Thursday, 29 May 2014



SCOTTISH sports journalism has lost one of its few remaining characters following Ian Broadley’s sudden death at his home in Aberdeen. He was 72.

Ian, from Dumbarton, was a newspaper man of 50 years standing and, during his time as the Herald’s golf writer, reported on all four major championships as well as the leading European Tour events and local championships.

He was also employed by the Daily Record in Glasgow and the north east as a football writer for more than 20 years after graduating from local newspapers to the news desk of the Scottish Daily Express in the early 1960s.

Immediately prior to joining the Herald, Ian also worked for the ill-fated Sunday Scot newspaper, which closed after just a few months. In more recent years he operated as a freelance sportswriter in his adopted city of Aberdeen, reporting on the Dons for several national newspapers.

During his long and distinguished career, Ian covered Aberdeen’s most successful years under Sir Alex Ferguson and, prior to that, Eddie Turnbull and Billy McNeill.

Know as “Bonesy” or “Broads” to his closest colleagues, Ian was a larger than life character famous for his fiery temperament which brought him into conflict with football players, managers, golfers and colleagues in equal measure. Mercifully, his bark was often worse than his bite and underneath his at times gruff exterior beat a generous heart.

Ian never minded putting himself out to accommodate colleagues visiting Aberdeen and enjoyed sharing a drink and exchanging stories with them. But woe be tide those who crossed him. They were not easily forgiven, if Ian believed he was the victim of injustice.

A man with strong principals, Ian’s spats with various football managers are the stuff of legend and earned him the respect of his colleagues and those involved in the game.

He was once famously challenged by the then Aberdeen manager Eddie Turnbull to settle their differences behind Gleneagles Hotel on the eve of the 1967 Scottish Cup final. There is no record of blows being thrown, but the incident highlighted Ian’s refusal to bow down to those in authority if he felt he had been wronged.

Sir Alex Ferguson recalled: “I had many arguments with him over the years but I could never get angry. I never fell out with him which says a lot when you consider my battles with the press.”

A talented golfer himself with a low single figure handicap at his peak, Ian was a member of Murcar Golf Club.

Paul Lawrie, the former Open champion, said: “I have known Ian for a number of years. He covered golf quite a bit when I first went to America after winning the Open and I got to know him.

“He also played golf at Deeside, where I play with my boys when I am at home, and I used to see him out playing in the evenings. He was a good journalist for a long time so we will miss him.”

Always good company and a man of wit and a rare ability to laugh at himself, Ian was a member of both the Association of Golf Writers and the Scottish Football Writers’ Association.

He had genuine warmth and he was a loyal and supportive colleague and friend, and in an age when new technology has replaced many of the previous working practices, he remained an old school type of reporter with the ability to ask the right questions and elicit a response.

Ian will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. He is survived by his widow Margaret and his sons John and Gavin.