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Bill Dickie

Architect and football administrator;

Born May 30, 1929; Died January 10, 2012.

BILL Dickie, who has died aged 82, was for many years one of the ablest and most popular of the Scottish Football Association "blazers" and was an honorary president of the SFA at the time of his death.

President of the SFA from 1993 to 1997, he was a Motherwell director for nearly 40 years, had three separate spells as chairman and was vice-chairman of the club at the time of his death.

This long spell at Fir Park had its share of highs and lows, relegations, promotions, European runs, the anguish of administration, which forced his third spell in the chair, but, most importantly and memorably for Mr Dickie, that emotional Scottish Cup win in the "People's Final" of 1991.

When Motherwell won the cup that year, one of the secret ingredients was the close working relationship between chairman John Chapman, vice-chairman Mr Dickie, Secretary Alan Dick and manager Tommy McLean. They and the players were united in bringing about their goal – the cup win.

An architect by profession, he was very much a Lanarkshire man, operating his company, WH Dickie Architects, from premises in the town, a short walk from Fir Park. His football and architectural interests came together to the benefit of Motherwell: he oversaw the re-development of Fir Park and designed both the South and David Cooper stands.

Mr Dickie was a well-known face right across Scottish football, being one of the most influential and universally admired club officials in the game during his long spell in the SFA's corridors of power.

He served on all the major SFA committees on his way to the presidency and to be heading the SFA during the memorable 1996 European Championship campaign was a huge thrill for him. He was also known across Europe, having frequently acted as a FIFA or UEFA match observer.

During that Euro 96 campaign he worked closely with Craig Brown and the friendship forged then paid dividends for Motherwell, when he persuaded Brown out of retirement to become Motherwell manager.

The pair had, apart from both being Lanarkshire boys, other things in common – not least a huge love of the game and a keen sense of humour.

His father was chief engineer of a Lanarkshire bus company; he was the youngest of five children, and architecture was always the young Bill's goal and on leaving Carluke High School, he entered the profession with a Lanarkshire firm, starting right at the bottom.

His path to the position of a chartered architect and membership of the Royal Institute of British Archeticts was a winding one. He spent two years of National Service with the Royal Engineers, before, initially at night school, undertaking the studies at Glasgow Art School which saw him qualify in his chosen profession.

In 1965 he established WH Dickie, chartered architects, in Motherwell and in addition to his work at Fir Park, he designed and oversaw the construction of many premises around Lanarkshire. He was particularly proud of his long association, with the Clyde Valley Housing Association, which he helped to found.He was especially pleased by that organisation's award-winning employee relations policy.

Sadly for both, his marriage to Isabel ended in divorce. He is survived by his elder brother Tom, son Douglas, daughter Pamela and their families.

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