Businessman and chairman,  Greenock Morton FC
Born: June 1st 1931;
Died: June 23rd 2018

Douglas Rae, who has died aged 87, after a lengthy illness, was a son of Greenock who as a local businessman and employer and as chairman of Greenock Morton FC, put a lot into his native town during his long life.
He was born to parents David – a printer – and Ellen, in the town, where he was raised with brothers Thomas and Iain. 
He attended Greenock Academcy, where he shone and, on leaving school aged 16, he obtained a position with the North of Scotland Bank in its Greenock branch.
He quickly moved up the corporate ladder, before National Service with the Royal Air Force intervened. 
This proved to be an enjoyable two years for Douglas, who found plenty of time to pursue his two sporting passions, golf and football. 
However, he did not neglect his career, even sitting and passing his banking exams while in Air Force Blue.
He was then the youngest
member of the Institute of Banking,
a feat which got him noticed at
head office, and he was soon promoted to the bank’s Stock Exchange division, which saw him leave Greenock – on a daily basis – to commute to Glasgow.
Marriage to Adrienne, in 1957 brought Douglas to a cross-roads. Should he continue the slow climb up the banking ladder, enduring low pay and the daily commute or should he strike-out on his own? 
To the surprise of many, this quiet, diligent banker took the plunge,
starting Golden Casket (Greenock) Ltd in 1959, initially operating out of the back of a van.
Today, this family confectionary firm is still run by the Rae family, and is one of the largest employers in Inverclyde, from its base at Fort Matilda. 
Over the 49 years Douglas spent
at the helm, Golden Casket grew into one of Scotland’s largest confectionary companies, until today, there are more than 200 employees and an annual turnover of £25 million.
While Douglas is perhaps best-known for his sterling work in rescuing Greenock Morton from seeming closure at the 11th hour, his service to his other sporting love – golf – is perhaps more-illustrious.
He was, of course, a fine player, but, it is as an administrator that he played his best.
He was a good club official, while his service to the Renfrewshire Golf Union saw him represent them on the Scottish Golf Union, where he was SGU president in 1993-94, director of the Golf Foundation (1997-2002) and course rating chairman for the European Golf Union (27 Countries from 1995-1997).
On a voluntary basis, Douglas served for more than 29 years in
golf administration and in 1998
he was awarded the Torch Trophy
for “Services to Golf” which
was  presented to him by the Duke
of Kent.
It was around this time that, under the calamitous rule of a hugely-
unpopular chairman, Greenock Morton Football Club was thrust into administration in 2001. 
The Administrators struggled
to find a buyer and closure was
imminent when, at the last minute, Douglas, a life-long supporter and a past director of the club, stepped in to keep the old enterprise afloat.
He did more than this, he oversaw much-needed work on Morton’s  run-down stadium Cappielow, he steadied the ship, brought in new investment and introduced a successful youth development programme.
Douglas Rae backed his vision with drive, time and money, and, if a new Andy Ritchie (Morton’s prolific striker of the late 1970s) has not yet been unearthed, he certainly left Morton in a lot-better shape than he found it when he handed over the chairmanship to son Crawford, just two months ago.
According to the club’s website, he had first attended a match at Cappielow at the age of eight.
“Alongside great friend Arthur Montford [he] held a season ticket each and every season thereafter until joining the board in 1988,” the club said. 
“As a supporter, he saw the club participate in national cup finals and watched as footballing icons such as Sir Stanley Matthews and Tommy Lawton turned out for the Ton as war-time guests.”
Douglas was a life-long Methodist. Naturally, given his career background, he acted as treasurer at Greenock Methodist Church and gave freely to many local charities, as befits a Christian gentleman. 
He claimed his faith motivated him in everything he did.
Douglas is survived by Adrienne and their three children, Alastair, Crawford and Gillian.
They had 10 grandchildren, three
of whom are already keen golfers while two are promising future footballers.
In 2016, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire which he received at Buckingham Palace from His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.

Matt Vallance