Falkirk Vics mourn loss of throws coach Willie

Tributes have been paid across the athletics community to coach Willie Robertson
Tributes have been paid across the athletics community to coach Willie Robertson

Falkirk Victoria Harriers are mouring the loss of a beloved and legendary club coach – William Robertson – who died last week.

The throws specialist with an association to Falkirk Vics spanning four decades passed away at his home in Torphicen on Friday. He is survived by wife Angela, son Alan and daughter Hazel.

Willie competed in the Commonwealth Games as a wrestler in 1974 and 1986 but took a place amongst Scotland’s top 30 hammer throwers and many medals while competing for Edinburgh AC and Thames Valley Harriers. A throw in 1974 set his personal best throw in the hammer with 57.3m.

As a coach he helped Myra Perkins to the Commonwealth Games and local athletes Ciaran Wright, Kyle Randalls, Fraser Ewen, Rhianydd Parry and Edmond Reid to national success. Daughter Hazel also appears in the Scottish rankings for hammer, discus and shot putt.

A club tribute described him as “a generous, larger than life character”.

It added: “Willie remained modest about his own achievements and tight lipped about his athletic successes. Appearing in the Scottish ranking lists for hammer throwing most years from 1969 until 2008 with a brief gap in the late 1970’s into early 80’s during which time Willie was a regular on the Highland Games circuit.

“His personal bests in Games being 120 feet in the hammer, 48 feet in the Shot and 14 feet in the 56lb Over the Bar. For many years Willie also officiated at the Games as well as track and field meetings.

“While Willie’s main competitive days pre-date his time with Falkirk Victoria Harriers his contribution and influence on the club are immense. Coaching all heavy throws disciplines and highland games heavy events to a select band he thought could handle it, Willie

transformed the club from being endurance based who had a few willing volunteers filling in at Hammer, Discus and Shot in league matches to arguably at one time the country’s hot bed of young talent in these events, but especially his beloved hammer. There are

numerous Schools, District and National champions who benefited from Willie’s knowledge, enthusiasm and unique approach in their early career.

“He will be sorely missed throughout the athletics community in general, throws community in particular and by all in Falkirk Victoria Harriers past and present especially those who worked with Willie.