Tommy White, former Hearts forward, dies at age of 80

Tommy White scores for Hearts against Aberdeen at Tynecastle in December 1964. The match finished in a 6-3 home win
Tommy White scores for Hearts against Aberdeen at Tynecastle in December 1964. The match finished in a 6-3 home win
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Musselburgh-born forward who started career at Bonnyrigg Rose and also turned out for Raith, St Mirren and Aberdeen

Tommy White, who played for Hearts between 1963 and 1965, has died at the age of 80, his family has confirmed.

The youngest of three footballing brothers from Musselburgh, he began his career with Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic and had spells with Raith Rovers, St Mirren and Aberdeen in Scotland and in England with Blackpool, Crystal Palace, Bury and Crewe Alexandra.

White's 48 goals in 52 games for the Jambos in all competitions including friendlies, led to local journalists dubbing him "Goal-a-game White", although a serious car crash curtailed his progress in maroon.

Nephew Rob confirmed the news, saying: "Very sad to report that dad's younger brother, Tommy (80), passed away last night. 'Goal-a-game' White once scored against Sir Alex Ferguson, and also scored a goal whilst playing for Spurs v Scotland."

The younger brother of John White, who tragically died in 1964 after being struck by lightning during a round of golf in Enfield at the age of 27, and Eddie, who turned out for Falkirk, Bradford City, Arbroath and Alloa, White signed for Raith in 1959, playing 30 times for the Kirkcaldy outfit and scoring 11 goals, although his time at Stark's Park was cut short by two years of National Service.

He turned out for the British Army side, and later joined Jackie Cox's St Mirren side in 1962. White netted 20 goals in 35 games for the Buddies, earning him a move to Tynecastle in November 1963. He struck up a successful partnership with Willie Wallace at Tynecastle and between them the strike duo contributed 48 goals during the 1964/65 season.

In November 1964 he appeared as a guest player for Spurs in a memorial match for his brother against a Scotland XI. Fittingly, he scored the opening goal of the game, although the national select would run out 6-2 winners, with his Hearts strike partner Wallace on the scoresheet along with Dundee's Alan Gilzean, who moved to White Hart Lane just weeks later.

Although a regular in the Hearts first team until early 1965, the emergence of Donald Ford led to manager Tommy Walker allowing White to leave, and he moved to Aberdeen in June of that year in a swap deal for Don Kerrigan. He played 14 times for Aberdeen, and along with team-mate John McCormick, joined Crystal Palace in May 1966.

He scored 14 goals in 40 games for the Eagles in all competitions and transferred to Blackpool in February 1968. With the Seasiders he scored nine in 34, before finishing his career with a two-year stint at Bury and a short spell at Crewe Alexandra in the early 1970s.

White was briefly caretaker-manager of Blackpool in 1990, and served as a director at the club for 12 years before the arrival of former club owner Owen Oyston.