Players, management and fans were united in sorrow after one of Aberdeen Football Club’s “unsung heroes” passed away.
Known affectionately by all as ‘Andy at the Gate’, 49-year-old Andrew Cheyne was a much-loved figure as an attendant at the first team’s training facilities – both at Balgownie and latterly at Cormack Park – as well as at Pittodrie on matchdays.
Hundreds of fans – of various teams – took to social media to share their memories of Mr Cheyne, and senior figures at the club paid tribute to the popular figure.
Chairman Dave Cormack described him as the “kindest of men”.
“I am devastated by this news,” said Mr Cormack on Twitter.
“Andrew epitomized everything about what we stand for as a club – proud of his city and region, our history and being at the heart of our community.
“Ironically he loved cars but could not drive and took three buses a day to and from Cormack Park.
“He was the kindest of men.”
Among the online tributes were those from captain Joe Lewis and defender Shay Logan, who described Mr Cheyne as “an absolute legend”.
In a statement, the club said it was “deeply saddened” by Mr Cheyne’s death.
“‘Andy at the Gate’ was renowned for offering guests at Balgownie and latterly Cormack Park a heartfelt and friendly welcome,” it said.
“He was also a well-known face at Pittodrie on matchdays too, greeting the management team, players, directors, staff, the media, guests and supporters on their arrival.
“Andy had an infectious personality and was an outstanding ambassador for Aberdeen FC.
“He was a man who always left anyone he met with a positive feeling for the football club, however long or short the encounter.
“The ultimate gentleman, he will be sorely missed by all at the club, as well as many football families across the country.”
Head of academy coaching Gavin Levey said: “This news has come as a real shock to us all.
“For a number of years, Andy has been our front line and face of the youth academy.
“Andy received our ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the academy presentation night.
“As anyone who knew him knows, he had a wonderful friendly personality which ensured all members of the academy and our visitors were given such a warm welcome.
“In the past few months, Andy had started a new role working with people who have autism.
“He was such a caring person who always wanted to help others.
“Aberdeen Football Club and the academy ‘family’ meant so much to him.
“He was an absolute gentleman and a man who will be remembered very fondly by so many people.”