Scotsman Obituaries: Ian Stirling, farmer, businessman and former captain of Arbroath FC

Ian Ross Stirling, footballer and farmer. Born: 10 October 1942. Died: 29 December 2021, aged 79.

Ian Stirling in action on the pitch

Former Arbroath FC captain and chairman, Ian Stirling, of Dickmontlaw Farm, Arbroath, died at home with his loving family around him on 9 December 2021, aged 79 years.

Ian was born in Arbroath on 10 October, 1942. He was an exceptional footballer, playing centre half and serving as captain of both the Arbroath High School and the Angus Select football teams before playing his first game for Arbroath FC’s first team at just 17. In his second season he was the club’s top goal scorer, bagging 20 goals in 26 league games.

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Ian became captain of Arbroath FC at 21 in a career which spanned 11 seasons, helping the part-time team gain promotion to the Scottish First Division in 1968. They played Celtic at Parkhead in the Scottish Cup in 1967, the same year Celtic were European champions.

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Ian retired aged 28 to focus on his farming business, which was based around Arbroath. Ian expanded his interests during the 1970s and over the next few decades to become one of the more prominent and successful Angus farmers.

As well as farming, Ian had business interests in leisure and entertainment. He opened a milk bar in the 1970s which grew into the Meadowbank Inn and Carriage Room restaurant.

In 1981 he bought part of the Arbroath outdoor bathing pool and converted it into a leading night club called Smokies, which opened in 1982.

During the 1980s Ian was also Chairman of Arbroath Football club. He also served for many years as an Elder at Ladyloan church, as well as being Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Angus.

Ian remained a passionate sportsman and after retiring from football he took up squash and established himself as the number one player for the Prunes squash team at Tarriebank, Arbroath. He went undefeated in the game for five years.

He was also a keen golfer and tennis player.

Ian is survived by his wife, Florence and six children, Peter, Lisa, Emma, Katie, Guy and Nicola, as well as 18 grandchildren.

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