Basketball coach; Born March 26, 1949; Died July 29, 2008

JAMES "Mickey" McKechnie, who has died aged 59, was a Glasgow basketball coach whose selfless service to his sport will be remembered with admiration, particularly in the East End where he grew up and worked.

An avid Rangers fan who spoke amusingly of living within sight of Celtic Park, McKechnie began a basketball career which knew no sectarian divide in the sixties at an after-school club at Westwood Secondary in Easterhouse.

Though he had a spell in "exile", playing, with his close friend Willie Cameron, for another well-known coach, the late Ron Mather, first at Penilee and then Paisley, it was in Easterhouse, at St Mungo's, that he co-founded with Cameron the club which first entered the national third division in 1975.

That club was to enjoy several names, St Mungo's FPs, GEAR, East End Brightsiders, Glasgow Sports Division, Glasgow d2 and Glasgow City as their initiative attracted sponsorship and local authority support.

Honours followed at every age group, both locally and nationally, culminating in two Scottish senior cup wins in 1997 and 2000 and the Scottish senior national league title in 1999; while McKechnie's players were also picking up international honours.

More recently McKechnie coached female teams and his Glasgow City cadette and junior teams made an impact, despite their youth and inexperience.

McKechnie, typically, shunned the limelight and his only national recognition was a brief spell in charge of the under-19 men in 1989, though he coached numerous Strathclyde teams at Inter-Area Tournaments.

As someone born and brought up in the East End of Glasgow he was passionate about providing opportunities for young people. He coached in many primary and secondary schools in the East End and he based the club in St Mungo's Secondary, Eastbank Academy and Easterhouse Sports Centre.

He was an inspiration to many and was able to instil in his players high standards, a strong work ethic and a belief in doing things correctly. He did this with passion, humility and dignity and was respected by everyone.

He was a true family man and was supported greatly by his wife Sheena and children Robert and Fiona. Sheena was not only his soulmate but the person who washed the strips, made the sandwiches and helped out in any way she could, while Robert and Fiona were coached by their dad at different times, both reaching a high standard as players and more recently supporting Mickey in coaching at the club. By Sandy Sutherland