Steven Canning is a bona fide lower-league superstar. The midfielder-cum-full-back-cum-striker has been part of two of the best teams of the last decade: Queen’s Park’s tremendous side of 2006-07; and the Crazy Gang, Albion Rovers’ promotion-winners of 2010-11 who would defy expectations and survive the Second Division the following year.
In this feature-length edition of the Pelé Podcast, Canning joins Craig G Telfer in the studio (a landmark event!) to look back on his successful career. He analyses his formative years at Queen’s Park – his breakthrough into John McCormack’s first team, working under Kenny Brannigan, breaking his leg twice – before talking at length about how their youthful side blossomed into something fabulous under Billy Stark. Canning examines their stunning rise from 2006 until his departure in 2008.
He then goes on to discuss his frustrating two seasons at Brechin City and his difficulties working under Jim Duffy, and then moves on to talk about his transfer to Paul Martin’s celebrated Crazy Gang in 2010. Albion Rovers were the little team who dreamed big, and Canning reminisces on their indefatigable team spirit and how Martin drove them on to their famous promotion.
Since retiring from the senior game in 2012, Canning has gone on to front a series of genial “how to” videos for SSE. Have you ever wondered how to bleed a radiator but were too afraid to ask?
This is an essential listen, not just for Queen’s Park and Albion Rovers fans, but for anyone with an interest in Scottish football. These were two of the most remarkable sides in recent lower-league history and Canning offers a thrilling insight into what made them so.