Forth Sports Centre is renamed after football legend Willie Waddell

Fellow Rangers legend John Greig (pictured) unveiled the plaque proclaiming the renaming
Fellow Rangers legend John Greig (pictured) unveiled the plaque proclaiming the renaming

There is now a permanent tribute to Forth football legend Willie Waddell, after the local sports centre was renamed after him, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Waddell, who died aged 71 in 1992, had started his football playing career at youth level with Forth Wanderers before serving as an outside right for Glasgow Rangers, for whom his 201 appearances spanned either side of the World War II between 1939 and ’55.

And Waddell – who won four leagues and two Scottish Cups with Rangers and later managed Kilmarnock, Rangers and Scotland – has been honoured by an accolade bestowed upon him by the good people of Forth.

On Saturday, Forth Sports Centre was renamed ‘The Willie Waddell Sports and Community Centre’, with the plaque unveiled by Waddell’s fellow Rangers legend John Greig, who made 498 appearances for the Light Blues between 1961 and ’78, scoring 87 goals.

Greig played under Waddell at Ibrox between 1969 and ’72.

The ceremony followed hard work by the Willie Waddell Memorial organisation, who staged it on what would have been Willie’s 98th birthday.

Local man John Prior, who attended the ceremony, told the Gazette: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant. The organisation by the committee was excellent.

“John told a funny story about when Willie signed him for Rangers and tried to make John dress up as a woman and kick the ball in the centre circle. When John refused, Willie arranged for a John to be put in a bogey racer and a couple of guys pulled him around an ash park near Ibrox!”