Frank Connor & Alistair Brady – two Berwick legends lost

Berwick lost two of its sporting legends this week with the deaths of Frank Connor and Alistair Brady.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 7th March 2022, 9:31 am
Updated Monday, 7th March 2022, 9:31 am
Frank Connor & Al;istair Brady.
Frank Connor & Al;istair Brady.

Connor was manager of Berwick Rangers between 1980 and 1982, whilst Brady was a former Berwick Bandits’ speedway rider who rode for the club in the early 1970s.

Connor passed away last Thursday (March 3) aged 86. Born in Blantyre,he lived in Motherwell and had been in an Uddingston Nursing Home in recent weeks.

He was manager of Berwick Rangers for some 75 games throughout the 1980/81 and 1981/82 campaigns, and was a hugely popular and a colourful character at the club, where he was full-time and living with his family.

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His first game was in November 1980 and final match as manager at Shielfield Park in May 1982. Frank had taken over from Dave Smith at Shielfield and was succeeded by Jim McSherry who arrived from Ayr.

During his playing days, Connor was a goalkeeper and as well as Berwick was manager at Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath, as well as an assistant manager at Morton, Hearts and Motherwell.

He played for Celtic between 1961 and 1962, and would re-join his much loved Parkhead club as one of the backroom staff to David Hay in 1983. Frank was also coaching for Celtic under Liam Brady in 1993, and was for a time the Celtic caretaker manager after Brady left.

Berwick Secretary Dennis McCleary worked with Connor at Shielfield in the same admin capacity 40 years ago and said: “Frank was brilliant to work with, his enthusiasm was infectious and his knowledge on football second to none.

“He certainly could bring the best out of players. We had some great times and some great games including his beloved Celtic here in the Scottish Cup.

“I have spoken to Frank’s wife Margaret and passed on the sincere condolences of us all at Berwick Rangers to her and children, Thomas, Margaret, Martin, Frankie, Anne, Kirsteen and Geraldine and the grandchildren and great grandson.”

Brady passed away at the weekend.

A former Bandit in the early 70’s, he was a solid 7-point average rider and was known as a lightning starter in his day.

Long after his own racing career finished, Alistair was never far away from the track, guiding his son Ross through a successful career and also playing a big part in his son inlaw and former Bandits skipper Matty Wethers’s pit crew.

Our thoughts are with all of the Brady family at this difficult time and Alistair will be fondly remembered at Shielfield Park as not only a great Speedway guy but a true gentleman.