Jimmy a leader on the field and off it

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FORMER New Stevenston footballer Jimmy Rodger has died at the age of 87 following a long illness.

Prior to gracing the old Scottish First Division, Jimmy had a distinguished military career during World War Two, rising to the rank of captain in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

After being demobbed Jimmy turned his attention to football and signed as a centre half for Hearts in 1949.

He was at Tynecastle for a season before moving to Third Lanark following a spell at Stirling Albion.

His time at Cathkin Park was also brief and in 1952 he returned to Lanarkshire to join Airdrieonians where he saw out the remainder of his career.

After five years at Broomfield he retired from playing but continued to be active in the game, becoming trainer at Albion Rovers and chairman of the Scottish Football Players’ Association.

Away from the game, Jimmy was manager of Glasgow clothing factory Connell and Bannatyne and married his wife, Elsie Johnstone, at the EU Congregational Church in Blantyre.

He is survived by Elsie and their three children, Jean, Daniel and Jim, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Full story in June 16 edition of Times & Speaker