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Dr John McCurley

Psychiatrist and physician superintendent;

Born: September 6, 1937; Died: January 10, 2013.

Dr John McCurley, who has died aged 75, was a distinguished psychiatrist who spent virtually all of his professional life in the Glasgow area. Born in Possil, a prize-winning procession through primary school and St Mungo's Academy took him to the medical faculty of Glasgow University at the age of 17.

He was gifted academically but also became a true Corporate Lifer as a student. He was on the board of the Student Union, he ran the University International Club and, no mean clarinettist himself, founded and was president of the University Jazz Club – this was the era of the Clyde Valley Stompers.

Graduating MB ChB in 1961, he decided to enter the field of psychiatric medicine working with Professor Roger at the Southern General, and at Stobhill and Woodilee before a time at the Maudsley Hospital in London. It was while at Woodilee he developed what would become a life-long concern for adolescent psychiatry.

At the age of 30 he returned to Scotland as consultant at Riccartsbar and Dykebar hospitals – one of the youngest, if not the youngest, consultants in Scotland. He remained at Dykebar where he became physician superintendent until his retirement. In 1972 he gained his membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and was invited to become a fellow in 1986.

In 1990 he was appointed mental welfare commissioner for Scotland. In this role, protecting the interests of the mentally ill and those with restriction orders in force, he travelled all over the country visiting mental hospitals. His skill as a forensic psychiatrist took him on many occasions to the high courts where he gave his professional evidence.

He was a follower of many sports, played golf regularly and served for a spell as president of Clydesdale Cricket Club. He retained his love of jazz but added to that a passion for opera and owned a massive collection of CDs.

In 1966 he married Anna, the Conservative MP for Renfrew West and Inverclyde, and they had one daughter Honor who died aged only 40 in 2011. This marriage ended in 1987. In later years, he enjoyed the companionship of Brenda and they were married last year.

A man of real ability, humour and wide-ranging interests, he will be well-remembered by colleagues, friends and family alike. He is survived by his Scottie dog, Mavourna, who gave him so much joy in his final years, and by Brenda and her son Andrew.

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