Cunningham passes away

FORMER Dunfermline, St Mirren and Falkirk manager Willie Cunningham has died at the age of 77.

Cunningham, who won 30 caps for Northern Ireland, is also remembered as the man who recommended St Mirren appoint Alex Ferguson to succeed him as manager in 1974.

Cunningham made his playing debut for first club St Mirren in 1950 and moved to Leicester in 1954 for 4,750. After a playing return to Scotland with Dunfermline, where he was a Scottish Cup winner in 1961, he became coach and then manager of the Pars before joining Falkirk in 1968.

His spell with the Bairns, during which he turned down the chance to manage Scotland, was followed by two years as manager of St Mirren.