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Scottish celebrities we sadly lost in 2021 – Walter Smith to Les McKeown

While the death of a celebrity is heartbreaking for fans, it can often lead to a celebration of the legacy they have left for generations to come.

Whether they inspire us on the soccer field or entertain us on television and on stage, their contribution has a lasting impact on the lives of many people.

Here’s a look at the Scottish celebrities who sadly left us in 2021.

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Walter Smith

Walter Smith

The Rangers confirmed the sad death of the club and Scottish football legend Walter Smith in October this year.

The 76-year-old led the Ibrox team to 10 top division titles, five Scottish cups and six league cups during his tenure as coach.

His biggest highlight as Gers was in 2008 when he led the Glasgow team to a UEFA Cup final in Manchester.

Walter was also the head of the Scottish men’s national team for three years. In 2006 he managed to lead the team to a victory against World Cup finalists France on a famous evening at Hampden Park.

Between 1998 and 2002 he also directed Everton in the English Premier League.

In a statement, Rangers announced that Walter “battled with a disease” prior to his death.

Thousands of Rangers fans lined the streets outside Ibrox Stadium to watch the death of his funeral procession the following week.

Robert Fyfe

Robert Fyfe

Robert Fyfe, who played Howard in The Last of the Summer Wine, sadly passed away in September of this year at the age of 90.

The Kirkcaldy-born actor portrayed the shy and downtrodden battle-ax husband Pearl Sibshaw on screen from 1985 until the popular sitcom was canceled in 2010.

He also starred in the television shows Coronation Street, Z Cars, Angels and Monarch of the Glen. The Scottish actor has also  -peared in films such as The 51st State, Around the World in 80 Days and Cloud Atlas.

Fyfe’s broad Diana died a few weeks before him, leaving behind son Timothy, Nicholas and Dominic.

Bertie Auld

Bertie Auld

The Lisbon Lion and Celtic legend Bertie Auld died at the age of 83 after a battle with dementia in November.

Auld spent 12 years at Parkhead over two phases and played a large part in her heroic run

In addition to gaining European fame, he became an integral part of the team that won nine league titles in a Celtic-dominant era.

During his playing days, he won three c -s for Scotland and also enjoyed management times with Hibs, Hamilton Accies, Patrick Thistle and Dumbarton.

Fans gathered on the Celtic Way to lay scarves and wreaths at Parkhead, where his funeral was broadcast live almost two weeks after his death.

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Gwyneth Guthrie

Gwyneth Guthrie

Take The High Road actress Gwyneth Guthrie died in November of that year at the age of 84.

The Ayr-born actress played Mrs. Mack, known for her unflattering hats, on the show.

Gwyneth died peacefully in her home on Tuesday surrounded by loved ones.

In a statement, her family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of our great mother Gwyneth Guthrie.

“She died on Tuesday, November 9th, peacefully at home and surrounded by her loving family. She will play in heaven in front of her next audience. “

Sydney Devine

Sydney Devine

Scottish showbiz legend Sydney Devine died in February of this year at the age of 81.

The sad news came three weeks after Sydney was rushed to Ayr Hospital after an illness at his home.

Iain Gordon, General Manager of the Pavilion Theater in Glasgow said: “This is probably the hardest thing to announce and post on social media this morning at 3:30 am, our friend and star of the Pavilion and Scottish legend, Sydney Devine died.

“I’ve been working with Sydney and the band since 1976 and I have to say I’ve never seen a bad performance, he was the ultimate showman and performer.

“It’s really hard to find in this business. Syd always made time for everyone, fans, staff and other performers. I texted him at 8:27 this morning wishing him well and hoping he had a better week.

“He was one of the Pavilion families and is a great loss to everyone who has followed him over the years. Generations of families have grown up with Sydney, playing its music and passing it on to generations.

“Over the years we’ve seen parents bring their children to see him, and they in turn brought their children to the annual Sydney Devine Weekend.

Les McKeown

Les McKeown

Bay City Roller Les McKeown died suddenly in  -ril this year at the age of 65.

The singer and his band were best known for hits like I Only Wanna Be With You, Bye Bye Baby, Shang-a-Lang and Give A Little Love.

A coroner ruled that McKeown died from a combination of natural causes, including heart disease – which is believed to be a partial consequence of “long-term use of excessive alcohol and drugs.”

His family paid tribute to the star in a statement that read, “My father always wore his heart on his sleeve, so it was not surprising that the coroner said he had a ‘heavy heart’.”

It added, “Ultimately he made his own decisions, but people made it easier for him to make the wrong decisions by putting alcohol into his hands.”

Steve Bronski

Steve Bronski

Bronski Beat founder Steve Bronski died in December at the age of 61.

The Glasgow keyboardist founded the group in 1993 with Jimmy Somerville and Larry Steinbachek.

Bronski Beat enjoyed a number of UK top hits including Smalltown Boy, Why? As well as a cover of Donna Summers ‘I Feel Love’.

Bronski Beat member Jimmy shared the news of Steve’s death on the band’s official Facebook page.

He wrote: “He was a talented and a very melodic man. Working with him on songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many others was a fun and exciting time. Thanks for the tune Steve. Jimmy x ”

Andy gray

Andy gray

River City star Andy Gary died in January at the age of 61.

The Perth-born actor was best known for his role as Pete Galloway on the   Scotland So -.

He also played roles in the hit TV shows City Lights and Naked Video. Andy was also a well-known figure on the Scottish Panto circuit.

River City co-stars paid tribute to what they described as “one of the most beloved people to come through Shieldinch.”

Gayle Telfer Stevens, who played Andy’s film partner Caitlin McLean, said, “Andy was and will be a national treasure. Not only was he an extraordinary actor and entertainer who brought so much joy to so many people, he was an extraordinary man too.

“Andy – you are sorely missed. Your laughter will echo in Scotland’s heart and you will never forget. Love you forever.”



Scottish DJ and music producer SOPHIE died suddenly in January of this year at the age of 34.

The Glasgow-born artist died “after a sudden accident” in Athens, Greece.

SOPHIE produced music for numerous pop stars such as Madonna, Kim Petras and Charli XCX.

Her debut album Oil of Every Pearl was nominated for Best Dance / Electronic Album at the 2018 Grammys.

In a statement, her team said: “SOPHIE was a pioneer of a new sound, one of the most influential artists of the last decade.

“Not only for the ingenious production and creativity, but also for the message and visibility achieved.

“An icon of liberation.”

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