Friday 12 March 2010

Former manager MacFarlane passes away

Livingston FC were saddened to learn of the passing of former Meadowbank Thistle manager Willie MacFarlane yesterday, at the age of 79.

Willie spent three years in charge during our spell in Edinburgh, and laid the groundwork for the successful Thistle side of the early to mid 1980s.

Better known for his long association with Hibernian, Willie took over as manager late in 1977, remaining in situ until 1980, when he was dismissed following a Scottish Cup defeat to Buckie Thistle.

His spell in charge - which he balanced with running his bookmaking business - saw a number of club stalwarts arrive at Meadowbank, most notably Terry Christie, whom he brought on board as first team coach and who succeeded him as manager.  Club record appearance maker Walter Boyd was also a McFarlane signing in 1979.

Willie's spell at Meadowbank ended a long playing and managerial career which included spells with Raith Rovers, Morton, Hawick Royal Albert and Stirling Albion, in addition to Hibernian.

Over the past thirty years Willie has maintained his association with Hibernian, whom he played for in the mid 1950s and managed in the late 1960s, and was a regular visitor to Easter Road until his death.

The deepest sympathies of all at Almondvale are extended to Willie's family, friends and the wider 'family' of Hibernian Football Club.

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