Archie Ferguson, footballer and war veteran; born December 9, 1918, died March 19, 1998

Archie Ferguson, a professional footballer and Dunkirk veteran who played in the unofficial internationals during the Second World War has died at the age of 79.

For most of his military career he managed to combine his life in the Army with his love of football. But, serving in the Royal Artillery, his ambitions to volunteer for the Commandos were thwarted when his officer would not let him go because the Army would have lost their best goalkeeper.

During his long football career Ferguson would always find a way of playing football where ever he was. Born in Crosshill, he first played professional football at the age of 17 when he was signed for St Andrews. By the time he was 19 he had been signed for Raith Rovers where he was playing when he was called up to serve in the Army in 1939.

He didn't allow the war to stop him playing football and when he was stationed south of the Border he played for Bolton Wanderers and Doncaster Rovers.

Between 1939 and 1945 Ferguson served in the Middle East, Italy, and North-west Europe but even abroad he managed to find his way on to the football pitch playing unofficial internationals between the Armed Services sides.

Ferguson was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1941 and this was an experience the young soldier was not to forget. He was involved in the Scottish branch of the Dunkirk Veterans' Association until it disbanded in 1990. He was its secretary from 1984-90.

When he was discharged at the end of the war he ended up based near Doncaster and was signed for Doncaster Rovers for the 1946-47 season. He was signed by Wrexham in 1949 and played there until 1953 when he moved back to Scotland to play his final season for Dunfermline.

It was during his time in Wrexham that Ferguson married Ann, a draper's assistant from Cardenden, although the couple had known one another since they were 16.

Ferguson was 35 by the time he played for Dunfermline and in 1954 he retired from football and trained as a welder with the Naval Construction Research Establishment at Rosyth.

During his time at the NCRE Ferguson was involved in the development of metals to be used in Britain's nuclear submarines and received the Imperial Service Medal on his retiral in 1981.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, and three granddaughters.