Dons legend Joe Harper today paid tribute to his “funny pal” Freddie Starr.
Joe first met the comedian, who passed away at his home in Spain, in the early 1970s during a spell playing for Everton.
Freddie, a household name at the time, having been discovered on talent show Opportunity Knocks, was living in Liverpool when he met Joe.
Joe signed for Everton in December 1972 and was introduced to Freddie on the day of his first match.
Joe said: “Freddie was a character and I have a lot of stories to tell about him – he just had a way of making people laugh.
“It was during my first match with Everton FC when I met Freddie.
“He came up to me and we all started talking, chatting and having a laugh.
“My wife and I were away to the club where he was performing that night and he got us a table.
“Ever since then we were very, very good friends.”
The football star said he even lived with the comic for a month while he hunted for a new home in the Liverpool area.
He said: “We were looking for a house at the time and Freddie said to me, ‘I have a big, big house, stay with me’ and we stayed with him for about a month.
“When we went to visit him he had these cow horns on the door and when you’d ring the door bell it would ‘moo’ loudly – that just shows you already the type of character Freddie was.”
Joe also remembers Freddie used to draw back the curtains in the morning and dance for the passers-by and dogwalkers.
He added: “He was just a funny man. I also remember after one game where I landed a penalty kick, that night we went to see Freddie’s show and he came out with an Everton FC shirt with ‘Joe Harper’ written on the back.
“He also had on a ginger wig and kicked a football – reenacting the goal.
“Freddie and I kept in touch over the years and he even came up to Aberdeen.”
Merseyside-born Freddie was the lead singer of the Merseybeat group the Midniters during the 1960s and rose to national prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on Opportunity Knocks.
In 2011 he appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here but withdrew within days for health reasons.
Joe, who found out about the funnyman’s death from friends, said: “I got a text saying they were sorry to hear about my very funny pal dying – at first I wasn’t sure who they meant.
“But this was especially sad news because I have just lost two of my other friends, Neale Cooper and Joe Law.
“And the way that he passed, alone and by himself, is also sad to hear.”