Tributes are paid to a Leven golfing ‘legend’

Andrew Cunningham
Andrew Cunningham

The Levenmouth golfing community has been saddened by the recent passing of one of the area’s most well known and prolific players.

Andrew Cunningham was a long time member of Leven Thistle Golf Club, allowed to join its ranks as a 15-year-old, a year earlier than he should have.

It was the beginning of a long association with the Leven club, spending countless hours playing in friendly games, competitive tournaments and also helping to coach younger players, along with Sandy Herd.

Their commitment to youth coaching saw both Andrew and Sandy presented with early honorary memberships at Leven Thistle.

During the early 1960s his golfing abilities made sure his name was on almost every trophy in the club.

He won the club championship five times and was one of only three people in the 150-year history of the club to win it three years in a row (1968, 1969 and 1970) .

The only one left now, who has that honour, is his former pupil – Derek Cobban.

He won the Standard Life Gold Medal three times, and gave them to his three grandsons on their 21st birthday.

In 1964, apart from his own club competitions, he won the Fife championships, the Standard Life Gold Medal, the Links Championship, and was the Fife Matchplay champion, all in the one year.

He played for Fife for a few years, and was in the club team of that era who won many competitions.

The Crail Bowl was almost a resident in the trophy cabinet in the Thistle.

Past captain at the club, Alan Lee, said of the proud +2 handicapper: “He was an extremely talented golfer, playing at a high level of amateur golf .

“However he put a lot back into the game teaching and encouraging youngsters .

“The word ‘legend’ is not wasted on this man because in local golf, and especially The Thistle, he definitely was.”

Despite suffering a stroke at 66, Andrew continued to visit the course, where he would watch the golfers on the 16th green and the 17th tee.

Away from the course Andrew served during his younger years in the Black Watch and was based in Cyprus.

It was on a period of home leave he first met future wife Dorothy in Vettraino’s Cafe in Leven.

The couple have two daughters, Lorraine and Sylvia, five grandchildren Harry, Marette, Marc, Christopher, and Michaela and ten great grandchildren.