DON McVICAR, the former St Johnstone and Partick Thistle defender, has died, aged 43, after a four-year battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

McVicar also played for Tranmere Rovers, Montrose, Forfar, Airdrie, Ayr United and Elgin City.

A winner of the first division championship with St Johnstone in 1982-83, he had an even happier second spell at Perth. He played an integral role underAlex Totten to help the club gain promotion from the second division in 1987-88 and then captained the team to the first division title again in 1989-90.

McVicar, from Dundee, started 263 matches for the Perth club and scored 12 goals, but his most daunting fight came when he hung up his boots and was struck down by the crippling disease from which Celtic's Lisbon Lion Jimmy Johnstone also suffers.

McVicar was confined to a wheelchair but continued to attend games when he could.

Supporters of St Johnstone and Partick Thistle joined forces a number of months ago to raise funds for both McVicar and the Motor Neurone Disease charity.

McVicar leaves behind wife Donna and a close-knit family.

His death comes just a matter of weeks after the loss of another Saints stalwart, record appearance holder Drew Rutherford.

The flag at McDiarmid Park is flying at half-mast and will continue to do so until McVicar's funeral.

Geoff Brown, the St Johnstone chairman, said: "It is sad news to hear, obviously for his family and all Perth supporters.

"Don was highly thought of by fans because of his strong left-foot and the fact he tackled extremely hard. He was a supporters' type of player."