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2023/24 Season News

Ian 'Dan' Dair


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Ian 'Dan' Dair

PostedJanuary 4, 2024

Everyone connected with Cowdenbeath FC was saddened to learn of the passing of our ex-player Ian Dair. Ian passed away on Friday 29th December at the age of 69. Condolences go out to Liz, Jason, Lee and Ashley and all the family from Cowdenbeath FC and its fans.

John Dair was Cowdenbeath born and bred – but was better known to everyone as Ian or indeed to many as ‘Big Dan’ Dair. His family was steeped in football, not least his sons - both Jason (as assistant manager) and Lee (as a player) also served Cowdenbeath FC. His elder brother Tommy had played for Hibs and Hamilton Accies.

Ian Dair was a member of the Townhill United side (alongside Dick and Ian Campbell and Jim Leishman) that won the 1970 under-16 Scottish Cup (the Douglas Blakely Cup). In 1970, Ian went senior with Stirling Albion but wasn’t given any first team opportunities. He was freed in 1972 and joined Glenrothes Juniors. He stepped back up though with Cowden a year later aged 19 and played quite regularly for us in the right half berth. He was a tall midfield man with a strong shot. I can still recall the match v Montrose when Cowden were 3-0 down with 30 minutes left. Billy Laing took a corner kick and Ian bulleted it home to spark a comeback. At time up it was 4-3 to Cowden. Dan only spent this one season with Cowden before returning to Glenrothes. He then was a key member of the Glenrothes side that made history in the Scottish Junior Cup in 1975. Indeed, it was Ian’s long range shot in the final which the opposition goalkeeper could only parry and Billy Cunningham pounced on the rebound to net the only goal of the match for the Fife side. Two years later, Ian, along with his former Cowden playing colleague Raymond Allan, was selected to represent Scotland in a junior international v Wales at Dam Park, Ayr.

Ian won many honours at Glenrothes before he joined Halbeath Juniors in 1983. Then between 1984 to 1987 he played for Hill of Beath Hawthorn as that club blossomed into a real force in the Fife juniors. Ian later was the manager of Kelty Hearts and also ran the Foulford Royals youth side which produced Scott Brown.

It was always a pleasure to see Ian back at Central Park and he truly made his own mark on the local football scene.

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