Tributes to David Stewart, keeper who saved penalty on Scotland debut

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Tributes have been paid to David Stewart, the former Leeds United and Scotland goalkeeper, who has died aged 71.

Stewart, who began his senior career with Ayr United, saved a penalty on his only appearance for the national side during a 1-0 defeat by East Germany in East Berlin in 1977.

David Stewart (yellow jersey) alongside Scotland team-mates Don Masson, Danny McGrain and Willie Donachie ahead of the match against East Germany in East Berlin in 1977. Picture: SNS

David Stewart (yellow jersey) alongside Scotland team-mates Don Masson, Danny McGrain and Willie Donachie ahead of the match against East Germany in East Berlin in 1977. Picture: SNS

The goalkeeper was part of a coterie of Scots at Leeds in the 1970s when the Elland Road club could lay claim to being England’s finest.

Stewart usually played second fiddle to David Harvey – another Scotland international – but had his moment in the sun in season 1974-75 when Leeds reached the European Cup final. With Harvey injured Stewart played against Anderlecht in the quarter-finals and then, memorably, in the win over Barcelona in the semis.

Stewart retained his place for the final against holders Bayern Munich in Paris but it was not to be for Leeds, who went down 2-0 at the Parc des Princes in a match overshadowed by strange refereeing decisions and rioting on the terracing.

Stewart was one of six Scots in the Leeds team that night.

Leeds said in a statement: “It is with deep sadness that Leeds United have learnt of the passing of former goalkeeper David Stewart, at the age of 71. Signed from Ayr in October 1973 as backup for David Harvey, Stewart was known as a brave and terrific shot-stopper. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of David.”

Stewart, who helped Kilsyth Rangers win the Scottish Junior Cup in 1967, left Leeds in 1979 for West Bromwich Albion then moved on to Swansea City.

He was an ever present in the 1980-81 Swansea side as they won promotion to the First Division, thus helping them complete their remarkable rise from Fourth Division to top flight in four seasons.

The Welsh club said: “Swansea City would like to pass on its thoughts and condolences to Dave’s family and friends at this sad time.”