THE memory of Wullie Brunton, a pillar of his community and a long-serving member of Haddington Athletic Football Club, was honoured with a minute’s silence before last weekend’s fixture.
Mr Brunton, 94, who died last Wednesday, will be a big loss to the East Lothian Junior club to which he had given more than 50 years’ service as a committee member and passionate supporter.
His commitment was appreciated by the club so much that its Brunton Enclosure, erected in 1992, was named in his honour.
Mr Brunton was a Dirleston resident, spending most of his working life as a farm hand at Prora Farm.
He is said to have attended Haddington Athletic’s first game in 1939 and joined the committee in 1960, where he played a vital role in navigating the Hi-His through financial difficulties at the end of the same decade.
Drew Donaldson, Haddington Athletic club president, has fond memories of Mr Brunton and described him as an integral part of the club.
“When I first used to watch the Haddington Juniors when I was still at school, Wullie was there on the gate.
“He always used to go and watch the team. He’s been around Haddington since the club formed and was still very active within the club up to a few years ago.
“He would often help with the gate and the club lottery.”
Alongside his attendance at the birth of the club at the end of the 1930s, Mr Donaldson explained that Mr Brunton was mostly known around Haddington for providing financial safety during a difficult era for it by securing a loan – and its longer-term stability.
“His main claim to fame was that when the club really had their backs against the wall in the sixties, he was pivotal in arranging a loan and making sure that was then paid back. This was important to the whole of the Haddington community.
“Without him, there may not have been a club today.”
Mr Brunton’s funeral took place last week and his passing was marked with a minute’s silence before Haddington Athletic’s weekend game against West Calder United at the Hi-His’ home ground of Millfield.
“Everyone at the club was saddened to hear the news,” said Mr Donaldson.
“Saturday’s game was all about Wullie. We honoured him with a minute’s silence and his picture was on the front of the match programme as well.”
The game ended with a 3-1 victory to the Hi-His, which Mr Donaldson felt was fitting end to a fixture played in honour of such a dedicated follower of football.
“We managed a win, which I’m sure he would have been very happy about.”