A dear friend and trusted colleague
I doubt there are ever the right words when you lose someone close to you but I just want to publicly say thank you to Rod for a friendship that began the day we started at Allan’s Primary School in the late 1950s.
These are my words and a few memories, not a life history, and my thoughts and sympathies are extended to his wife, Nancy, his son, Richard, daughters, Claire and Charlotte, and his grandchildren at this very sad time.
Rod and I were friends from day one at primary school. He was the clever one and I was the one that was always getting into trouble! My earliest sporting memories are of us playing football in Victoria Square, at a time when parents didn’t need to worry about whether you got home before dark, which we seldom did, seven days a week!
Our Stirling Albion love affair must have started around 1959 but my first memories are of walking together to Annfield listening to Telstar by the Tornadoes which wasn’t released until 1962. Other early memories include selling programmes together at the top of The Craigs which got us free entry and of playing 20-plus a-side on the pitch at half-time at reserve games!
Rod and I shared a love of sport but sadly neither of us were cut out (i.e. good enough) for a career in football. Instead, we developed a passion for cricket and hockey as we continued our education at The High School of Stirling. Rod’s status as the clever one was further rubber stamped as I continued my uncanny knack of getting into trouble. Rod was rewarded with being a made a School Prefect in Year 5 and I wasn’t! As a side note, I’m pretty sure the Prefect’s Room was where Rod and Nancy’s romance blossomed!
For many years Rod and I played cricket together at Stirling County and in later years, indeed right up until shortly before his passing, Rod was a key figure behind the scenes, tirelessly serving on the Club Committee. He will be as hugely missed around New Williamfield as he will be at Forthbank.
Rod’s work took him away from Scotland for a good number of years but we kept in touch, exchanging views on the ups and downs of being a Bino. Rod had always been determined to return to Stirling following his retirement and I had been equally determined, knowing what an undoubted asset he would be, that he would join the Club Board on doing so.
Mission was accomplished in January 2015 and, without fear of contradiction, I can confirm he became a key player from day one. His value across a wide range of responsibilities was immense. Above all, he was a calming influence and a great personal support to me personally during some difficult times; indeed, had it not been for Rod, I doubt I would still be serving the Club that has been a huge part of both our lives for over 60 years.
Rod, it was a privilege and honour to have been a part of your life. The dignity and strength you displayed throughout your illness was simply remarkable. On behalf of everyone at Stirling Albion Football Club, thank you for everything you did.
Rest in Peace, my friend.