A NEW sports pavilion could bear the name of the ‘unofficial mayor of North Berwick’.

Labour Party stalwart and former vice-chairman of Heart of Midlothian FC Pilmar Smith passed away in November last year.

Now, plans are being drawn up to pay tribute to Mr Smith, who was 87, including the idea of a plaque in his honour at a new sports pavilion.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, who represents North Berwick, said: “There has been a move within the town to have some sort of commemorative something around the town.

“The proposal at the moment is that there is a new sports pitch being built up at the new housing by the high school.

“There is to be a pavilion there and the proposal is we name it the Pilmar Smith Pavilion and a plaque goes up to that effect.

“It would probably mention his connections with football over the years and North Berwick.”

The pitch, which is to the west of Law Primary School, is not yet playable, with the new surface needing time to bed in..

However, it is expected to open later this year, with planning permission already in place for the pavilion.

East Lothian Council is looking to appoint a contractor for the pavilion, with work expected to start in November and be complete by spring next year.

Mr Smith was raised in Edinburgh and spent several decades as a bookmaker.

A Hearts fan all his life, he became vice-chairman of the Tynecastle club in 1982, during which time they twice finished as runners-up in the Scottish Football League Premier Division.

He held the position for 12 years before stepping down following a change of ownership.

Mr Smith was chairman of East Lothian Constituency Labour Party until about 2006 and spent more than a decade as chairman of Lothian Buses.

Mr Goodfellow previously expressed his gratitude to Mr Smith in helping him to be elected as the first-ever Labour councillor for the area.

He said: “It would be an excellent tribute to someone who contributed a lot to North Berwick during his time here.”

Judy Lockhart, chairwoman of the town’s community council, gave her backing to the idea.

She told the Courier: “The community council were very saddened to hear of the passing of Pilmar Smith in November last year.

“Pilmar had lived in North Berwick for around 20 years and was as well-known as he was well loved.

“One can only imagine how long it took Pilmar to walk from one end of High Street to the other when you consider that almost every person he passed would stop him for a ‘quick chat’!

“Following requests from residents, the community council agreed that something was required to commemorate Pilmar and local elected councillor Jim Goodfellow suggested that the new football pavilion might be the ideal site.

“Given that Pilmar was a lifelong fan of Hearts Football Club, where he also served as a director and vice-chairman for more than a decade, this seemed a fitting tribute.

“The community council have since allocated funding to purchase a plaque and, with great fondness, look forward to naming the new football pavilion the ‘Pilmar Smith Pavilion’ in his memory.”