Obituary: Douglas Armstrong, footballer, 84

Douglas "Dougie" Armstrong, a former Hearts left back who made more than 80 appearances for the club, has died, aged 84.

A loving family man and talented sportsman who played for the Tynecastle club for eight years from 1948, Douglas – known to all as "Dougie" – had a large family who said he would be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Born in Edinburgh on 30 June, 1925, he started his football career playing for several different local teams including Boroughmuir High School, North Merchiston Boys Club and the Edinburgh Ashton Juveniles.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After these first few years in football he left to serve the Scots Guards during the Second World War, returning in 1947, when he began to play for Haddington Athletic Juniors.

It was January 1948, aged 22, when he first made his name as a Junior Internationalist and signed for Heart of Midlothian FC on a provisional basis.

Dougie played for the first team in several non-competitive games including a club tour to Germany in May 1951 where he joined the team against the Offenbacher FC Kickers.

After a short period in the reserves he made his competitive debut covering for the injured Bobby Dougan on 20 October, 1951 in a 2-0 defeat from Rangers at Ibrox.

It was in 1952-53 that he really made his name at the club, with 23 league and cup appearances.

In these years he played in several important games, including the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers in April 1953.

Despite Rangers winning, the game gave Dougie the chance to raise his profile.

He also played twice during a tour of Sweden and in another 22 competitive games in 1953-54. In this last season the energetic midfielder played five times on the club's famous South Africa tour.

Following this last tour he suffered a range of cartilage injuries resulting in surgery in January 1956.

The popular and committed Hearts player was released on April 20, 1956 and moved on to play for Third Lanark in August of that year.

Throughout his career Dougie continued to regularly show his loyalty and hard work to the sport and made a total of 85 appearances for the club.

Hearts described him as a "tall, lean left-half who was always in the thick of the action."

Described by family members as a private, caring and kind family man, he was happily married to the late Nancy for many years. He died on 6 April and leaves behind a large family.

He was the loving father of Douglas, Tina, Susan and Julie, father-in-law of Jack, Kevin and Steve, grandfather of Jonathan, Simon, Janice, Amanda and great-grandad to Noah.

The funeral service will be held at Currie Kirk Church on Thursday at 11am. Friends and family are welcome.