Tributes to former Hearts coach Walter Borthwick, 1948-2021 - "a people person" who restored Hearts' reputation

Tributes have been paid across Scottish football to Hearts’ first team coach throughout the 1980s, Walter Borthwick.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 2:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 25th April 2021, 3:57 pm
Hearts manager Sandy Clark (seated) with Walter Borthwick in November 1988.
Hearts manager Sandy Clark (seated) with Walter Borthwick in November 1988.

The 73-year-old died on Saturday, eight years after retiring from a coaching role with the Scottish Football Association.

Borthwick was a midfielder, and won promotion with Dunfermline Athletic, and also had spells with Morton, Brighton, St Johnstone and St Mirren where he played under Sir Alex Ferguson,.

He also played 228 times for East Fife and the Methil club paid tribute: "East Fife Football Club would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Walter’s family and friends at this sad time."

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His final club as a player, the Pars, said: “It is with great sadness Dunfermline Athletic learned of the sudden death of Walter Borthwick. The club extends its sincere sympathy to Walter’s family.”

He spent the bulk of the 1980s as a coach at Heart of Midlothian and managed Arbroath in the early 1990s before a development coaching role with the SFA in East Lothian.

Hearts paid their tribute to “a people person” when remembering the former coach and assistant manager.

“His football knowledge was second to none, and more importantly, Walter was a “people-person” who was able to communicate tactics, advice and encouragement to players at all levels. He also listened to problems and was able guide individuals through difficult times.

"The work undertaken by Walter Borthwick in support of Alex Macdonald and Sandy Jardine, restored the reputation of Hearts after three relegations, and his work with younger players brought quality back into the team and entertainment for the supporters.”

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