A FORMER captain of Helensburgh Rugby Club, whose son is now head of rugby at the town's Lomond School, has died aged 75.

Sandy Louden, who died suddenly on June 7 at the age of 75, captained the Ardencaple club’s first XV for two seasons from 1974 to 1976, and was part of the Helensburgh team that won promotion to the sport’s National Leagues in the middle of the decade.

His death came just a few days after another former Helensburgh player – 1990s second XV stalwart Chris Wilson – died aged 53.

Though a resident of Ayr for some time, rugby-mad Sandy was still an avid follower of all things Helensburgh, and proudly lined up alongside all the other past captains of the club at its 50th anniversary dinner back in 2013.

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Sandy was also a member of the Helensburgh and District Round Table, and though he and his wife Anne moved with their family to Ayr in the mid-to-late 1970s, they retained many friends in the town – and reconnected with many of their old Helensburgh links following Stuart’s appointment to his role at Lomond School in 2014.

Stuart said: “My dad loved his rugby, both playing, when he was able, and lately spectating – there would not be a Saturday in the season when he would not be out watching a game somewhere.

“He latterly enjoyed the fact that he had a rekindled relationship with Helensburgh and would always come and watch the juniors when we were down in Ayr.

“He was delighted to be part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations and was equally as proud to watch both Helensburgh and then later the same day, Ayr, lift their silverware at Murrayfield on that famous day in 2012.

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“Dad was very proud to have been a captain at the club and always talked very fondly of his time there – I certainly have lots of very good memories as a young kid going to watch him play and then just hanging about the club afterwards.”

Sandy is survived by Anne, the couple’s sons Stuart, Alan and Andrew, and by three grandchildren - Cameron, Anna and Sophie.

Following news of the deaths of both Sandy and Chris, a club spokesman said: “It was with deep regret that Helensburgh Rugby Club has learned within the last week of the sudden deaths of two former players.

“The thoughts and condolences of all at Helensburgh Rugby Club are with the families of both Chris and Sandy at this sad time.”

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