A LARGS woman who gained fame as one of the first female football scouts has passed away.

Jessie MacFarlane's love for football stemmed from her father Willie Fotheringham who was a well-known player with Morton, Dundee and Queen of the South.

Such was her knowledge of the beautiful game, she would stand in and scout for her dad when he became manager at St Mirren and Airdrie.

The 92-year-old remained an avid football fan until she died, going with her neighbours in Walkerston Avenue to football matches.

Born in Greenock, Jessie was an office worker at Brown and Polson before going on to work in a motor tax office.

She married IBM accountant Alistair MacFarlane in 1958, three years after their paths first crossed at the Albert Ballroom in Glasgow.

Jessie's love of football started early, with her dad taking her to football matches at Cappielow at just three months old.

William was a goalkeeper who made over 700 first team league and cup appearances during his playing career. He also introduced future Morton and Scotland keeper Jimmy Cowan into the senior game.

When her dad was manager at Love Street, Jessie and her mum used to scrub the stand and put newspapers down to keep the seats dry for the next day's game.

Relative Alex Blair said: "If Willie was unavailable on a Saturday, Jessie would scout for him. He had total confidence in her judgement of a player and she would regularly stand in if he was tied up elsewhere.

"A few players undoubtedly signed at St Mirren on Jessie's recommendation."

After living in Greenock for many years, Jessie and Alistair moved to Largs in 1977 before her husband passed away from Crohn's disease in 1988.

Jessie's love of the game continued into her senior years and she wowed the guide with her footballing knowledge during a tour of Hampden Park for her 80th birthday.

Alex said: "Jessie was very much a people person

"She had a lifelong football friend in Luxembourg who purchased her a Sky Sports subscription every year for her birthday. Every event, from dinner to phone calls, had to be planned around football matches."

Jessie was a past president and champion at Largs Bowling Club, playing up to her 80s. She later suffered a number of health issues and died on June 1 after suffering a heart attack.

Alex said: "Jessie was a long time member of Clark Memorial Church and St John’s Guild. She was a great fan of the Largs Amateur Operatic Society and went to all the shows.

"She will be very sadly missed."

Her funeral at Largs Crematorium last week was broadcast online and watched as far afield in Ireland and Canada by family members. A memorial service will take place at Clark Memorial Church when it is safe to do so.

Jessie's father William Fotheringham (1899 – 1981) was a goalkeeper. He made over 700 first team league and cup appearances during his career and

In 1943 he steered St Mirren to the Summer Cup against Rangers, and also introduced future Morton and Scotland keeper Jimmy Cowan into the senior grade.