The finer details of Colin Weir's estate came to light earlier this week. Weir, you will recall, was the largest ever winner of the Euromillions when he and his wife Chris won £161m in 2011. The sneering tone of some of the reporting left a lot to be desired.

The old, hackneyed tropes were in full evidence. Weir had apparently “blown” £40m of his wealth and “burned through his fortune” in a “spending spree” that involved “splashing out” and “pumping money into”. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of where Weir's money went knows that the idea that he squandered his money is nonsense, it also raises questions over subjective views on how one defines financial recklessness.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on what lottery winners spend their winnings on – borne, no doubt, out of a degree of envy – and they are often negative. Yet Colin Weir seems to my mind to have got it just right.

Unlike some, he wasn't investing in companies that export military hardware to Saudi Arabia or exploit third world countries. He bought a beautiful house, he bought a couple of cars, he invested for his and his family's future. And he also had a bit of fun with his money.

He invested in his football team Partick Thistle, clearing the club's debts and setting up the Thistle Weir Youth Academy. Later he purchased a 55% share of the club so that he might gift it to supporters.

Which of us football fans hasn't thought about buying a season ticket or travelling to Europe for a mini-tour of games, if only there was a bit more money in the pot? Who hasn't fantasised about what they might do with a big windfall, no matter how unlikely given the odds, and whether they might chuck a few quid into their football team? This was those romantic, far-fetched notions made into reality.

In terms of where Weir's priorities lay, family, charity and sport were near the top of the list. What's more, one investment expert in the reports mentioned above was quoted as saying: “What he left behind seems to be a very sensible, safe portfolio.”

Go to the Weir Charitable Trust website and you'll find evidence of numerous occasions where sportsmen and women have benefited from his largesse.

The Trust donated £750,000 to Largs Thistle for an artificial surface to the benefit of the whole community in the Ayrshire seaside resort. When he died, there was a minute's applause before Thistle's game against Clydebank last season. The Trust gave a further £102,000 to the National Sports Training Centre at Inverclyde where a 3G pitch bears the Weir name. In 2012, the couple gave a five-figure sum for a prosthetic limb to a promising 13-year-old who developed a rare form of cancer and they funded a 15-year-old Largs tennis player, Ross Wilson, so that he might attend an academy in Barcelona.

At Thistle, there are five players in the first-team squad who came through the Weir Academy system. Elsewhere in Scotland, the Hibernian striker Kevin Nisbet, who signed for £200,000 from Dunfermline Athletic in the summer, cut his teeth in Maryhill. The academy's biggest successes were Liam Lindsay and Aidan Fitzpatrick. The former was sold to Barnsley and then Stoke City while the latter joined Norwich City last year. Together the accumulated transfer fees brought half a million pounds to Thistle.

In an interview with the BBC shortly after Weir's death, Gerry Britton, the Thistle chief executive, said: "The whole development of the club he impacted on. One of the first things he did was he felt our office didn't look like a club with the standing it should have had, so he funded the upgrade of the decor.

"I genuinely think, if it hadn't been for him, it would be a scary thought where we could be sitting just now.

"His backing has been resolute at a time when it was really tough to find finances for longer-term projects like a youth academy. In the last couple of years, financially, we have reaped the benefits."

It speaks to our endless fascination with lottery winners – more often than not fed by the redtops – but also a sense of false moralism over the justness of one person receiving a massive windfall in the first instance. Part of the ethos behind the lottery's inception in the early days was the financial support it would bring to local communities and national organisations. Colin Weir embraced that mentality.

What's the old adage? You can't take it with you? Well, so it proved when Weir died after suffering acute kidney failure and sepsis in December last year. What he did, though, was leave a lasting legacy. His name is forever enshrined in Partick Thistle history. It is inscribed on the main stand at Firhill and sits above the gates of the club's academy. That's testament to the difference he made to people's lives – something worth so much more than the money he won.