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Tributes paid to broadcast legend Dick Donnelly

Tributes paid to broadcast legend Dick Donnelly

Tributes have been paid to broadcaster and journalist Dick Donnelly who has died at the age of 74.

A legendary figure in Scottish football circles, he’d been ill for some time.

News of the former radio pundit and freelance newspaper man’s passing came as a shock to many.

The tributes to Dick were led by his long time friend Ron Scott, former chief football writer of the Sunday Post and a past president of the Scottish Football Writers Association.

“I never heard anyone say a bad word about Dick and I knew him for over 50 years,” he said.

“It’s a very sad day for us all. Personally I will miss playing golf with him. He didn’t play often but always managed to beat me.”

BBC pundit Allan Preston, who first got to know Dick as a young player at Tannadice, described the news as “terrible”.

“When I was at Dundee United as a kid I got to know him well and classed him as friend. It’s sad news for Dundee as a town.”

The Tele’s Tom Duthie echoed those comments.

He said: “I’ve known Dick since the 1980s was lucky enough to be able to call him a friend as well as a colleague. Like so many others in our business I will always be grateful for the help and advice he gave me down the years.

“Through his work at Radio Tay and Clyde millions knew him as a pundit, but those of us who worked alongside him also knew what a talented newspaperman he was. He never lost his love of the written word.

“Even more than his journalistic ability, I will remember him as a great mate and a very generous man.”

Dundee United paid their tribute to Dick in a statement. It read: “Everyone at Tannadice is very saddened to hear of the passing of broadcaster and reporter Dick Donnelly.

“Dick was a hugely important figure in covering football in Dundee over many decades who attended all the major games involving United, both at home and in Europe, and was always entertaining and fair in his reporting. His voice was instantly recognisable on radio broadcasts. Scottish football journalism is a poorer place for his passing.

“Dundee United sends deepest condolences to his family.”

Before his long career in journalism, as a talented goalkeeper Dick enjoyed success as a player in the senior game.

During that period he had spells with East Fife, Brechin City and Arbroath.

In typical fashion one of his fondest memories was of scoring for Brechin when, in the days before substitutues, he was moved to the attack after breaking a collar bone.

Dick moved into journalism, first with the People’s Journal and then the Sunday Express.

After becoming freelance in the 1970 he continued to work for newspapers and via Radio Tay established himself as the voice of football on Tayside.

During his career the former Harris Academy pupil covered all Dundee United’s major successes and was also a very popular figure at Dundee FC.

Dick is survived by his wife Margaret, son Ian, daughter Gillian and his three grandchildren.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Telegraph website. For more information, read about our new combined website.