It was with much sadness that I learnt of the passing of former Irvine Meadow XI physiotherapist Dunky Black. Duncan (Dunky) Black served Meadow for 49 years.
He was a goalkeeper playing amateur and juvenile football before moving up to the Junior grade with Ashfield, Clydebank and Duntocher Hibernian. He moved on to play briefly at Stirling Albion, Stranraer and Clyde. He then joined Third Lanark as assistant physiotherapist.
He was an engineer working for Rolls Royce at Hillington and he said that his association with Meadow started because the personnel manager had a link with the Ayrshire club and asked him to join them. So in 1963 Dunky joined Meadow and started to travel from his Glasgow home down to Ayrshire up to three times a week and in 49 years worked with over 20 managers.
He retired in July 2012. The announcement of his retirement was typical of a man who did not like to be the centre of attention and was after a pre-season friendly with Shettleston on 28 July 2012. However, the club had not let him escape as his 40th anniversary with the club had been celebrated with style.
He was an integral part of the team that won the Junior Cup in 1972/73 after a titanic battle with Cambuslang Rangers that was only settled with the second replay. Among the many other honours won during his time were the West of Scotland Cup (5 times) and, following the creation of the Superleague structure in 2002/03, the First Division (1) and Premier League (3) titles.
Dunky also acted as trainer/physio to the Junior Scotland team in the mid-1970ís. As well as matches in Scotland he travelled with the team to England, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Germany.