A former Montrose FC player, who could score equally well with both feet, has died at the age of 88.
Giles Marshall Gillett, born in Edinburgh on March 27, 1928, joined the Gable Endies in August 1952.
At Montrose, Giles was an important member of the first team throughout 1952/53, due to his ability to score and to create with both feet. As such, ‘Gil’ was used on the right and on the left side of the pitch in different matches, and records show he wore the number 6 and number 8 shirts for the Gable Endies.
He played for Haddington FC before national service in the BAOR (British Army of the Rhine shortly after World War Two).
Having impressed while playing for the BAOR, a number of Scottish clubs were interested in his services, including Kilmarnock, but instead he signedfor English top flight side Middlesbrough as a 19-year-old shortly before being demobbed in April 1947.
Having impressed Middlesbrough manager David Jack, who tipped him to “become a star within two years,” Giles received an unfortunate knee injury during the last few minutes of the first practise match in August 1948, just days before the start of the 1948/49 season.
Giles was a key part of a free-scoring reserves squad, who won the North Eastern League in ’48/49 (scoring 126 goals in 38 games), finishing third in 1949/50 with the best goal scoring record (124 goals in 38 games), and runners-up in 1950/51 (100 goals in 38 games). Despite having a transfer fee placed on him by the Middlesbrough directors, home-sickness and lack of first team opportunities led to a free transfer early in the 1950/51 season to Leith Athletic. After playing well, Giles was retained by Leith for 1951/52, before leaving for Montrose.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, he died peacefully in hospital on March 4.
The funeral will take place at St Bedes chapel, Middlesbrough today (Thursday).