Coming from a hockey background (his father and uncle both played the game, as did a number of cousins as well as his younger brother) it is little wonder that the young Vishal Marwaha would find his way to Auchenhowie sooner rather than later. It is to Western’s abundant good fortune that he did as Marwaha has since gone on to win a record haul of caps in an international career spanning three decades as well as picking up trophy after trophy domestically for Western.
It is somewhat ironic that perhaps the most auspicious player that the club has ever produced made his debut at its least auspicious time: during the 0-0 draw with Stirling Wanderers that led directly to relegation in 1992. This proved something of a blessing, albeit one that came heavily disguised, because, as with several of his generation, his breakthrough season came in 1992-93 when the club found itself in Divison 2 for the only time in its history. Marwaha established himself in the 1st Team that year and went from strength to strength in the following seasons, eventually helping win the cup in 1996 and the club’s first ever league title in 1997, along the way establishing himself in the Scotland set-up following his debut against France in 1996.
As well as being an almost ever-present during the club’s golden era of the late nineties and early noughties, Marwaha’s international career flourished. He eventually played in the European Championships and two Commonwealth Games for Scotland (Melbourne and then Delhi), as well as representing Great Britain in Vancouver. Scotland's most capped player, Vishal amassed 190 outdoor caps for Scotland and 13 for GB.
Prodigiously skilful, Marwaha’s outstanding technical ability and control made him an opponent it was virtually impossible to dispossess and this, allied to fitness, intelligent distribution and a ferocious competitive spirit plus the ability to pitch in with important goals, led to his being comfortable in just about any midfield against almost any opponent. Latterly his career saw him drop back into defence with predictable aplomb. With his particular skill-set it was inevitable that he would be an outstanding exponent of the indoor code and so it proved as he gained 53 caps in an era when indoor international fixtures were relatively thin on the ground.
His retirement in 2011 - following the last hurrah of a final, emotional, Scottish Cup win - led some to wonder whether this might signal the end of an era. Happily, this is not the case and Vishal will coach the 1st Team from season 2011/12. There would appear to be more to be written in this particular story yet.