THE local community are paying tribute to a “true gentleman” following the passing of former Scotland rugby international star Bryan Gossman.
Born in Ardrossan, Gossman, 71, was well known all over the local area, in particular at Ardrossan Academicals RFC and West Kilbride Golf Club.
He was educated at Ardrossan Academy and played three seasons in the school first XV and two with Ardrossan Accies before he joined West of Scotland in the 1972-73 season.
He enjoyed over 10 years with the Glasgow based side, where he played both stand-off and scrum-half, earning himself a spot in Scotland’s national B sides.
Gossman featured at stand-off in the teams who defeated their Irish counterparts in Dublin and France B in Aurillac in the 1979-80 season.
He would then go on to win his first of three first team caps in 1980 against Wales in Cardiff.
He would have to wait three years to return to the side, in part down to his career overlapping with that of John Rutherford, as he landed two drop goals in a narrow 15-19 defeat to France at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
His final cap was against Wales at Murrayfield a fortnight later, with Scotland succumbing to a defeat by the same scoreline.
Bryan also toured France with Scotland in 1980 and Australia with the national team in 1982.
Outside of rugby, Bryan Gossman was a graduate in economics and economic history at Strathclyde University. His career saw him start as a graduate trainee manager with the Bank of Scotland at Saltcoats, then became a building society manager, first with Bristol and West and then the Dunfermline Building Society.
Most recently he was a senior partner with St James’s Place Wealth Management.
He was also a keen golfer, and was a once scratch player at his local course, West Kilbride Golf Club.
In an online tribute, a Scottish Rugby representative said: “Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Bryan’s wife Judy, children Peter and Wendy, grandchildren Ruan, Finn and Chloe and all his other family and many friends.”
Many of those who had the pleasure to make Bryan’s acquaintance were also keen to pay homage to him.
Councillor for the North Coast Todd Ferguson said: “I am truly shocked to hear the sad news of Bryan’s passing. He was always willing to help me whenever I called.
“A true gentleman who will be sadly missed.”
Bryan’s son Peter thanked those who had paid their condolences.
He said: “Thank you very much to all those who have commented. My dad loved his rugby and all the friends he made through rugby, golf etc.
“He was still coaching with my son’s P4 team until June and loved seeing the kids progress and enjoy their rugby. He’ll be massively missed.”
While many commented on his undoubted rugby talent, with one friend adding: “A very-sad loss. Brian was a lovely guy.
“But for his career over-lapping with a certain John Rutherford, I am sure he would have won a good few more Scotland caps.”
All at the Herald wish to extend our condolences to all family and friends at this difficult time.