Obituary: Norrie McCathie

The death of Norrie McCathie, who was found gassed in his home on Monday, once again brings tragedy to Scottish football, less than a year after the untimely death of Davie Cooper. The loss of McCathie, captain of Dunfermline Athletic and one of the Scottish game's most recognisable and respected players, will have a devastating effect on everyone connected with the club he served for 15 years.

McCathie is one of two people in recent times who could lay claim to the title "Mr Dunfermline", the other being Jim Leishman, the club's manager, with whom McCathie formed a potent partnership which took Dunfermline to the heights in the Scottish game. Promotion to the Premier Division was won on two occasions, in 1987 and 1989, with McCathie the dominant figurehead of both campaigns. He stood firm at the back for three seasons in the Premier Division and proved a rock in the heart of the Dunfermline defence for the last three seasons as they again chased a place among the elite.

A rugged defender with a trademark moustache, who was also capable of scoring goals, McCathie played 563 games for the club, having been converted from a left-sided midfield player by Leishman on his arrival from their Fife neighbours Cowdenbeath in 1981. One of the highlights of McCathie's career was to captain Dunfermline in the League Cup final of 1991, after leading by example in the semi-final against Airdrie, in which he scored the vital penalty which booked a Hampden appearance against Hibernian.

Leishman described his former captain as a "Dunfermline great of the Eighties and Nineties"; everyone in the game as well as those who knew McCathie personally has been shocked at his death. He had a ready smile for customers in the pub and the night club "Nico's" in Dunfermline which he ran with his former team-mate John Watson, the two forming a successful business partnership.

Last year he revealed that his lover Julie Gillies, the daughter of a Dunfermline director, was expecting a child, and claimed people in the town were trying to stir up bad publicity against him. However the enduring image of McCathie is of him giving his all for the cause on the football field and the sight of a Dunfermline side running out without him at their head will be a strange and sad one.

David McKinney

Norrie McCathie, footballer: born Edinburgh 23 March 1961; married (two children); died Crossford, Fife c 8 January 1996.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living