Billy McPhee: tributes paid after death of East Fife legend

East Fife have paid tribute after the death of club legend Billy McPhee. The club was close to his heart all his life, and he was a much loved figure around Bayview.
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Billy made 233 appearances, scoring 72 goals between 1970 and 1977. He was described as a true gentleman who was humble about all he achieved in the sport.

Announcing his death, the club said: “ He will be missed by everyone at Bayview. We extend our sincere condolences to Billy's family and friends at this sad time.”

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The Bayview legend was known for his famous left foot, and he was exceptionally proud to pull on a black and gold jersey. He went on to become one of the club’s biggest legends after firing them to promotion as well as a ninth-place finish in the top flight in 1973.

Billy McPhee was a legendary figure at East Fife (Pic: East Fife FC)Billy McPhee was a legendary figure at East Fife (Pic: East Fife FC)
Billy McPhee was a legendary figure at East Fife (Pic: East Fife FC)

In a 2019 interview with the East Fife Mail, he recalled: “ “My brother used to play for East Fife, he was 10 years older than me,” said McPhee, who played outside left. My father was a bus driver and, at the old Bayview at the Kirkland Road end, the drivers would all stand with their uniforms on.

“My dad used to stand there and I was next to him and he’d say ‘that’s your brother, son’. I’d look at my dad and say ‘I’ll be better than him’ - but he never got to see me play and died when I was 15. I buried his ashes at Bayview and my mother’s as well so East Fife is very special to me.”

McPhee also played with Rangers who he joined from Bowhill YC in 1966, after impressing scouts with a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Cowdenbeath Royals under 18s. He made his Rangers debut in front of 25,000 fans against Partick Thistle at Firhill, but the squad was packed full with legends such as Jim Baxter, and he found it hard to establish a regular slot in his two years at Ibrox.

After hanging up his boots, McPhee worked for East Fife and also had a spell at Stark’s Park as general manager, but his heart always lay at Bayview.

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