TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved Neilston Juniors fan who died just moments after cheering on his team at their latest match.

Gordon Sheach, 77, became ill as he was leaving the Scottish Junior Cup game against Pollok at the Brig O’Lea stadium on Saturday.

Despite their best efforts, physios from the two teams were unable to save Mr Sheach.

He died just yards from his Neilston home and also a short distance from Crofthead Bowling Club, where he had been a member for more than 20 years.

Fellow Crofthead member Jack Phillips described Mr Sheach as a “great wee guy.”

He added: “I was actually at the game with him on Saturday and we had only just said our goodbyes.

“I was heading to the pavilion and we usually have a drink after the football but he was going home as it was just a bit too cold for him.

“The last thing I said to him was that I would see him at our bowling club group on Tuesday and then we parted company.

“I heard a bit of commotion and saw the physios run over to someone who had collapsed but it was only on Saturday night that I found out it was him.

“We used to joke that we couldn’t have been further apart in terms of politics and religion and that certainly gave us something to talk about on Tuesdays.

“He was just such a lovely man and couldn’t be more helpful.”

Mr Sheach was born in Hyndland, Glasgow, and began working with drinks firm Tennent’s before spending most of his career with with whisky giants Edrington.

He moved to East Renfrewshire around 30 years ago and had become a popular member of the Neilston community.

Mr Phillips added: “He had some cracking stories from his youth.

“He spent a lot of his life in Coatbridge, in North Lanarkshire, before he moved to Neilston and had been here ever since.

“He became really devoted to Neilston and he loved it here.”

Neilston co-manager Derek Carson said the thoughts of everyone at the football club are with Mr Sheach’s family at this sad time.

“He was a big Neilston fan and came to watch us throughout the season,” added Mr Carson. “It’s terrible that someone has come to watch a game of football and not been able to make it home.

“Football has well and truly taken a back seat for us over the last couple of days. It really puts things in perspective.

“I’d also like to say thanks to our club physio Chloe Aitken, who desperately tried to help Gordon on Saturday. She was quite upset after that. Pollok’s physio Euan Duffy also tried his best to help Gordon.

“We also lost a long-term fan in Stuart Byars on Sunday, so it has been a sad weekend for the club.”

Mr Sheach is survived by his wife Celia.