Youth sports stalwart dies

Alexander McClintock
Alexander McClintock

A Bishopbriggs man credited with discovering Ally McCoist and awarded an MBE for his contribution to youth sport has died at the age of 96.

Alexander McClintock, who founded Bishopbriggs Amateurs football club and was fundamental in starting Scotia Sports Club, passed away last month at Lillyburn Care Home in Milton of Campsie.

A keen athlete in his youth, he trained as a referee during his time in the RAF in North Africa.

In his spare time, he refereed matches between Navy, Army and RAF teams – a good preparation for his time after the war as a referee at Old Firm games.

After the war, he settled in Bishopbriggs with wife Joyce and they had four children.

He was a referee and talent scout for St Johnstone, Dundee Utd and others. He retired from refereeing in the early sixties but went on to report on football games on Scotsport.

At the same time, he started Bishopbriggs Amateurs, whose captain for a time was former Rangers manager 
Walter Smith.

Mr McClintock was concerned about the lack of sports facilities in Bishopbriggs and was also fundamental in starting Scotia Sports Club to 
encourage youth involvement in sports.

He sacrificed a great deal of his free time to supporting the club, organizing fundraisers, coaching football, providing transport and laundering football strips (courtesy of his wife, Joyce).

Weekly bus trips were organized to run children to Glasgow for swimming classes before the establishment of Bishopbriggs Sports Centre.

Scotia Sports Club is still going strong. Michael Jamieson, a competitive swimmer who has represented Great Britain at the Olympics, had his first lessons as a member.

The Rangers connection continued when he later became a football scout, employed by several clubs.

One of the many boys whose exceptional ability he identified was Ally McCoist who was playing for an East Kilbride Boys Team.

Alex recommended him to St Johnstone and McCoist signed his first professional contract with them before moving to Sunderland then Rangers. Mr McClintock followed his career with great interest and they kept in touch.

In 2000 Mr McClintock’s contribution to youth sport was recognised in the honours list, and he was awarded an MBE.

His wife died in 1985, and he lived independently until 2010 before being cared for in the nursing home.

He died peacefully on February 6 after watching Rangers in a Scottish Cup Game on TV. He is survived by three of his children, 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren,and two great-great-grandchildren.