Obituary: Graham Leggat, footballer, coach and broadcaster

Born: 20 June, 1934, in Aberdeen. Died: 29 August, 2015, in Canada, aged 81.

Footballer whose standing in Scottish sporting history is due a reappraisal. Picture: Getty
Footballer whose standing in Scottish sporting history is due a reappraisal. Picture: Getty

AS a former class and football team mate of Graham Leggat at the Central Secondary School, Aberdeen from the late 1940 to the early 1950s I would like to add a small appreciation to the obituary published in The Scotsman on 2 September.

From his early schooldays it was obvious that Graham was a sportsman of outstanding ability, not only at football; there is no doubt at all in my mind that he could, if he had so chosen, have represented his country at rugby, cricket, tennis and even basketball, as he excelled at all of these.

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He, however, perhaps inevitably, and effortlessly graduated to an Aberdeen FC team which won League and Cup titles in the 1950s – no small feat at a time when football was dominated by teams from central Scotland.

My main reason for this contribution, however, is that I agree very much with Matthew Vallance when he says that a reappraisal of Leggat’s standing in Scottish football history is called for.

Graham Leggat was a class act; he combined the smooth elegance of Gordon Smith with the speed and strength of Waddell, and scored a lot more goals, at a higher level of club football (English First division, following his transfer) and at international level than either of these other very fine footballers.

Had he played for one of the big Glasgow or Edinburgh clubs he would undoubtedly have become a recognised Scottish legend.

It seems to me he has been held in more esteem in London (Fulham) and Canada than in Aberdeen or Scotland.

I think this a disservice to one of Scotland’s most talented footballers, calling for a reappraisal and greater recognition of his talent and achievements.

I say this having watched all of our other great national footballers, without exception.

Perhaps above all, however, both as a youngster and a mature professional, he was fun to be with and a real gentleman on and off the field.