A trio of St Johnstone legends treated one of the club’s most celebrated scouts to a trip down memory lane, as part of a sports-themed therapy project to help tackle dementia.
Bill Walker, 86, spent the afternoon discussing tactics and playing games with Saints stars Henry Hall, Roddy Grant and Atholl Henderson.
The get-together was arranged as part of Football Memories, an award-winning project that uses memorabilia, images and quizzes to help people with dementia and those who are socially isolated.
Bill, who stays at the Balhousie North Inch care home, is a regular at the Football Memories events which are held weekly at McDiarmid Stadium.
A keen amateur footballer, he was a scout for St Johnstone in the 1980s when Alex Rennie was manager.
His biggest signing was Don McVicar who won the First Division Championship with the Saints in the 1982/83 season.
A broker by trade – and secretly a Rangers fan – Bill had trials for Carlisle and Aberdeen, and played with former Scotland International Ian St John in the 1950s while they were at Douglas Water Thistle FC.
While never quite breaking in to professional level, he played junior football for many years in the Perth area, before hanging up his boots.
Although he has the early stages of dementia, his football knowledge remains encyclopaedic. It was this expertise that led to him being approached by St Johnstone.
Bill says his regular visits to Football Memories are his “favourite part of the week.”
“The activities are a challenge,” he said. “They really get your brain ticking and I like having the chance to talk about football and sport with lots of people who love the game too.”
The Football Memories team also provided activities for residents who didn’t share an interest in football, including making shortbread Christmas trees.
Bill said it had been “a great day.”
Football Memories was launched about two years ago as a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum.
St Johnstone’s former poet-in-residence Jim Mackintosh published an anthology to raise money for the project.