Dunfermline Athletic

Doug Baillie (27.01.37 - 19.02.22)

Sunday, 20th Feb 2022

It is with sadness that the club learned of the death after illness of former player Doug Baillie at his home in Hamilton at the age of 85. Our condolences are extended to Doug’s family.

It was appropriate that the man to take over the captaincy when Roy Barry was transferred to Coventry City, should be his successor at centre half, Doug Baillie. A strong, powerful figure, Doug arrived at Dunfermline with a wealth of experience having already captained Airdrie, Third Lanark and Falkirk. He had also captained Rangers Reserves.

Doug Baillie started his senior career with Airdrie in 1953 and stayed with the Broomfield Club until 1960, apart from a very brief spell with Swindon Town in 1956. He was big and commanding centre half and his performances with Airdrie persuaded Rangers to sign him in 1960.

He remained, mainly as a reserve, until 1964, when he moved across Glasgow to join Third Lanark. The demise of the Hi-Hi`s led to another move and in 1965 he joined Falkirk. At Brockville, he was the key figure in The Bairns defence and in a four year spell he played well over 100 games.

Above: Doug Baillie fourth from left, on Gwardia Warsaw trip November 1969

In 1969, George Farm was looking for cover for Roy Barry and signed Doug for The Pars. With Roy’s move to Coventry, Doug became the regular centre half and Doug Baillie played in all six of Dunfermline`s Inter Cities Fairs Cup matches in season 1969-70. He made 26 starts and five as a substitute for Dunfermline Athletic before hanging up his boots.

After retiring as a player, Baillie became a football journalist, working for The Sunday Post. He was the chief football writer there for 32 years covering World Cups in Argentina and France and becoming President of the Scottish Football Writers’ Association in 1990 before retiring in 2001.

An example of Doug’s humour is recorded in the book Black and White Magic where he contributed to the background of what was termed on October 1969 as the ‘Battle of Bordeaux’.

October 1,1969. The Municipal Stadium in Bordeaux. A never to be forgotten ninety minutes. I will never forget it anyway! For what started off as a stage for displaying all that is sordid in football ended up with my East End colleagues and myself rolling about in the dressing room afterwards.

After the match we’d fought our way off the field and battled our way to the relative sanctuary of the changing rooms. All was well we thought, everybody had made in safely. Wrong. One man was missing, there was no sign of George McLean. Five minutes later big George staggered into the dressing room with blood gushing from a head wound.

He’d been hit by a beer can. ‘How are you feeling?’ I enquired anxiously. ‘Fine’ came the reply ‘I was lucky it was a can of LIGHT ALE! Exit the after-match tension.



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