Scotland’s national football team manager, Alex McLeish, has had an official tartan launched to commemorate his 60th birthday.
Details released by the Scottish Register of Tartans reveal that it symbolises “an illustrious career as one of Scotland’s most famous sons and sporting influences.”
The tartan, believed to be the first ever made and registered for a footballer, was commissioned as a surprise by McLeish’s two sons and daughter.
It is made up of colours including blue, red, white, green, black and gold - representing the clubs which McLeish played and managed in his career.
Jamie McLeish said his father had been “speechless” when the tartan had been revealed at a special family dinner in a rented baronial house on the banks of Loch Tummel in Perthshire at the weekend.
“We’d been thinking for a couple of years about what to get him for his ‘big 6-0’. My brother and me had been trying to find a McLeish tartan for our weddings a few years ago there was no note of one being registered.
“We gave our dad a pair of tartan trousers and a waistcoat in the new McLeish tartan at the dinner, and he was sitting on an armchair upholstered in it. He was delighted, but he didn’t know until later when I presented him with the certificate of the tartan’s registration and said ‘just to let you know, the tartan’s McLeish and it’s yours’ that he realised what was gong on.
“There was a little tear in his eye and he was speechless. For someone who likes to talk a lot that’s really something.”
The tartan, designed by Geoffrey (Tailor) Highland Crafts in Edinburgh.
Geoff Nicholsby, the firm’s managing director, said: “It was a great honour to asked to do this by the family. The tartan was woven using a code name to keep the enterprise secret.”
McLeish born in Glasgow on 21 January 1959 is the manager of the Scotland national team.
As a youth he was spotted playing for Glasgow United and signed up by Aberdeen the next day.
He is Scotland’s third most capped player, with 77 international caps between 1980 and 1993.