The sister of a Dons legend says renaming part of an animal centre in his honour is the perfect way to continue his legacy.
Aberdeen FC icon Neale Cooper, a well-known animal lover, passed away last May aged just 54.
A collection was held at his funeral with the money raised being donated to Mrs Murray’s Home for Stray Cats and Dogs in Seaton.
A golf day at Trump International Golf Links was also auctioned off in memory of the midfielder, who was part of the side that beat Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983.
We can now share this with you ❤️Huge thank you to the family of the former Aberdeen Football legend Neale Cooper, who…
The exact total from the two fundraisers is not yet known, but it is thought to be more than £1,400.
Now, to mark the donation, staff at Mrs Murray’s have renamed their dog rehoming block Tattie’s Pad – a reference to Cooper’s affectionate nickname.
His sister Shirley revealed it was the Gothenburg Great’s children who had come up with the idea of holding a collection for the home in recognition of their dad’s lifelong passion for animals.
“It was Neale’s kids who came up with the idea of donating the money to the cat and dog home, because Neale loved animals, and my pets adored him,” Shirley said.
“I used to call him Doctor Dolittle because they used to follow him around when he came to visit.
“Nobody else would get a look in when he was there.
“He adored all animals, especially dogs, and his pockets were always full of treats for them. Animals absolutely loved him.”
A plaque – donated to the home by local firm Sign Company Aberdeen – has been installed on the building to mark its renaming in honour of Cooper.
Mrs Murray’s manager Marie Simpson said: “We were absolutely delighted and honoured that Neale’s family chose us.
“They had a collection at his service, as well as an auction and we have had a couple of other donations as well.
“We are so grateful for everything they’ve done for us.
“The support they have given us is very much appreciated.
“We just wanted to put something in the home to mark the fact that the family had done this in remembrance of Neale.
“He was a huge dog lover and the rehoming centre seemed the ideal place to celebrate him and his life.
“It’s a great way to continue his legacy and celebrate Neale, who was always a huge supporter of ours.”
An Aberdeen FC spokesman said: “Neale’s love of dogs was well known and he would have been absolutely chuffed with part of Mrs Murray’s Home for Stray Cats and Dogs being named after him as a legacy to his fondness of our four-legged friends. It’s a lovely story.”