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Tributes paid after death of Scotland's 'Mr American Football' Alan Wilson

Tributes paid after death of Scotland's 'Mr American Football' Alan Wilson

To many who knew him, Alan Wilson was simply 'Mr American Football'.

So there has been widespread tristesse at the news that this redoubtable fellow, who did so much to spread the gridiron gospel, both in Glasgow and further afield in his homeland, died at the age of 57 this weekend.

Alan fulfilled a myriad of different roles, whether as a player with the Strathclyde Sheriffs or as a coach, at junior and senior level, for Glasgow Tigers and Team Scotland.

Year in, year out, he steered the sport forward and was a fervent devotee of the adage: "If you build it, they will come."

He nurtured the game at the grassroots, inspired countless youngsters to pick up a pigskin and became one of the most widely-respected referees in his domain.

No wonder there have been both salutes and sadness at his passing.

Willie Clark, the coach of the current Glasgow Tigers team, summed up the man he regarded as a mentor, a motivator and a friend.

He told us: "Alan was one of those people who filled you with enthusiasm and made you feel excited about American Football. He loved his family, but he loved the game too.

"I think it's difficult to sum up his huge contribution to the sport, because we are all shocked he has gone.

"But he did everything and nothing was too much trouble. There are lots of folk in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, who wouldn't be playing now if it wasn't for the incredible grassroots work done by Alan.

"He was always positive, to many people he was Scotland's 'Mr American Football', and I don't think you will find anybody with a bad word about him."

  (Glasgow Tigers)
via STV via STV

That was borne out by the tributes. Aberdeen Roughnecks described Alan as "a truly great man".

Another Roughnecks aficionado, JP Broughton said: "I remember when our head coach [Craig Cunningham] passed away. Alan stepped in and helped us greatly as interim coach.

"That year, he took the Tigers youth squad to the UK final and he still managed to coach us as well."

As Willie Clark concluded: "Our thoughts are with his family, but there are many, many people who became part of the American Football family, thanks to Alan."

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