Obituary: Tom Logan, ex-Hearts player, 72

Tom Logan overcame polio to become a sportsman. Picture: contributed
Tom Logan overcame polio to become a sportsman. Picture: contributed
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A FORMER Hearts footballer who became a leading physiotherapist after being forced to give up his career through injury has died at the age of 72.

Born in 1942, Tom Logan went on to play for his beloved team despite having suffered from polio as a child, which at one stage left him unable to move his legs.

After a prolonged time off school, he recovered and went on to play for the Junior football club Loanhead Mayflower, during which time he played for Scotland under-18s at Wembley.

In 1961, as a 19-year-old, he played a full season for Hearts reserves at a time when Tommy Walker was manager.

Tom was a reluctant self-promoter and rarely spoke about his football career, which was cut short by injury. But in a twist of fate, the setback went on to shape his life.

After breaking his femur, he spent weeks in orthopaedic traction at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

He resumed his career by signing for Berwick Rangers in July 1967 before short spells at East Fife and Falkirk. As injuries took their toll he continued to play, lining up for Broxburn Athletic and Haddington before turning his attention to becoming a physio.

His playing career was ended by a third break of his femur, and Tom qualified at the school of physiotherapy at the ERI on Lauriston Place.

Based at the orthopaedic Princess Margaret Rose (PMR) Hospital at Fairmilehead, his special interest developed in the limb-fitting centre, which was later to become so advanced and so important to many.

Away from his main job, he continued his service to football as club physiotherapist at Falkirk in the early 1980s before returning to his first love – Hearts.

After ten years of physiotherapy and limb-fitting at PMR, Tom became the Smiths Industries Medical Systems Portex (SIMSPortex) representative looking after Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

Tom loved to play golf and for many years was the trade exhibition frontman at the Scottish Society of Anaesthetists’ annual meeting at Peebles Hydro.

He was elected as honorary member of the Scottish Society of Anaesthetists and became one of a very small select group of honoraries among a membership of many hundreds.

After Edinburgh, his favourite place was Gran Canaria, where he had an apartment and spent many holidays and longer periods after retirement.

Tom was diagnosed with lung cancer soon after returning from a stint in the Canary Islands last year.

Friends said it was with “characteristic efficiency” that he planned his own funeral. Tom is survived by his wife, from whom he was separated, a daughter, two sons, and his companion, Rose.