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East Kilbride Thistle founding father and club photographer Allan Cairns passed away just after Christmas – but his pictures will forever live on.

The 81-year-old, who lost an eight-year battle with cancer on December 28, 2017, was a key figure at the Showpark since he helped launch the club in 1968.

Allan was present to capture the club’s key moments over the past five decades – including Thistle’s famous Junior Cup win in 1983.

Not only that, Allan worked for the East Kilbride News between 1971 and 2016, capturing some of the biggest names in music performing in the town.

This week we remember his life in pictures.

Photography, however, came to Allan later in his life.

Born in Govan in 1936, he started his working life in the shipyards before he was called upon for his military service in 1950s, serving during the Suez Crisis in Egypt and the EOKA war in Cyprus.

Upon his return, he was a bus driver in Glasgow for a spell before he had a brief stint in the merchant navy as an engineer.

Allan moved to East Kilbride in 1967 and soon found himself working in East Kilbride’s tax office as a maintenance engineer.

A year later he helped found EK Thistle and it was only then that his love of photography really took off.

East Kilbride Thistle’s first-ever match against Rolls-Royce in 1968. Allan is pictured, far left

His wife Iona, whom Allan married in 1971, recalled how he got his break at the News.

She said: “Archie Watson was the photographer at the EK News…



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