THE town lost one of its great characters this week with the sad passing of Tam Smith.
The 69-year-old, who was president of the Hawick Rangers Supporters’ Club and a past president of the Liberal Club, died on Saturday following a short spell battling lung cancer.
His wife Sheila said: “He just loved football and Rangers was at the top of the list.”
Tam moved to Hawick from Glasgow in 1959 and lived with his brother Willie ‘Wydo’ Smith. He met Sheila at a dance and the couple were married at Hawick Registry Office in 1962, going on to have four children, Ged, Keith, Darren and Debbie.
Tam, a great fan of the late Elvis Presley, worked as a hoffman presser at Clan Douglas and Hawick Knitwear before retiring, although up until just four weeks ago he was helping out at Lockie’s.
A regular at Think Fitness in O’Connell Street he was also coach of a Sunday League football team some time ago. But it was his love of the Teddy Bears that shone through. And despite his illness he took his place at the top table of the supporters’ club’s 50th anniversary dinner at the end of last month.
Club secretary Michael Hook said: “No job was too much for Tam, selling tickets for the match, selling tickets for the functions, putting posters up or just attending meetings was a joy for him.
“Many of my Sundays were spent in Tam’s company, either in Jock Reids or the Mansfield Bar, then he’d head away for his tea and off to the Burns Club.
“Tam was at Tannadice [Dundee United] on September 10 to see Rangers win for the last time. He’ll be missed by all at the club.”
Jim Hannah, supporters liaison manager at Rangers FC, said: “I was really shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Hawick RSC president Tam Smith.
“I had been in dialogue with the supporters’ club Secretary Michael Hook and we had arranged for Tam to come in and meet up with the players prior to the game against Kilmarnock this coming Tuesday.
“When something like this happens everyone’s thoughts are for the family and friends, and on behalf of the chairman, directors, players and staff of Rangers Football Club, I would like to send our sincere condolences to Tam’s immediate family and friends.”