Edmund Norrie, once Scotland’s oldest football referee and an Aberdeen FC superfan, has died aged 94.
Mr Norrie, a former teacher at Northfield Academy, Aberdeen, gave up refeering just 12 years ago, and only because of a bout of illness. Otherwise he would have carried on for a few more years.
He kept himself fit for school and juvenile games by training at sessions run by Aberdeen FC coach Teddy Scott.
A life-long Dons fan, Mr Norrie, known as Ed, barely missed a home game and attended with his fiend John McBeath.
Ed’s seat was number 157 in block D and row E at Pittodrie. When he died, the club agreed to place the family’s floral tribute on Ed’s seat.
The family have now taken over Ed’s seat and will remember him when they use it.
“We could not get into the stadium because of the current situation but the club placed the wreath on the seat and sent a letter to the family,” said a family spokesperson.
Edmund Norrie was born at Willowbank, New Deer, to Alex Norrie and his wife Annie Buchan.
His father worked for Lister Engineering and the family moved several times during Ed’s early years to Perthshire, Dublin and England before returning north to settle in Aberdeen.
In the early 1940s, Ed began an engineering apprenticeship with Hall Russell shipyard in Aberdeen. During his time there, he went to evening classes to gain additional qualifications and it was there he met his future wife Rena Walker, who was studying at secretarial classes.
He remained there until around 1948 when he joined the merchant navy as an engineer, sailing from Liverpool and Southampton to destinations in South America and the Middle East.
In 1951, Edmund and Rena were married at the Northern Hotel, Great Northern Road, Aberdeen, a marriage that was to last for 68 years.
In 1958 he came ashore to undertake teacher training. During summer breaks he worked as an engineer on the north ferries to Orkney and Shetland.
Career in education
He then had a long career as a technical teacher at St Machar Academy, Aberdeen Grammar School and Northfield Academy. Ed retired in the early 1990s but continued to do supply work for several years.
It was during these school years that Ed began refereeing matches.
The family spokesperson said: “He had never been a player but I think he was asked to help out at school and just continued doing it.
“At one point, he was said to be the oldest referee in the UK. He often appeared in the Green Final and was an Evening Express reader until the last.”
As well as attending training sessions run by Teddy Scott, Ed was involved in the testimonial events for Dons great Bobby Clark.
Ed and Rena were members of Northfield Church before their move to Westhill.
Ed, who was predeceased by Rena, was also Boys’ Brigade officer at Northfield and helped out at the Beehive Youth Club.
He is survived by his children Joan, Alan, Colin and Kevin.
The family’s announcement can be read here.