A MEMORIAL bench to honour one of Rhu Amateur Football Club’s longest-standing committee members, supporters and friends has been installed at the club’s home ground.

Tony Brodie passed away in October after more than 50 years with the club as a player, coach, committee member – and the club’s first honorary member.

His family have placed the bench at Ardenconnel Park – known for this season as the DCF Park – overlooking the pitch to pay tribute to the much-loved husband, dad and grandfather.

Members of the Rhu playing squad also arranged for a plaque to be fitted.

One of Tony’s sons, Gordon, plays for the club and hopes the bench will keep the legacy of his father going at Rhu.

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Gordon told the Advertiser: “My dad was a massive Rhu fan and loved the club. The place will be a much quieter place with him not around.

“We decided we wanted to get the bench up, and his ashes are up there as well, underneath the bench. It’s what he wanted.

“The players this year bought the plaque for the bench, and one of the corners of the clubhouse has been named after him, so his legacy is going to be there for years to come.

“The bench is just a reminder of who he was. As soon as you drive along the road you see it, because it’s right on top of the mound.

“Where they’ve put it is absolutely beautiful. It’ll be there forever, and it’s just a reminder of what my dad was.”

Gordon is looking to follow in the footsteps of his dad, and has played for the club many times over several different spells.

He was named captain on his return to the Rhu ranks a couple of years ago, a moment which made Tony very honoured.

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Gordon continued: “I couldn’t have played football without the belief and support my dad gave me. He was my biggest fan and biggest critic.

“He took my brother up to the club when he was two, and he’s had me there from an early age, and now I’m captain – it was a proud moment for him, it’s just a shame he can’t be there to see it.

“He was so excited about this season, and I can say on behalf of the players that this season will be in memory of my dad.

“We will do everything to live up to his great name and bring success back to the club he loved.”

The former taxi driver was a popular figure not just at Rhu but across the wider Helensburgh area.

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Well-wishers lined the streets as Tony’s funeral cortege passed through the town two months ago – a moment which left Gordon and his family humbled.

He added: “When you lose a family member it’s a really emotional time but when you see all the streets lined with people, it brought a wee bit of comfort.

“The amount of messages I have received has been astounding. Just to hear from folk who have taken time out of their day to speak about him and share old stories about him was really nice.

“On the day of his funeral, the car came along the road where the park is, and the street was full of old players, current players, committee members and fans.

“They all lined the street and we had a piper playing. It was beautiful.”

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