A memorial service for former Arbroath FC captain and farmer, Ian Ross Stirling, will take place at West Kirk, Arbroath, on Monday, December 27, at 1pm.
Ian, of Dickmontlaw Farm, Arbroath, died at home with his loving family around him on December, 9 2021, aged 79 years. He was born in Arbroath on October, 10 1942.
He was an exceptional footballer, playing centre-half and captain of both the Arbroath High School and the Angus Select football teams before playing his first game for Arbroath FC’s first team at aged 17.
In his second season, he was the club’s top goal scorer, scoring 20 goals in 26 league games.
Ian became captain of Arbroath FC aged 21 years in a career which spanned 11 seasons.
He helped the part-time team gain promotion to the Scottish First Division in 1968.
They played Celtic at Parkhead in the Scottish Cup in 1967, the same year Celtic were European champions.
Ian retired aged 28 years to focus on his farming business which was based around Arbroath.
During the 1970s and the following decades, he expanded his farming business and established himself as one of the more prominent and successful Angus farmers.
As well as farming, Ian had business interests in leisure and entertainment.
He opened a milk bar in the 1970s which grew into the Meadowbank Inn and Carriage Room restaurant.
In 1981 he bought part of the Arbroath outdoor bathing pool and converted it into a leading night club called Smokies, which opened in 1982.
During the 1980s Ian was also chairman of Arbroath Football club.
He served for many years as an elder at Ladyloan Church and had been a deputy lieutenant for Angus.
Ian was a passionate sportsman and after retiring from football, he took up squash and established himself as the No. 1 player for the Prunes squash team at Tarriebank, Arbroath.
At one point he was undefeated for five years. He was also a keen golfer and tennis player.
Ian is survived by his wife, Florence and six children: Peter, Lisa, Emma, Katie, Guy and Nicola, as well as 18 grandchildren.
His son, Peter, said: “Arbroath and the people of Arbroath were a big part of Ian’s life and the family would like to extend a warm welcome to anyone wishing to pay their respects at a memorial service at The West Kirk, Keptie Street, Arbroath, on Monday, December 27, 2021, at 1pm.
“Social distancing will be in place in the body of the Kirk, track and trace details will be taken and face coverings should be worn at all times inside the Kirk (unless exempt) including whilst singing.”
Arbroath FC chairman Mike Caird said “Ian, who was a familiar face in the boardroom for many years was an absolute gentleman.
“He had great knowledge of the game and took pleasure in the success of his football club. He will be sorely missed by everyone.”