AddThis SmartLayers

Professional footballer who became weekly’s sports editor dies aged 92

Davie LaingA professional footballer who went into the regional press after retiring from the sport has died aged 92.

Tributes have been paid to former Dover Express sports editor Davie Laing, left, whose playing career saw him represent Scottish clubs Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian and Clyde FC.

While with Clyde, he was instrumental in the club’s 1955 Scottish FA Cup win, which saw them beat Celtic in the final.

He later moved to Kent, where he played for Gillingham, Margate, Ramsgate Athletic and Canterbury City.

After retiring from the game in the mid-1960s, Davie forged a career in journalism with the Scottish Daily Mail and the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch.

In 1969, he was appointed Heart of Midlothian’s public relations Officer and would edit the club’s matchday programme.

Returning south, he worked for the Isle of Thanet Gazette and Dover Express, from which he retired in 1990.

Grandson Mark Stoddart, 45, who lives in Kent, said Davie “touched the hearts of all he met”.

He said: “He started working for the Dover Express in the late 70s as the sports editor after working for a well known Scottish newspaper in Edinburgh – he loved his job. He never drank or smoked and was quoted as saying he used to swap his rum rations in the Navy during the war for chocolate.

“He was a family man with strong morals. His wife Betty whom he adored passed away in 1999 after they both retired and moved back up to Scotland where they were both from. Davie became ill shortly after Betty’s death, suffering from Alzheimer’s. He lived with his daughter Val in East Kilbride.

“She was devoted to looking after him. Davie had to go into a home when it became clear that he required more help than my mother could give him. She visited him every day up until his death.”

In 2011 he was inducted into Clyde FC’s ‘Hall of Fame’, where he bravely managed to make an acceptance speech despite living with Alzheimer’s disease.

To commemorate Davie, Clyde will hold a minute’s silence and publish a programme tribute to him before their Scottish League Cup match against Dumbarton on Saturday.