Tributes paid to 'wonderful' Jock

First published in Sport Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by

TRIBUTES have been paid to Worcester City legend Jock Airlie, who has died at the age of 88.

Jock, whose real name was Seton, made 24 appearances for the St George's Lane club between 1948 and 1950, scoring eight goals.

He went on to become City's chief scout throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, working with the likes of Ronnie Radford, Nobby Clark and George Rooney.

Jock, also a former manager of Malvern Town, was responsible for discovering many talented City players, including Roger Davies, who scored seven goals in seven appearances during the 1971/72 campaign before being snapped up by Derby.

He played for Celtic between 1942 and 1947, including a goal from 25 yards on his debut at Parkhead, and featured in four Old Firm' games.

However, his appearances were few and faw between after he was conscripted to the Honourable Artillery Company, the regiment of Tory MP Ted Heath, who later became Prime Minister.

Jock spent two-and-a-half years playing for Cannes in France following the Second World War before taking up employment as an engineer in Worcester and starting a long allegiance with City.

Rooney, twice manager at the Lane, said: "He was a wonderful man, I never heard him say an angry word about anyone.

"He was great company. He used to come down every training night and to talk to the lads and talk over the previous Saturday's game.

"He was fabulous. I am very, very proud to have known him.

"His involvement curtailed as he matured in years but he was always there, always had a laugh and a joke with the boys, he was full of stories about his playing days in the Army.

"He was a dear, sweet man. The boys all liked him."

Graham Selby, who played for City 300 times before becoming scout until two season ago, said: "I never saw him as a player but as a person he was a great character and he always had a story to tell. He was a fantastic personality and he will be sadly missed.

"He went to play football for Cannes after the war and he was telling us that there was an avenue of bungalows down by the beach and he was in with all these celebrities.

"Pablo Picasso was in the same avenue as these bungalows."

City chairman Dave Boddy added: "It's terribly sad news to hear of Jock's death.

"He was a remarkable and much-loved character by many generations of people passing through St George's Lane.

"His involvement with the club stems back to the 60s and his contribution to the club, mainly in a scouting capacity, was vastly appreciated and he played a large part in helping to bring many excellent players to the Lane down the years.

The funeral service will take place at Worcester Crematorium on Wednesday at 11am.

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