He was one of the most inspirational and committed cricketers of his generation.
And tributes have been pouring in from every part of Scotland after the sudden death of former international player and coach Willie Morton at the age of 58.
The spin bowler who served Stirling County, Watsonians, Penicuik, Warwickshire and his country with distinction during his playing days, went on to become a successful coach and head groundsman at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh.
Former Scotland captain George Salmond, who knew Morton for more than 30 years, said: “It was an honour to be a teammate, opponent, work colleague and friend of Willie.
“He was a gem of a human being, who has ended his magnificent innings too soon.”
The player made his first-class debut in 1982 for Scotland in a match against Ireland. He was subsequently at Warwickshire from 1984-85 and turned out in ten first-class matches for the county.
In total, he took 29 first-class wickets at an average of 34.58.
Aberdeenshire CC responded with the words: “Willie was a great guy who made a massive contribution to cricket in Scotland. Our thoughts are with his family.
There was an emotional minute’s silence for Mr Morton in advance of yesterday’s Scottish Cup semi-final between Carlton and Stoneywood-Dyce in Edinburgh.
And former Scotland and Aberdeenshire all-rounder, Colin Smith, said simply: “He was a total legend. I’m sad.”
Morton helped nurture many talented young cricketers during his time coaching the Scotland under-19 team.
He was somebody with an abundance of knowledge, wit and the ability to impart his passion for the sport to people from all ages and backgrounds.
The current Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer, was among the myriad star performers who was stunned by the news of his death.
The Aberdonian said: “I am so gutted to hear about the passing of Willie Morton. I was lucky to be coached by him and share some very special memories with the great man.”
Watsonians CC cancelled all their Saturday fixtures as a mark of respect, while Heriot’s – where Morton’s son Keith is the captain – said in a club statement: “We are devastated.
“Willie was a great role model and a total gentleman to be around.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our club captain Keith and his family and friends.”