Lesmahagow Juniors great Billy Harrison dies at the age of 62

Billy Harrison served Lesmahagow with distinction as a player between 1972 and 85
Billy Harrison served Lesmahagow with distinction as a player between 1972 and 85

A man rated as being among Lesmahagow Juniors’ best ever players, Billy Harrison, has died of a heart attack at the age of 62, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Billy, a midfielder who scored over 350 goals for the ’Gow in an incredibly prolific spell between 1972 and ’85, also managed the club for two seasons in the early 2000s.

Current Lesmahagow manager Robert Irving (52) said: “I was devastated when I heard Billy had died.

“To me, Billy goes down as the best Lesmahagow player there ever was.

“I remember the Lanark Gazette running a competition way back in 1978 where people had to nominate their Player of the Year.

“I was a primary school pupil at the time and nominated Billy, writing a story explaining why I voted for him.

“I was picked as the competition winner and received a fiver.

“I remember the Gazette photographer coming to my house, handing me that fiver and taking my picture.

“Billy was an idol in the local area, as he was born locally and raised in Lesmahagow.

“He was everybody’s favourite player.”

Billy first arrived at Lesmahagow in 1972 after being farmed out by Glasgow giants Celtic to “toughen him up”.

Little did followers of the Craighead Park club know then just how prolific the midfielder would be in 13 memorable years at the club in which be became a legend.