Tributes to Kirrie Thistle stalwart

Raymond Dyce of Kirriemuir, who died on Sunday, March 31 in Ninewells Hospital. As a mark of respect a minute's silence was held on Saturday at all the East Region Junior Football Association's games.
Raymond Dyce of Kirriemuir, who died on Sunday, March 31 in Ninewells Hospital. As a mark of respect a minute's silence was held on Saturday at all the East Region Junior Football Association's games.

WARM tributes have been paid to popular Kirriemuir man Raymond Dyce – a well-known Angus grain trader and stalwart of Kirrie Thistle Junior Football Club.

Raymond (49), died peacefully at Ninewells Hospital on Sunday, March 31 after a lengthy illness. A service of celebration of Raymond’s life was held in Kirriemuir Old Parish Church on Friday.

His death has saddened the local communities in Forfar and Kirriemuir, as well as those involved with his local football team, Kirrie Thistle.

Raymond grew up with his parents, Jimmy and Evelyn, and brother Norman at Nether Turin, near Forfar.

He was educated at Pitkennedy Primary and Forfar Academy. Just before his 16th birthday, and at the first opportunity, he left school to start farm work with David Young at Nethermuir, Rescobie.

As a member of Forfar and District Young Farmers’ Club he took part in many of the activities including speechmaking and stock judging.

A highlight of his youth was a working holiday in Australia with his lifelong friend and near neighbour, Gordon Beattie.

The pair had intended to revisit the country before Mr Dyce’s health deteriorated but that was not to be.

Raymond joined Allied Grain, then a relatively young company, in 1987 and forged a career trading grain and selling fertiliser and seeds to his growing band of farming customers.

He stayed with the company after it merged in 2005 with Banks Cargill to become Frontier Agriculture.

As a member of the young farmers Raymond met fellow club member Susan Robertson, and the couple married in 1991.

They set up home in Kirriemuir where they were to bring up their children, Ewan and Claire.

Raymond had a passion for football, firstly as an amateur player at junior level and then as a substitute ‘keeper for Kirrie Thistle.

This was to lead to an involvement in every aspect of the club including spells as groundsman, club secretary, vice-president and president.

Among those who have paid tribute to Raymond’s commitment to Kirrie Thistle was committee member Bruce Mitchell.

He said: “Raymond was a stalwart at Kirrie Thistle for 20 years. His expertise and dedication has ensured that the club is on a firm foundation.

“He involved himself in all aspects of the club, including secretary, groundsman and organising the highly successful sportsman’s dinner and, when required, playing in goal.

“The club now has a top class ground, stand and floodlights through Raymond’s drive and enthusiasm.

“This will benefit the club now and in the future.

“Words along will never be enough to show the debt of gratitude the club owes Raymond. As a mark of respect there was a minute’s silence at our game on Saturday, with Raymond’s name also on the Kirrie Thistle strip, ensuring Raymond is with us at every game.

“I am sure he was looking down kicking every ball.

“Incidentally, every game in the east region had a minute’s silence, a sign of how well respected Raymond was in junior football.

“On behalf of the club and family we would just like to thank all the people who have taken the time to give their sympathy at this sad time.”

Also paying tribute to Raymond was John Reilly, general secretary of the East Region Junior Football Association.

He said: “Raymond was a stalwart through and through both on and off the park at Kirrie and was very much the driving force in the rebuilding of the stand and upgrading of the floodlights at Westview Park over the past two seasons.

“Raymond will be sadly missed by all at Kirrie and by visiting teams.”