Former St Johnstone player and league-winning manager Alex Rennie, 69

© SNSAlex Rennie (front centre) with his 1982/1983 First Division championship-winning St Johnstone team.
Alex Rennie (front centre) with his 1982/1983 First Division championship-winning St Johnstone team.

Former St Johnstone player and manager Alex Rennie has died after a long illness. He was 69.

Mr Rennie, who played midfield and in central defence, also featured more than 60 times for Dundee United after leaving the Perth club.

He enjoyed a coaching role with Hearts before returning to Muirton in 1980 for a five-year managerial reign. It was Mr Rennie who handed a young Ally McCoist a regular first team jersey and secured a then club record £400,000 fee when the striker moved to Sunderland in 1981.

Mr Rennie led Saints to the Division One title and promotion to the 10-team Premier Division in 1982-83, before the cash-strapped Perth part-timers suffered back-to-back relegations.

A fans’ favourite, in his playing days he clocked up more than 250 appearances for Saints between 1967 and 1975 after signing from Stirling Albion.

He was a mainstay of Willie Ormond’s legendary side which defeated Hamburg and Vasas Budapest in a 1971 Uefa Cup campaign. He missed just one of 51 matches that season.

The club expressed sadness at the passing of a “great St Johnstone servant”, and former striker John Connolly paid tribute to his long-time team-mate.

He said: “It is very sad news. Alex was an integral part of the team wee Willie Ormond put together and took into Europe.

“He will be sadly missed at our get-togethers.”

Mr Rennie is survived by his wife Carolyn, a son and daughter and his grandchildren.

The funeral arrangements will be announced later.

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