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Albert Shepherd: Forfar Athletic will pay tribute to lifelong fan and former treasurer

Albert Shepherd.
Albert Shepherd.

Former Forfar Athletic director and town stalwart Albert Shepherd will be honoured during Saturday’s Forfar vs Stenhousemuir match.

The 87-year-old recently passed away and his life will be celebrated before the match with a minute’s applause.

It’s a tribute to a man who was both known and loved at the football club and in his beloved Forfar.

Forever Forfar

Albert Brown Shepherd was born on February 10, 1935, at home in the Angus town.

His parents Albert and Barbara ran the family roofing and slating business and he had one older sister, Kathleen.

Albert courted Marian McLeod from North Street Dairy in Forfar and they got engaged in 1956 just before he headed off for National Service.

Joining the RAF and based in Stafford, they didn’t marry until he was demobbed.

They tied the knot in October 1958 at Forfar’s East and Old Parish Church.

Home to roost

Albert recommenced work within the family business all the while attending evening classes.

He and Marian then moved to Essex when he secured a job at the Inland Revenue’s tax office in Basildon.

After son Alan was born, and with second son Iain was on the way, they moved home to be nearer family.

Forfar residents looking at housing plans for the town in 2010, including Albert’s wife Marian second from left, and Albert third from right.

In 1963, Albert began working for Don Brothers as an engineer.

And from 1966 he started working for Remploy in Dundee. This would be a career move that would span 30 years, seeing him become UK admin manager for Remploy Interwork.

Love to travel

In his retirement, Albert and Marian loved to go on holiday, enjoying 28 cruises.

The adventurous couple also visited Ayers Rock, the Great Wall of China, cruised the Amazon and stayed in New Zealand and the USA.

The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Royal Hotel, Forfar, in October 2008.

But in 2015 Marian passed away suddenly while they were on holiday in Portugal.

As time passed, Albert began travelling again, this time on his own.

During a coach holiday he shared a table with fellow ‘solo traveller’ Helen Turnbull.

A friendship formed and they met again by coincidence on another trip they’d both booked in for.

In the end Helen became much more than just a travel companion, with Albert finding in Helen ‘a very best friend’.

Forfar Athletic

Outside of family and friendship, Albert’s main passion in life was Forfar Athletic.

Although he had supported the Loons all of his life, he became officially involved with the club in early 1973.

This was when he became secretary of Forfar Athletic Sports and Social Club, and overseeing the takeover of Castle Hall for their social club was his first job.

Forfar Probus Club retiring president Albert Shepherd (left) hands over to new president Joe Black.

In November of 1973, with the social club up and running, Albert became its first representative to be appointed to the board.

He went on to serve as director for 10 years. Nine of those years he was also treasurer, during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.

Tributes

Forfar Athletic credited Albert with aiding the growing prosperity of the club at that time.

They said: “Albert without doubt played his part alongside others in that upsurge in the club’s fortunes.

“He was also part of the group who headed to Ontario in Spring 1980 on our first-ever overseas trip.”

Pictured in happier times, Albert Shepherd.

However, in 1984, Albert stepped down from his club position just before the Loons’ first-ever title win due to work commitments.

“Albert however continued his love affair with Forfar Athletic right to the end,” the club tribute added.

“He was a loyal fan, season ticket holder and a familiar figure sitting in his customary front-row seat next ‘door’ to the Directors’ Box.”

He also avidly supported many of the club’s fundraising activities and attended AGMs.

Other interests

Albert was also a competitive indoor and outdoor bowler, past president and member of Forfar Bowling Club for more than half a century.

He also convened the popular annual Forfar Open Tournament and loved to hill walk, especially near Loch Brandy.

He was an official in the Probus Club and lifelong member of St John’s Episcopal Church in Forfar, where his funeral is to be held on Tuesday, May 3.

Final ovation

Albert passed away following a short battle with both cancer and Covid, which he never fully recovered from.

In his memory, fans will honour him with a minute’s applause before kick-off at home to Stenhousemuir.

He is survived by his two sons Alan and Iain, and daughters-in-law Lesley and Lorraine.

He was also proud grandfather to Laura, Ashley, Matthew, Jo and Roz, and great grandfather to Halle, Kaleb and Ella.

You can read the family’s announcement here

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