Meet the Celebrities at Ayr Rotary – 9 October 2019

There was great interest and amusement last week among members recalling random encounters with the rich and famous. Twelve anecdotes were related, some credible, others barely so.

Imagine this – Craig Wilson, in his early years was a steward at an American Rock Band concert and met Steve Tyler among others.

Hugh Millar who in his capacity as a head teacher, hosted a school from Georgia and the return visit resulted in a visit to the newly built home of Evander Holyfield who was the current World Heavyweight boxing champion.

John Dunlop, in his time as an SFA employee, met “Tiny” Wharton, the top referee at the time, and whose very large size intimated any player who fell foul of him.

Be careful how you talk to him – Loudon McAndrew was a member of the Craigneuk Amateur Boxing Club. On one occasion he was asked to go in the ring with Chic Calderwood ( the current professional British and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight champion ) to see if he could land a punch on him during his training for an attempt on the World Title. He did……… and then got out the ring fast before he was murdered!  Later, during an audit Loudon was doing at a firm of undertakers in Wishaw, he met Chic again,  the day after he was killed in a road accident. He was in the undertaker’s morgue and, having related the story to the undertaker was invited to land another punch on him without fear of retaliation.

Jimmy Begg who on an official visit to London caught the eye of Her Majesty the Queen in her limousine while held up in traffic. Jimmy was suitably acknowledged.

Charles Gray on one of his many, many cruises met both Martin Bell and Pam Ayers. Pam gave him an original of one of her many poems – the original 50 shades of grey.

Douglas Haddow claimed to have flirted with Joan Collins but was unsuccessful in making the catch. Lucky escape for Joan.

Alistair Tyre, on a visit to Jaegers factory in Kilmarnock, was in the company of Princess Anne for a few hours (our sympathies go to the princess) and observed the good and bad sides of her.

Doug Wilson – at a function in St Paul’s Cathedral in 1983, met the Queen Mother.  He was amused by the security men closely surrounding her and her numerous attempts to get away from them by shooting up narrow passageways, much to their chagrin.

Kenneth Dickie on one of his numerous visits to Tuscany, met the mother and son of Andrea Bocelli, the worlds mostly famous tenor at the time. The son played against Stanley Matthews’ son in a Wimbledon youth final. Not sure if Kenneth’s contribution was valid since this was more a case of meeting friends of the famous.

Willie Stewart also came up with a story about “Tiny”Wharton. Tiny was sending off a brute called Coshoff (?) who was not too pleased when Tiny told him to f*** off.

Ieuan Isaac, on business in Lesotho, attended a function where he was to be presented to Nelson Mandela. There were too many others for that to happen but at the dinner later, when Mr Mandela was perturbed at having no seat for his new partner, Ieuan pointed out a vacant seat next to himself which was gratefully acknowledged by him. Turned out Nelson knew very little about Welsh rugby so the conversation was a little difficult.