Footballer

Born: February 12, 1948;

Died: March 31, 2017

STUART Markland, who has died aged 69, enjoyed a long career, mainly in the lower reaches of Scottish football. Known to fans and team mates as Bush, his career was not embellished by a chest-load of medals, but his whole-hearted approach and enjoyment of the game won him the admiration of the fans at all his clubs.

An Edinburgh boy, he began in the juniors with Penicuik Athletic. He was a forward back then, and as such, he went “upstairs” to Berwick Rangers in 1966. He was in the squad, but did not play in the wee Rangers' legendary Scottish Cup win over Glasgow Rangers in 1967. While at Berwick, Jock Wallace converted him into a central defender, where he would spend the remainder of his career.

Jerry Kerr took him to Dundee United in 1968 and at Tannadice he turned full-time and played over 100 first-team games during his five-year spell with the club. He scored three goals, plus a couple of memorable own goals, one against Zurich Grasshoppers in a Fairs Cup tie, the other in Mexico's Olympic Stadium, when United participated in a 1970 tournament, which was used as a shake-down event for the 1970 World Cup. He played alongside some United legends including Kenny Cameron, Walter and Dougie Smith and Andy Rolland during his years at Tannadice.

From United, he moved further up the Angus coast to Montrose, for whom he played some 150 games over two spells – interrupted by a two-year spell in Australia, with Sydney Olympic, between 1978 and 1980. He then made a very brief stopover at Cowdenbeath's Central Park, before his career, which included over 300 senior matches, turned full circle with another spell at Penicuik, prior to hanging up his boots.

He may never have set the heather on fire in terms of trophies won, or international honours gained, but Bush's commitment to the teams for which he played was reflected in the warm tributes each club paid to him following his death. He was clearly a fan favourite wherever he played.

Away from the game, he worked in the construction industry. However, there was to be an unfortunate outcome to this career, when he contracted an asbestos-related disease. His later years were painful, as he had to have a leg amputated. However, Berwick Rangers played their part in ensuring he got a state-of-the-art motorised wheel-chair to get around in.

Stuart Markland spent the final years of his life in an Edinburgh care home, where he died on March 31. He was amicably divorced from his wife Ann, who survives him along with son Scott, daughter Natalie and his brother George.

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