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Craig W McLaren

Sun, 14th Feb 2021 10:23pm

The club was extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the death of supporter, Craig McLaren.

Craig sadly passed away on the morning of Friday 12th February. He had just turned 24 in November. 

Craig began to follow Clyde in 2002 along with dad Gordon, older brother Jamie and grandad Gordon. He is pictured on the homepage (left) with Jamie at Broadwood, together celebrating the 2019 play-off victory over Annan Athletic.

As a young fan, Craig enjoyed being able to talk to players at matches, as a mascot and on occasions as part of the Clyde Crew. He enjoyed the Christmas parties at the bowling and stadium, where he could mingle and speak to the players. Living close to the stadium made it almost the focus of everything football for Craig, whether playing with Jamie or watching his team. 

The family would travel together when possible, sometimes Craig and Jamie on the supporters’ bus – to Arbroath with grandad as escort - and to Dunfermline with stepmum Wendy, for Gordon to arrive later after work. 

The early years were special, with The Bully Wee nearly winning the league. Trips to Dingwall, Inverness and Dumfries were not uncommon and it was at Dingwall where Craig first found his voice, aimed mainly at a ref or linesman, much to the appreciation and encouragement of some older supporters. He also took a Jack Ross clearance at Palmerston full in the face, through his chips, and by the time Jack ran up to apologise at the half-time whistle, Craig had pocketed many pound coins to replace the chips! 

There were so many great memories from those early years. Seeing Clyde go close at Brechin; a near cup shock at Ibrox with mum Angela, Dad and Jamie; the Challenge Cup Final on his birthday weekend in Perth with Dad, Wendy, Jamie and Grandad. However, none more so than in January 2006, beating Celtic in the Scottish Cup. 

Craig’s favourite player back in those days was Paddy Keogh. Much to Craig’s delight, ‘big Pat’ agreed to be guest of honour at the Condorrat Boys Club awards night, not long after he had watched his hero strike three in his last Clyde match. How proud he was at that awards night. 

Craig followed Clyde religiously through many difficult years, seeing cup games where his Papa Jim attended and some failed play-off attempts to get back up the leagues. Many of these days were spent with Jamie and being attentive to their grandad Gordon, making sure he got to the games, reliant on gran making sure he was ready. Some of these years involved playing Dundee home and away, where stepsister Nicola and stepbrother Garry would attend and enjoy some after match banter about the results. 

Not just content in following The Bully Wee, Craig, as a 13-year-old, was active in fundraising for the Clyde Supporters’ Trust led campaign ‘Back The Bully Wee’, with initiatives held with Tesco Cumbernauld. 

Craig made many friends, young and old and became a well-known and liked face at Clyde. He would see these friends not only at Clyde but also on Scotland national team adventures in Portugal, London and of course at Hampden, more recently with his much-loved girlfriend Kelly and her family. 

There were also a few memorable pitch invasions celebrating last-minute victories in the company of Jamie and, therefore, the jubilation of finally ‘making it’ as part of the Glasgow Branch. 

After many years of loyal support, he finally got to see Clyde promoted in 2019. He enjoyed the excitement of all those play-off matches and even played a role in the video memories of that great day on May 18th 2019.

Craig was loved by everyone his life touched and he will be greatly missed. A fun-loving, sensitive, honest and genuinely caring young man taken far too soon.

The club's thoughts and condolences go to all of Craig's family and friends at this extremely difficult time.