Saturday January 20 – From the Chairman
With the postponement of today’s match, Mother Nature has cruelly denied me, and everyone associated with the Club, the timeous opportunity to formally celebrate the life of Peter “Mr Stirling Albion” McKenzie.
However, I’m utterly confident that not just those directly associated with Stirling Albion but everyone across the length and breadth of Scotland, whose lives were touched by Peter during his long association with Scottish football, will pause this afternoon to reflect and remember him in their own way.
The following is not intended to be an obituary detailing Peter’s life – there are others far better placed to do so – it is simply a brief insight and personal reflection on how he touched my life.
I’ve known Peter for close to half a century and without fear of contradiction I can state he was the kindest, most generous man I’ve ever had the privilege to call a friend. Some might say he was too generous, particularly when it came to the Club he chaired and owned, but I doubt anyone would dare to suggest that was a fault. Indeed, it is true to say that without his passion and generousity Stirling Albion’s relatively short history would be a good deal shorter!
Peter was strong-willed, some might say stubborn at times, but invariably when it came to Stirling Albion, it was driven by his passion and determination to do what he believed was in the best interest of the Club.
Sadly, Peter’s sale of the Club into fans’ ownership in June 2010 very closely coincided with the passing of his wife, Mima. To outsiders, she would have appeared very different to Peter but once you got to know her, it was obvious she shared many of his qualities; not least of which his unending capacity for kindness and generousity. Thank you, Mima, for the supply of coffee and shortbread whenever I visited!
Peter is survived by his daughter Tricia, son Jimmy and his grandson Scott. He was immensely proud of all three but had a special place in his heart for Scott, who suffers from cerebral palsy. In turn, Scott beamed with pride and love in his Grandad’s presence, although his audible lack of appreciation was occasionally heard when Peter told one of his jokes in the Peter McKenzie Boardroom!
In July 2011, it was an honour to bestow upon Peter the “Freedom of the Club” on the occasion of his Testimonial Match versus a Rangers XI. It came as no surprise to anyone that he donated the £6,000 raised to charity and SAFC Young Reds.
In more recent times, Peter’s health deteriorated and he was unable to attend Forthbank nearly as frequently as he had done since handing over the reins in 2010 (he seldom missed a home game and frequently travelled away to renew friendships in Boardrooms across Scotland) but when he did he was always welcome and still managed a (wee?!) glass of white wine.
I am immeasurably proud to have followed in Peter’s footsteps and I share the same determination and passion to act in the best interest of Stirling Albion but from day one I knew I would never come close to filling his shoes!
I’ll miss you Peter, in a way that words cannot describe, and there will be forever be an empty space at the Club that no one can come close to filling. I am, however, in discussion with Tricia to see how best we can visibly and appropriately celebrate his memory.