TRIBUTES have been paid to a Lochgelly man who has this week been described as “a true gentleman”.
Ronnie Ross, from Station Road, died on June 3 after a long illness, aged 89, and everyone connected with Lochgelly Albert FC expressed their sadness at the news.
Club chairman, Jock Kinnell, said: “Jock was the club secretary more than 50 years ago and he could tell you anything you wanted to know about the history of the club.
“One of the great memories he had was the Scottish Junior Cup-tie with Boness, at the Tap of the Toun, when 11,500 packed into the then Gardiner’s Park on a fantastic day for the club.
“Ronnie was steeped in the club and even more recently, when he was battling illness, he would come to a game if he could. He was a true gentleman of the junior game.”
He was brought-up in Launcherhead Road and Station Road, in the town, but moved to Dunfermline to work as a clerk in solicitors office.
However, on the day England won the World Cup in 1966, he and wife Margaret, moved backed to Station Road, in Lochgelly.
He joined the civil service and worked for many decades at RAF Pitreavie, before retiring aged 65 in 1997.
Away from his work Ronnie was busy organising the Fife Junior Football League.
Kenneth, one of his two sons, recalled to the Times: “His father was on the committee of the Albert and when the secretary’s position became vacant dad was persuaded to take on the post.
“He spent ten years in the role before moving on to take over the running of the Fife Junior League, a position he held for 40 years.
“As league secretary he was a stickler for things to be done properly. I had become a referee and one snowy morning he ordered me down to Central Park, Crosshill, as the snow piled up.
“I said to him that there was no way the game would go ahead, but he sent me down the station brae to inspect the park!”
Kenneth added: “Junior football was the focus of his life and he knew absolutely everything about the Albert.”
At a Scottish Junior Football Association AGM, held in Dunfermline, in 2014 part of the proceedings saw Ronnie presented with a crystal decanter and glasses following his retirement from Junior Football Administration after almost 60 years.
He began as secretary of the Albert, then went on to run the Fife Junior FA as well as the Fife & Lothian Association.
After the advent of the East Super League, etc, Ronnie continued to run the Fife & Lothians Cup, but in 2014 he decided to stand down from that due to age and ill-health.
On the day it was stated: “Quite rightly, the word ‘Legend’ is used to describe some junior stalwarts, but Ronnie is not just a step above, but maybe two or three!”
Ronnie is survived by wife Margaret, sons Kenneth and Derek, four grandchildren and one great grandson, and his funeral will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at 11.45am at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.