Golfer; Born January 27, 1953; Died May 19, 2008. BARCLAY Howard, who has died aged 55, was a one-time rabble-rouser of the fairways who will be remembered for scaling the heights and plumbing the depths in a lifetime in which one constant at least was a passion for the Royal and Ancient game. He was nothing if not a fighter. His golfing career culminated in winning the silver medal for top amateur in the 1997 Open at Royal Troon, but that hardly compared to his battles against alcoholism, leukemia and pneumonia.

Howard was candid about it all and his autobiography, Out Of The Rough, was compelling, prompting a strange mix of anger at the crass, drunken behaviour that led to his expulsion from the international scene and admiration for the courage it took to haul himself back.

Two years ago, and physically frail, Howard completed his rehabilitation with the golfing authorities by being appointed by the Scottish Golf Union as captain of the Scottish youths team. Asked if his young charges were fully aware of who he was and what he had achieved, he replied: "Yes. I tell them I played three St Andrews trophies, two Walker Cups, an Eisenhower Trophy and I won more than 100 tournaments. I tell them if they think I don't know about golf, there's something wrong. It breaks the ice, and then I show my book and tell them that's what not to do."

In his book, Howard said: "My name is Barclay and I'm an alcoholic." He told about how, with shakes from the previous night's excesses, he would pack his golf bag with cans of super-strength lager to steady him while putting. It led to international exclusion in 1984, five years after earning his first cap for Scotland in a match against England.

Howard was born and bred in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, and maintained a lifetime link with the local Cochrane Castle Golf Club. He joined the Clydesdale Bank after leaving school but switched to Rolls-Royce where he worked until redundancy in 1993.

That gave him the opportunity to play full-time amateur golf that led to Royal Troon four years later when he finished tied 60th with Jack Nicklaus.

With the support of wife Tish and daughter Laura Jane, now 16, he fought leukemia and managed to play golf again before being struck down two years ago with pneumonia. Latterly, he was customer services manager for the John Letters golf manufacturing company.

His appointment as youths captain was more than compassion by the SGU. Howard had already shown his capabilities as captain of the Renfrewshire side that he led to triumph in 2005 in the Scottish Area Team Championship.

Hamish Grey, chief executive of the SGU, who had a key role in bringing Howard back two years ago, said: "He was an incredible enthusiast, always willing to help. He knew the game inside out and was always positive in his attitude."

A measure of the esteem in which he was held came from Lloyd Saltman, one of his most illustrious team members who is now making his way in the professional world. "He's a legend in the game and he's someone I really get along well with," he said at the time. "He is someone I want to play for."