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"The Fund allowed my dad to spend the last year of his life in the place he considered home."

Former Lancaster technician Alex McClintock served in the RAF during the Second World War before going on to work with Rangers greats Walter Smith and Ally McCoist.

Alex McClintock

Alexander McClintock may be best remembered by Rangers fans for kick-starting legendary manager Walter Smith's career in football leadership (he founded the amateur football club where he recognised Walter's skills as a leader) and nurturing the raw talent of Ally McCoist, first at St Johnstone and then Sunderland before bringing him to the attention of Rangers.

But his first love, and the place where he discovered his passion for the beautiful game, was the Royal Air Force.

Alex, then a young Glasgow lad signed up to join the RAF in 1939, at the outbreak of Second World War, preferring to decide his fate and join the 'elite' force, as he saw it.

A trained mechanic, Alex completed RAF training at Blackpool, where he met his wife-to-be, Joyce. He was sent to North Africa to work as a Lancaster aircraft technician and it was there his love of football was first kindled as he undertook training to become a football referee.

A long career followed his wartime service, with football always in the background, first as a coach, then referee and then talent scout and TV reporter.

Alex's dedication to football was recognised in 2000 when, aged 81, Alex was made an MBE for services to youth sport, particularly in Glasgow, an application which was supported by both Ally and Walter.

When Alex’s family needed help to keep him in the nursing home he had lived in for more than five years, they turned to the RAF Benevolent Fund for assistance.

Sandra explained: "Dad's savings had all been spent and there was a serious threat he could be moved out of there. He was quite comfortable there and the Fund’s help meant he could stay. He certainly would not have coped with being moved.

"The Fund’s help has been amazing. I do not know how we would have been able to afford to keep him there without it. It was a lifesaver.

"Dad was very proud of his RAF career – he married in his uniform and has his medals mounted on the wall. He loved the camaraderie of the RAF.

"He was proud that he was getting recognition for his wartime service. He liked to know that the RAF family that he was very loyal to was helping him in this way."

Sadly Alex passed away on Saturday, February 6, rather fittingly while watching his beloved Rangers play Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup.

Sandra said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund allowed my dad to spend the last year of his life in the place he considered to be his home and his family will be forever thankful for their help."

 

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