Six of Perth’s famous sons and daughters

THE date is March 14th 2012, and Perth has just been reclassified as a city. Stripped of its status in 1975 as part of a local government shakeup, ‘The Fair City’ - a soubriquet defiantly maintained during the 37-year period since - was just one of three towns given city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Scotland’s first capital until 1437, Perth joins Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling and Inverness as the country’s cities. There were 25 applications in total for towns wishing to be granted city status, and it seems only fair that Perth was successful this time around having missed out on two previous occasions.

So, without further ado, here are six of Perth’s most famous exports. (We’re ignoring Famous Grouse and Megabus to focus on people). Footballers, authors, politicians and two siblings plying their trade for Scotland’s national rugby team.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

1. Eric Joyce MP

You could probably be forgiven for overlooking Eric Joyce’s hometown given recent events, but the MP for Falkirk was born in Perth on October 13th 1960, spending the majority of his infant and teenage years there, before joining the army in 1978. Taking time out to attend college and then university, Joyce gained a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Stirling, adding an MA in Education from the University of Bath and an MBA from Keele. A former Army Major, Joyce left the armed forces amid a sea of controversy in 1999, after conducting a number of articles and interviews during which he spoke of snobbery and public school bias within the army. More recently, Joyce entered the media spotlight following a drunken brawl in a House of Commons bar, leading to his suspension and subsequent resignation from the Labour Party, although he continues to serve as the MP for Falkirk.

• Did you know? Became Public Affairs Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality (Scotland) after criticising the army for its racist and sexist attitude.

2. David Wotherspoon

Currently plying his trade for Hibernian, David Wotherspoon is a Scotland under 21 internationalist, born in Perth in 1990. Although a supporter of Perth’s team St Johnstone as a boy, Wotherspoon has never played for the McDiarmid Park side, instead beginning his career with Celtic, before moving East to Leith in 2007. Only 22, Wotherspoon has already made 90 appearances for the Easter Road side, scoring 3 goals, whilst he has scored 2 goals in 12 appearances for Scotland under 21s.

Able to play anywhere in the midfield, he started out at right back during the John Hughes era, but has been utilised in midfield by current boss Pat Fenlon.

• Did you know? David Wotherspoon used to bring in cakes to Hibernian’s East Mains training complex on a Friday - his mum is apparently an excellent baker. We suspect that this practice may have stopped however under fitness-conscious new manager Pat Fenlon...

3. John Buchan

John Buchan, later known as 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician born on August 25th 1875 in Perth. Buchan served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation, between November 1935 and February 1940. He is perhaps best known for his novel ‘The 39 Steps’, a serialised thriller appearing in Blackwood’s Magazine, in August and September 1915. Set in 1914, during the July Crisis, the book centres on the work of two individuals: Scudder, a freelance spy who uncovers a German plot to murder the Greek Prime Minister and is subsequently murdered, and Hannay, who has returned to Britain to start a new life but ends up continuing Scudder’s work. We won’t say any more; as one of Scotland’s finest literary offerings, it’s well worth a read.

• Did you know? The name of the book originates from when Buchan’s six-year-old daughter was counting the stairs at a private nursing home in Broadstairs, where Buchan was convalescing.

4. Gillian McKeith

Scotland’s most celebrated nutritionist, Gillian McKeith was born in Perth in September 1959. Growing up on a council estate with a father who worked in the shipyards and a mother who was an office worker, McKeith says that she spent her childhood eating the junk food she now advises against. Her approach to health, and her enthusiastic endorsement of detox diets and colonic irrigation has attracted criticism from some health professionals who question her methods. McKeith now has a reputation as something of a TV personality, presenting such shows as ‘Eat Yourself Sexy,’ and ‘You Are What You Eat.’ She has also made a name for herself on the reality TV circuit, serenading viewers of the X Factor: Stars in Their Eyes with a rendition of ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ and spending some time in the jungle on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’

• Did you know? McKeith suffers from scoliosis, a medical condition causing the spine to be curved from side to side, in an S-shape or a C-shape.

5. Sean and Rory Lamont

Sean and Rory Lamont, born in January 1981 and October 1982 respectively, are well-kent faces in Scotland’s rugby squads. First capped in 2004, Sean, the elder of the two, has 60 caps to his name, and 40 points. Playing as a wing or centre, he has signed for Glasgow Warriors for the 2012/13 season. Rory, a wing or full-back, is also with Glasgow Warriors, and has 26 caps, scoring 30 points in total. Both brothers attended university, Sean enrolling at Sheffield Hallam to study Sports Sciences whilst Rory attended Northampton University.

• Did you know? Rory has suffered a series of injuries, and is currently sidelined for around four months with a broken leg, sustained in the 2012 Six Nations clash with France at Murrayfield. Past injuries include a facial fracture and damage to his knee and ankle ligaments.