Former Dundee United star Ralph Milne has passed away after a battle with illness.
The 54-year-old had been admitted to Ninewells Hospital last week and placed on life support as drink-related liver problems became critical.
Sadly, it was confirmed on Sunday evening that he had died aged just 54.
Milne was a hero to United supporters such as Mike Barile who held him in the highest esteem thanks to the first goal in the 2-1 victory over Dundee at Dens Park that won the Tangerines the Premier League title in 1983.
They voted him into the Dundee United Hall of Fame in 2009.
Mike said: “He was an ordinary boy from Dundee who lived the dream and he was a wonderful human being.”
Former teammate Paul Hegarty was another who was struck by the loss.Dundee United fans saw his best, and they adored himHe said: “I knew Ralph had been seriously unwell for a couple of weeks and in the last few days I knew through reports just how serious it was.It is terribly sad news.”
Milne played a total of 286 times for United, scoring 75 goals for the club after signing from Celtic Boys Club in 1979 – 16 times during the campaign that saw Jim McLean’s side finish a point ahead of Celtic and Aberdeen to win the Premier League.
In a tribute posted online, Dundee United said: “Both arms raised aloft in the middle of Dens Park after scoring the opening goal the day United won the league in 1983 is the iconic memory of our Ralphie.”
It added: “There were few more exciting sights in the game than Ralph hurtling down the wing at full pelt, leaving defenders in his slipstream. He was a true club icon who epitomised the United teams he graced.”
Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson said: “This is a very sad day. Ralph’s skill and flair epitomised the Dundee United teams he graced and he was undoubtedly one of the finest footballers to hail from the city of Dundee.
“He remains Dundee United’s top goalscorer in Europe and I am grateful to have watched him in his prime many times during those fantastic years he starred for United.
“It was a privilege to have known Ralph and he will be remembered fondly and missed sadly by Arabs everywhere.”
For further tributes, see Monday’s Courier.