the top players that have come out of the club in the last 40 years.
“I never managed them but I know they are good players and it’s something the club are very proud of. Rab McKinnon's dad ran a team in the seventies and Rab was in that team with him as well so they have a good history with the club.
“They were smashing guys and, as I said, there have been some smashing people involved in this club over the last 40 years and I’m sure that will continue.
“The players we have, the coaches and all the guys here put so much work in and we are in a great situation at the moment.”
As part of their anniversary celebrations, they have been trying to trace old players and managers to hear their stories from their YC days over the last 40 years, so people are encouraged to get in touch with the club.
Elsewhere, YC recently held a Sportsman’s Dinner with ex-Hibs and Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough and this weekend they will host their Gala Day at East Kilbride Sports Club from 11am until 3pm.
And with the club chasing a SFA Quality Mark, as well as their club’s playing in tournaments across Scotland and the UK things are looking good for the next forty years.
But what would Denny like to see in the next 40 years?
“Summer football,” he replies. “I know a lot of people are talking about it right now, but for me there is nothing worse than games getting called off all the time and seeing the look on the boys’ faces when they can’t play.
“For me it makes sense to play from March to October and have a break over winter.
“I would like to see that happen in the future.”