The SFA have reported the news that former Secretary Ernie Walker has died.
Ernie died peacefully after a long illness. He succeeded Willie Allan as secretary in 1977, having previously served as assistant, and enjoyed the distinction of watching Scotland compete in five consecutive major championship finals, from the 1974 World Cup in West Germany to Italia 90.
Ernie was one of the leading figures in the Think Tank, a root-and-branch review of Scottish football undertaken with the help of the Dutch coaching legend, Rinus Michels. Which was then filed away and ignored by the beaks at Hampden.
George Peat, the Scottish FA president, paid tribute to an administrator whose knowledge of the game was respected throughout world football. He was chairman of UEFA’s Stadia Committee for more than a decade, co-authoring reference books in this area, and was an advisor on many other aspects of the game.
“On behalf of the Scottish FA I would like to convey by condolences to the Walker family,” said Peat. “Ernie was renowned throughout the game as a first-class administrator and a first-class gentleman. Indeed, one of the first people to contact me upon hearing the news was Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA’s Deputy General Secretary.
“It is a tragedy that we have lost Ernie and his successor, Jim Farry, in recent months; two men who presided over a golden era for Scottish football and the national team.
“Ernie was renowned for his negotiation skills and his impact on the Scottish FA and the game in this country continues to be felt. It is symbolic that Ernie’s passing has coincided with another review of Scottish football, conducted by Henry McLeish.
“In many ways, Ernie was a visionary who cared deeply about the national game. I am sure Ernie will have approved of the changes that the Scottish FA is currently undertaking to rejuvenate both the organisation and the game as a whole.”