Tributes to Bute football coach Jim Ross

Jim and Margaret Ross pictured in June 2012, when Jim was given a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday honours list for his services to amateur football in Argyll and Bute.
Jim and Margaret Ross pictured in June 2012, when Jim was given a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday honours list for his services to amateur football in Argyll and Bute.

Tributes have been paid to Bute football coach and Rothesay resident Jim Ross, who died on Monday.

Jim retired in 2011 after nearly 30 years giving hundreds of young people on Bute their introduction to the game, following a professional career in which he played for Ayr United, Partick Thistle and Kilbirnie Ladeside.

He also had a spell playing in North America and spent 25 years as the island’s youth worker.

Jim received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June 2012 in recognition of his services to the island and its young people in particular.

Scotland women’s international Jane Ross (no relation), who was introduced to the game through Jim’s coaching classes at the Moat community centre in Rothesay and who recently won her 50th cap, said on Twitter: “RIP Jim Ross, a man who I cannot thank enough for his influence on my life. A true gentleman, coach, teacher & friend who will b missed gr8ly.”

Tributes were also paid on Facebook by many members of the community on Bute.

James O’Donnell, who recently started a Soccer Saturdays coaching class in Rothesay, said: “Jim Ross was a friend, gentleman and role model for so many over the last 20+ years, no one comes close to him and no one ever will. For what you have gave us all from being boys to now growing men I thank you.”

Davie Mackay said: “Jim Ross was the person I looked up to most. He taught me how to play football and so much more. I’ll be forever grateful.”

Ian Cameron added: “Jim always told the kids he was 109, I really thought he would be around forever.

“I was with him on Saturday and he looked the picture of health, talking about football and laughing/reminiscing about old times.

“He was a mentor in life to me, not just football. I loved every minute I was in his company, so much enthusiasm and had football running through his blood.

“Jim retired recently but couldn’t stay away - he got a massive buzz out of coaching and helping people.

“Jim’s passing leaves a massive void in our community. Thinking of Jim’s family just now, and remembering all the times Jim made us smile and laugh.”

Rothesay Academy youth worker Ailsa Cassidy said: “Shocked, saddened and gutted at the passing of Jim Ross. What a man. He was the one who started and supported me into my youth work career. You were a man in man in a million. I am proud to have known and worked with you.”