AN ALLOA man who played football for Stirling Albion and Brighton passed away recently.

Jack Bertolini died at the age of 87. He was diagnosed with dementia eight years ago and suffered declining health from then on.

He spent the last years of his life at Amberley Care Home in Worthing.

Jack played for a number of local clubs, including Sauchie, before joining Stirling Albion. He then went on to join Workington, where he played under legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly.

Ronnie Bertolini, Jack's brother, remembered him as a supremely talented footballer.

He said: "Jack played football for Sauchie and then for Alva Albion. I was nothing like him. He went to Sunnyside school in Alloa, we both did, but when he was eight or nine-years-old, you couldn't get the ball off him.

"He stood head and shoulders [above the others] in terms of ability.

"He went from there to Alloa Academy and then he got the opportunity to go to Dollar on a scholarship, but he didn't take it because they didn't play football."

Ronnie continued: "He was playing for Sauchie when he was 15-years-old, and then to Alva. He was very young to be in the first team. He was playing for Stirling Albion's first team when he was 15 or 16 years old."

Jack's brother shared stories that highlighted not just the ability of his brother, but also how he wasn't afraid to stand up for himself.

He added: "My sports master at school was Bobby Brown, who played in goal for Scotland, and I remember boasting that my brother would score against him.

"When I left school I was working in the post office, and I met Bobby Brown in the street. He came up to me and said: 'I didn't even see it' – my brother beat him from about 40 yards when Stirling were playing against Rangers."

During his time at Workington, Jack faced a player who would soon be known worldwide.

"He had a little incident with Denis Law," Ronnie continued. "Denis played for Huddersfield, Shankly was their manager. They had a bit of confrontation where Denis was pretending to throw the ball at Jack from a throw-in, and my brother was going to have a go at him.

"Shankly stepped in and said to my brother he was only a boy, and my brother replied: 'If he carries on like that he won't reach manhood'."

After his playing career finished, Jack remained in the Brighton area.

He died last Monday, June 21, with his children Steven and Tracy by his side.