East Fife Football Club has shared its “great sadness” at news of the death of former player Walter Robertson.
Born in Buckhaven, the 18-year-old was signed from Bayview Youth Club in August 1949.
Coming from a family steeped in East Fife tradition – his father Walter played for and managed the club – the young Robertson could not put pen to paper quickly enough.
He made his debut at left-back in a midweek game against Motherwell at Fir Park ahead of the Fifers’ Scottish Cup final meeting with Rangers at Hampden in April 1950. Trailing 2-0 at half-time, a Charlie Fleming inspired comeback after the break earned the side a 4-3 win.
Robertson was perhaps unfortunate that being understudy to the redoubtable Sammy Stewart at the peak of his career meant his time at Bayview was mainly restricted to reserve team action.
However, he still had the opportunity to play alongside Scottish internationalists Henry Morris and Davie Duncan in those C Division days.
He was also highly regarded by then manager Scot Symon, who included Robertson in the squads for floodlit friendlies at venues such as Roker Park, Sunderland, and Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.
During this time Robertson was carrying out his national service and would regularly turn out for an RAF side packed with high profile players, such as Rangers’ Johnny Hubbard and Ray Wood of Manchester United.
Robertson was often heard to say that East Fife were the only club he wanted to play for, but he had to reluctantly accept a free transfer to Forfar Athletic after being released by Jerry Dawson in May 1955.
An injury sustained during his first season at Station Park brought a premature end to his playing career.
He returned to football as a coach, working with Cowdenbeath, and having a short spell at Bayview under former playing colleague Frank Christie, where he guided East Fife to the Reserve League Cup final in 1974.
Walter Robertson continued his close connection with the club, and was in attendance at Bayview on a regular basis until very recently, when ill health saw him move to a care home.
An East Fife spokesperson said: “East Fife Football Club would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Walter’s family and friends at this sad time.”