Sandy Strachan, who has died aged 85, was a proud Dundee FC fan who went to Gothenburg in 1983 to cheer on rivals Aberdeen FC in their greatest European adventure.
After all, Sandy’s wife of 63 years, Evelyn, is the sister of former Dons assistant boss Archie Knox.
Sandy, who spent most of his career as a cable jointer with major utility companies, was often mistaken for being a Knox alongside Evelyn’s siblings – the late Jimmy, Arthur and Mag, and surviving siblings Archie and Jack.
But despite his affection for his relative’s teams, for Sandy no football achievement could surpass Dundee’s 1962 league winning season.
He was born at the top of Hilltown, Dundee, and later settled in Broughty Ferry.
Along the way, he worked at Caledon shipyard, Dundee, travelled the world with the army, raised a family and enjoyed retirement with Evelyn.
Sandy was educated at Butterburn primary school and Rockwell High School, Dundee, before serving his time as a plumber Caledon shipyard, Dundee.
He met his future wife, Evelyn Knox, who came from a farming family in the Forfar area, at the dancing in Dundee.
Sandy was called up for National Service with the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and served in England, Germany and Malaya.
During his time in the forces, Sandy was given permission to marry Evelyn in 1958.
Sandy sold his prized bicycle to fund their wedding and the two enjoyed a honeymoon in Alloway, home of Robert Burns, before he returned to the army in Germany.
The couple soon had two sons, Fraser and Ewan, and Sandy started his career with utilities. He was a high-voltage transformer cable jointer with firms including Hydro Electric and BT.
Sandy’s youngest son Ewan followed in his father’s footsteps with a career at BT.
His eldest son Fraser, who was a minister, sadly died in 1991 but Fraser’s daughter, Claire was born just seven days later.
Sandy was affectionately known as Ratbag to his family – including daughters-in-law Lorraine and Julie, and his four granddaughters, Sarah, Amy, Claire and Ruth.
Sandy’s granddaughter Ruth Strachan, said her grandad was proud and supportive of his brother-in-law Archie’s career in football and often reminisced of his travels to support him.
He was there with brother-in-law Jimmy in Gothenburg in 1983 when Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Evelyn and Archie’s father did not attend because he had an aversion to flying.
Sandy and his sons were at Wembley in 1990 to watch Manchester United and Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final, however, he did not attend the replay five days later.
Three years ago, Sandy and Evelyn celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a family gathering at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl. It was the day the couple’s great-granddaughter, Phoebe, was born.
Ruth said: “My Ratbag could often be found at my nannie’s side at Chalmers Ardler Church, singing offkey.
“He was also a very sociable man who enjoyed a joke and a drink with friends from the snug bar at the Dee Club, to GJs, the Three Barrels or Lochee bowling club
“His life was full. He went from being a young Hilltown boy, to a Knox brother, to a young married soldier in Malaya, to a cable jointer with BT, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He moved from Hilltown to Ardler to Broughty Ferry.”