Former FIFA campaigner and SFA administrator David Will dies, aged 72

ONE of Scotland's most prominent figures on the global football stage has died, it was announced today.

David Will, a former Scottish Football Association president who served as Vice President of FIFA for more than 15 years, had been suffering from cancer.

He was a solicitor who became involved in football administration through his local club, Brechin City.

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Mr Will, who was awarded the CBE for services to football in 2002, rose to prominence in the world game when he was selected by the four home nations to join the Fifa executive committee as their representative in 1990.

He became involved in a bitter head-to-head with the most powerful man in world football, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, when he was asked to head an audit committee designed to investigate the finances of the world governing body in 2002.

Mr Will was highly critical of Mr Blatter's administration when he revealed FIFA had lost 215 million in a four year period and were in faced financial difficulties.

"This news has absolutely devastated everyone here at the Scottish FA and, I am sure, throughout the football world," SFA chief executive Gordon Smith said.

"David was a giant of the game. His knowledge and love for football saw him rise from a small-town club to the vice presidency of FIFA.

"He was one of the most humble yet influential figures in the game and he played his part in taking football around the world.

"All of our thoughts and prayers are with David's family and friends at this terrible time.

"We have lost a friend today – and football has lost one of its most committed and talented sons."

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Brechin City chair Ken Ferguson said: "The club is in mourning today following David's death.

"David was an inspiration to us all at Glebe Park, whilst he reached the heights of world football he kept his feet firmly on the ground and no matter where he was in the world he always checked in at 4.45 pm on match days to find out how the game had gone.

"David's love of his family and of the game was evident for all to see.

"He was the most humble of people who could deal with any situation that would arise.

"He was an inspiration to us all at Glebe Park. The club and the town could not have wished for a better ambassador, he will be sorely missed."

Most recently, Mr Will had been a critic of plans to form a united UK football team to play in the 2012 Olympics.

"We (Scotland] should not take the chance of joining a British team," he told the BBC.

"There's nothing to stop an association saying 'the four British associations have played together at an Olympics so they can do at a World Cup as well'."

Until 2006, Mr Will, was a consultant to Brechin legal firm Ferguson & Will, which his father founded in 1919.