David Stewart: Passing of Kilsyth Rangers cup hero and ex-Scotland keeper

Former Kilsyth Rangers, Leeds United and Scotland keeper David Stewart has passed away.
Former Kilsyth Rangers, Leeds United and Scotland keeper David Stewart has passed away.

Former Kilsyth Rangers and Leeds United and Scotland goalkeeper David Stewart has died at the age of 71.

He was Rangers goalkeeper during the 1966-67 season in which they won the Scottish Junior cup for a second time.

He played a key role as Kilsyth took the trophy with a 3-1 replay win over Rutherglen Glencairn.

It was not the best start to a season though; Rob Roy administered a 7-0 thrashing in the very first game and Dave was dropped. But he soon went on to regain his place and hold down the spot for the rest of the season.

He joined Ayr United at the beginning of the following season and made 193 first team appearances before joining Leeds United in 1974 after the Yorkshire club sold Welsh international goalkeeper Gary Sprake.

Initially understudy to another Scottish international keeper David Harvey, his chance came when Harvey was involved in a car accident in early 1975 when Leeds were midway through their European cup campaign, having been English League champions the previous year.

He distinguished himself in the role, particularly in a semi final tie in Barcelona and Leeds went through to face Bayern Munich in the final in Paris.

He was not to add another cup winners medal to his collection though as Bayern won 2-0 on the night.

He told our sister paper the Yorkshire Post: “It was a game we probably deserved to win. We were really angry at the time but it's one of those things.

“I actually watched the film of the match not so long ago and I still can't believe how bad the decisions were. But there's not a lot you can do now.”

He remains though, the only goalkeeper to have played both in a Scottish Junior cup and European Cup final.

He went on to make a total of 57 first team appearances for Leeds and won a Scottish cap in an international against East Germany in which he saved a penalty although Scotland lost 1-0.

But after Harvey returned to re-establish himself as number one, Stewart was transferred to West Bromwich Albion in 1979, although he was unable to establish himself as first choice.

He then joined Swansea as first team keeper and won a Welsh Cup winners' medal to sit alongside his Scottish Junior Cup one.

He finished his footballing career with a spell in Hong Kong, and eventually settled in Swansea for quite a few years before returning to Scotland to live in Kilsyth.

David had not enjoyed the best of health in recent years although he was able to be present at the celebration last July of the 50th anniversary of Rangers that Junior Cup win, when he met up with with quite a few of his teammates from that game.

He is well remembered by many of the club's older fans and his death marks a milestone in the history of the club.