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Sports reporter who became renowned after-dinner speaker dies aged 93

Craigie VeitchA sports reporter who became a renowned after-dinner speaker had died aged 93.

Tributes have been paid to Craigie Veitch, who served the Edinburgh Evening News for more than 40 years.

Craigie, pictured, went on to work on the after-dinner circuit after retiring from the EEN in 1986.

In that career, he worked with footballers including Graeme Souness and Jim Leishman.

Craigie’s daughter Christian told his old newspaper: “Dad joined the Evening News when he was 14, his mother literally dragged him to the Scotsman publication doors as she could see the potential in him and didn’t want to see him waste it.

“He started off humphing the papers into the back of the vans. And he met my mother while working there.

“He left the Evening News really because computers were coming in. Dad being the unfashionable gentleman, he couldn’t cope with it.”

Christian added: “Everybody liked dad. He was one of those people that could walk into any room and make conversation with anyone. He never had a bad word for anybody.

“He was a great reader of books and he loved his crosswords. He actually compiled a couple of the Scotsman crosswords.”

Craigie had been childhood friends with Sir Sean Connery, a fact that became useful following his retirement from journalism.

Christian added: “Dad was pals growing up with Sean Connery. Sean wrote to him a couple of times thanking him for his wit and humour.

“He was the best after-dinner speaker out there. Working with the likes of Bill Barclay, Graeme Souness and Jim Leishman, lots of famous people like that, mostly from football.

“He had a wonderful life. He went all over the world for after-dinner speaking.

“Because he was on the sports desk at the Evening News he got asked to do the after-dinner speaking circuit and meet some wonderful famous people, and he attended wonderful dinners including one with King Charles.”

Craigie had lived with dementia in recent years.

Craigie is survived by his wife, who is also called Christian and was a typist at the Evening News, as well as their other daughter Constance, and three grandchildren.