Tributes have been paid to former city darts player Dave Neilson after he passed away from Covid.
Former north-east darts professional Bob Taylor today led the tributes to his mentor after his death at the age of 75.
During an era when Alex Ferguson ruled Scottish football with the Dons, Dave was a captain of teams which dominated Aberdeen darts during the first golden age of the sport.
A winner of the Aberdeen Darts Association singles in 1978/79, building contractor Dave, who was from the Mile-End area of the city, had a successful partnership with Scotland captain George Nicoll clinching the ADA pairs twice for the Charlotte Bar.
Bob, who made 11 appearances in the BBC televised BDO World Darts Championship, said:
“When I started playing, Davie was the player that I wanted to emulate.
“His reputation was second to none throughout the area.
“I was lucky to eventually play for him and it was a privilege. I learned so much and he will be sorely missed.
“I have great memories of a dear friend that will always stay in my heart.”
As well as the Charlotte, Dave also skippered teams at the Cragshannoch and Northern which ruled the roost in the manner of the successful Masada team today.
Unfortunately, Dave’s playing days were curtailed after he broke an arm when slipping on ice.
Cragshannoch players Alan Brown and Billy Smith were the first players from the area to win a national title when they won the Scottish pairs in 1982.
Alan said: “I was one of the younger ones and Davie was like a father to me.
“He raised the bar of North-east darts to another level, striving for success but always greeting every win with his large broad smile.
“He paved the way for the likes of Bob and other top North-east players to reach the standard they have. He leaves a great legacy but will be sadly missed.”
Graham Hendry, who teamed up with Jim McKay to prevent the Neilson-Nicoll combination completing a hat-trick of ADA pairs titles, said: “Davie was simply the best captain I played for.
“He was a true gent respected by all who knew him.”
Dave is survived by his wife Olive, son Shaun, daughter Kay and his two grandsons.
His funeral, which is private due to Covid restrictions, will be held on Tuesday January 26.