Margaret Ross - ObituaryTuesday, 20th Dec 2016
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club and its supporters are this week mourning the loss of one of its brightest stars, Club Director and Chair of the Pars’ Supporters Trust Margaret Ross.
(9 September 1950 – 16 December 2016)
It has been said that it takes great people on the park and even greater ones off it to make a football club work, and Margaret Ross most certainly was one of the latter.
A West Lothian girl, Margaret was born in Broxburn on 9th September 1950. She attended Broxburn Academy before gaining her first employment with Hewlett-Packard in the area. She married her first husband and had her only child, her son Simon who tragically died last year at the age of 38. The family had emigrated to live in the USA but Margaret returned in 1981 and set up house in Limekilns where she had lived ever since.
Although not familiar with the Pars at that time, Margaret was always a keen football supporter, following her local Albion and Welfare sides in West Lothian regularly. When she moved to the Dunfermline area in 1981 she decided to follow her local team and was a supporter of the Pars from that day on.
On her return to the UK Margaret was employed by Kingston FCL, a company that specialised in billing systems for mobile phones. The company itself was involved in various mergers and takeovers and eventually became part of Convergys, a US based corporation that specialises in customer and information management products. Margaret progressed to Training Manager and then became a Resources Consultant.
Career progression was one thing, but Margaret became more and more interested in another kind of progression – that of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club. In 2004 she recognised that a new type of Supporters’ Group, advocating more fan participation and ownership, was getting government backing and was perhaps something that could be developed at Dunfermline. Through hard work and determination Margaret led a small group of fans to recruit members and to set up the Pars Supporters’ Trust.
Margaret became Chair of the Pars Supporters Trust, a position that she held since the Trust was formed. It has enjoyed immense success on a number of fronts and just last year was able to say that it had provided almost a quarter of a million pounds towards the club’s survival and development. However the PST and Margaret came into their own when The Pars were in difficulties in 2012. Margaret decided then to retire from her business consulting role in order to give her more time to work on a voluntary basis with Pars United and DAFC. And work she did, and it eventually paid off with the club surviving thanks to Margaret and many others like her.
Recognition of her skills and ability came with her appointment to the Board of Pars United CIC and then when she became a Director of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club.
With all her responsibilities, which she voluntarily added to by, for example, becoming involved with the Former Players Association and becoming a regular attender at the DAFC Heritage Group meetings, Margaret didn’t have much time for life outside the club. And even then as an avid football fan, Margaret could also be seen regularly home and away supporting Scotland as a member of the Tartan Army.
Beyond that Margaret did enjoy travelling and she and her partner of over twenty years Tom Malcolmson explored and holidayed together. Tom joked this week that apart from the odd five minutes here and there it was the only time that he managed to get any time with Margaret!
Sadly none of us will have time with Margaret anymore because in the early hours of Friday morning 16th December at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy Margaret passed away without warning after suffering a brain seizure.
The huge number of tributes that have come in not just from Dunfermline Athletic and its fans but from across the football world are testament enough to the very high regard in which she was held. As a person Margaret was likeable, approachable and kind, but at the same time had a steely determination to get what she thought was needed. Her legacy is a considerable one – not only was she a leading founder of the Pars Supporters Trust, but she was also one of the drivers behind the acquisition of the Football Club by Pars United CIC and ultimately the rescue of Dunfermline Athletic from complete demise. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.
Margaret is survived by her partner Tom, her sister Helen, and her three brothers Sandy, Brian and David. Our sympathy and thoughts are with them all at this very sad time.
Margaret`s partner Tom said: "I was extremely blessed and fortunate to have Margaret in my life. I never knew how many people knew and liked Margaret until I saw the reaction to her death. I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts for myself and Margaret`s family and friends."