Glasgow’s Evening Times chief sports writer Alan Davidson has died suddenly, aged 57.
He died at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, after being rushed to hospital on Sunday, having already filed what was to be his last column for Monday’s paper.
His untimely death has left colleagues in Scottish football stunned.
Tributes have been paid by Rangers manager Walter Smith, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Davidson had worked on the Evening Times for 37 years. He started at the Kilmarnock Standard as a trainee reporter and joined the Evening Times as a sub-editor in 1970 but wanted to fulfil his ambition to be a sports writer.
He went on to become one of the most respected journalists of his generation, with a CV that included four World Cup finals, three European Championship finals, numerous European club finals, world title fights, and every Scotland international in between.
Walter Smith said: “I was devastated when I found out about Alan’s sad death before our game with Red Star Belgrade.
“Alan and I go back over 25 years and he has been a very close friend over the period, and a journalist the entire footballing fraternity always respected. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.”
Sir Alex said: “I am in total shock. Alan was one of the old school, and we had a tremendous working relationship from my days at Aberdeen, and when I was in charge of Scotland.
“He was a journalist you could trust, a man who was great company and we spoke frequently on the phone. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Scottish journalism has lost one of the best writers it has ever produced.”
Gordon Strachan added: “One thing you could be sure of was that he would speak his mind, and I respected that in him, as did most other people.
“If he had a point to make, he would make it, no matter what, which made his opinion count.”
Evening Times editor Donald Martin said: “Alan will be greatly missed both as a colleague and as a superlative journalist.
“He was greatly respected and admired, not just by his peers, but, uniquely, across the entire footballing and wider sports world.
“Our thoughts are with his partner Marie and his very many friends.”
Read a tribute to Davidson in the Evening Times by clicking here
For the report in full, click here