FIFTY years ago - on Tuesday, May 3 1972 - was one of the saddest days in the history of Cowdenbeath FC.

On that day tragedy struck when Cowden’s 21 year-old right-back, Billy McLauchlan, was electrocuted in an accident at his home in East Wemyss.

He had been trying to trace an electrical fault under the floorboards where the junction box was located.

Minutes later he had staggered into the living room shaking all over before collapsing and dying from heart failure.

Billy had been the club’s regular right back for the four years – playing in Andy Matthew’s renowned promotion winning side in 1968-69, as well as in the First Division in 1969-70, and a League Cup semi-final for Cowden.

Club secretary, and club historian, David Allan, said that the club was shattered by the news.

“Tall and athletic, Billy was both defensively strong and keen to overlap up the wing”, recalled David.

"His play had attracted the interest of many bigger clubs.

"His sad passing cast a giant pall over Central Park. Billy was an extremely popular teammate and had his whole life and career ahead of him.

“Life in East Wemyss came to halt on the day Billy was buried.

"Over 1,000 mourners were in attendance, including the players, management, directors and many supporters of Cowdenbeath FC.

“His teammates acted as pallbearers. Other mourners included Bobby Wilson, Willie Callaghan, Alex Ferguson (now Sir Alex), Billy’s friend, Brian Cooper (Raith Rovers) and referee Bobby Greenlees, from Lochgelly. All paying tribute to a career and life tragically cut short."

The secretary added: “Billy’s memory is still treasured by Cowdenbeath FC and its supporters.

“As per the epitaph of another famous Fife footballer from Bowhill – ‘They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind’."