Tributes have flooded in for a former Aberdeen winger who left a football coaching legacy in Australia.
George McMillan, who died aged 89 in Peterborough, played for the Dons for two seasons between 1950 and 1952 before starring for Montrose, Fraserburgh, Newport County, Brechin City and Wrexham.
And George’s dying wish to have some of his ashes scattered at Pittodrie is set to be realised.
Born in Motherwell, George moved to Aberdeen when he was in his early 20s and it was there he met his wife Mary.
However, his Aberdeen career came to an end after he broke his neck while carrying out his day job as an electrician.
After retiring he began a glittering coaching career, starting at Huntly before relocating to Australia where he achieved success coaching both youth and men’s football.
George coached Juventus in Adelaide to two Australian league titles before taking charge at Campbelltown City and winning two more trophies.
Overall, he spent 12 years coaching in the first and second divisions before moving on to youth training.
It was his time he spent in the Granite City that stayed with him for most of his life, however, as his dying wish was to have his ashes scattered at Pittodrie.
His son Graham said: “My dad wanted some of his ashes scattered at Pittodrie as he had his best days there.
“He told me that when he went, he wanted to return as it was a highlight of his career.”
An Aberdeen FC spokesman confirmed they would accommodate the family at Pittodrie and allow the ashes to be spread around the stadium.
He added: “We’re really sad to hear the news and our thoughts are with them at this sad time.”
George held football clinics for six to 12-year-olds for four years before moving into radio.
An expert in fitness, he also coached his son Graham who played for Motherwell and Aberdeen reserves under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Graham, 54, believes his father’s fantastic coaching ability has left a legacy in Australia.
He said: “He was a great coach and was one of the first who made sure his sides were properly fit, which was a change as the normal Australian style was very laid-back.
“There were times his team were 2-0 down and they came out in the second half and completely took over.
“His proudest moments of his life were playing for Aberdeen and his coaching and working with children in Australia.
“He left a legacy in Australia without a shadow of a doubt as he left a lasting impression on a lot of young players over there.”
George made a number of friends in the footballing industry and remained in touch with former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp up to his death.
He suffered from dementia in his later years and was looked after by his son Graham and his wife in Peterborough.
Graham said one of his favourite stories with his dad involved them visiting Liverpool’s training ground and riding to Anfield in legendary manager Bob Paisley’s car.
He said: “My dad knew one of Liverpool’s scouts from Aberdeen called Reuben Bennett and he organised a trip for us to go to a training session.
“We went in Bob Paisley’s Rover, which was amazing for me as I was a huge Liverpool fan and he was an absolute hero of mine.
“We then went to a game at Anfield on the Saturday where they played Bolton and Kenny Dalglish scored so it was a great weekend.”
After George’s coaching career came to a gradual end, he started up his own radio show in Australia using his contacts to interview British footballing stars.
He chatted to the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Davie Cooper and Pat Nevin.
George lived in Australia for the majority of his working life but moved to Peterborough in 2011 to live with his son following the death of his wife.
His funeral was last Friday in Peterborough and tributes were sent in from Australian sporting figures who knew him.
Frank Pangello, Adelaide journalist and politician, said: “He will always be remembered as a very knowledgeable and perceptive football manager.
“Above all, he was one of the most likeable, generous and genuine blokes you could meet.”
South Australian football hall of famer Raz DiCarlo said: “We spoke of your dad today with his peers and friends. Recounting memories and his achievements. He had a valuable life to our community.
“No one has ever heard a bad word. He is in our football history.”