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December 10, 2023

Willie McCulloch

We were saddened to receive the news that Diamonds legend and Hall of Fame inductee Willie McCulloch has passed away.

Ian McMillan signed McCulloch for £5,000 from Alloa Athletic in 1973, and he would go on to play a major role in many of Airdrie's most memorable moments over the next eight years.

Fondly remembered by fans of this era due to his 100% attitude, Willie was a hard, tough-tackling player who was equally comfortable at centre-forward as he was in the middle of the park. Good with both feet as well as his head, Willie was very much an all rounder, but will always be remembered for his commitment and effort.

Many will recall one memorable match on New Years day against Hearts at Tynecastle - Airdrie found themselves 2-0 down when McCulloch was brought on as a substitute. He scored twice, as well as providing an assist for Jim Rodger to secure a 3-2 victory.

His first season with Airdrie would see the club winning the Second Division title, scoring 102 goals in the process. His second was equally successful, reaching the League Cup semi-final and losing narrowly 1-0 to Celtic. The Diamonds would later face the Glasgow side again at Hampden in the 1975 Scottish Cup final, with McCulloch scoring in three previous rounds en route.

Perhaps McCulloch's finest personal moment came in the 1976 Spring Cup Final when he scored two goals in a 4-2 victory over Clydebank.

Willie’s time at the club would come to an end in 1981, after a work accident saw him sidelined for around five months and eventually join Berwick Rangers. In all he made 225 appearances and scored 47 goals for Airdrie. In 2006 McCulloch was inducted into the Airdrie Hall of Fame.

Willie’s former team-mate, Sandy Clark, told “What a man. What a player. I can’t even begin to tell how much he helped and supported me as a young footballer.

“He had a heart of gold, but he was as hard as nails. An incredible role model and team player.

“I bumped into him many times over the years - my thoughts are with his family and friends.”

We echo Sandy’s sentiment as we offer our heartfelt condolences to Willie’s loved ones.




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