THE very sad news of the passing of long time Hill of Beath Swifts guru, Tam Kay, at the age of 76, was received by officials of Cowdenbeath FC.

Director David Allan said: "Our condolences go out to Tom’s wife Shirley, his sons Trevor and Stephen, and indeed all Tom’s family and friends.

"Condolences also to Harris Kay, who is following in his grand-dad’s footsteps as a player at Central Park."

Tommy Kay hailed from Hill of Beath. He made his early way in football playing for the legendary Cowdenbeath Royals. In 1959, the Royals memorably played matches versus Jock Stein’s famed Celtic Colts and won the Kirkcaldy & District Under age Juvenile League, Raith Rovers Cup, Coronation Cup and Victory Cup.

The team included Andy Rolland, Johnny Greenlees (brother of referee RC Greenlees of Lochgelly), Roddy Mill, Denis Jack, Bobby Anderson, George Rae, Mick Payne as well as Tom.

Tom played at wing half and like many of his contemporaries was signed as a senior by Cowdenbeath. Tom looked all set for a good career.

He though suffered a huge setback just a few games into his Cowden career when he suffered a broken ankle in a match v Ayr United.

At the end of season 1961/62, Tom was released as Cowden elected to scrap their reserve side. He then went down south, along with his team-mate Bobby Anderson to join Bedford Town who then played in the Southern League.

Tom Kay spent two seasons in the Midlands with Bedford but was still troubled by injury and was given very little opportunity to play. Bobby Anderson though broke through into their side which had as its player/manager the legendary Jock Wallace. In 1963/64, Bedford beat Newcastle United in the FA Cup.

Tom returned to Scotland and signed for the Dunfermline based junior side Jubilee Athletic. They then relocated to Cowdenbeath in 1968 and took up residence at Central Park.

The Jubilee side then included players such as Rab Dow, Billy McLauchlan, Jim McArthur and Dick Menzies. Tom was now playing in the inside right berth. However, the fates weren’t smiling on Tom and playing for Jubilee v Kelty Rangers in a Scottish Junior Cup tie at Central Park he broke his leg.

Tom also made a few appearances for Oakley United but it was in the coaching area that he went on to have his biggest impact – running the highly successful Hill of Beath Swifts side for many, many years. Tom’s son, Stevie Kay, is also well known in the football world. He has managed several junior clubs including Oakley United, Ballingry Rovers and most recently Dundonald Bluebell.

Tom's funeral took place on Thursday when there was a huge turn out from the local football world.