THE manager of Dunbar United has described his dad as his “hero” after he tragically collapsed and died while watching the team on Saturday.

Grandfather-of-five Malcolm Jones was the secretary of the football team, which travelled to face Crossgates Primrose, near Dunfermline, at the weekend.

However, he took unwell late in the second half and, despite the efforts of his son Geoff, who manages the side, and paramedics, he was pronounced dead at hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Geoff said: “Everyone says their dad was their hero but he was mine.

“I will miss going to have a coffee with him on a Sunday and appraising the game from the day before.

“He would never tell me what to do and I will massively miss him.

“The football will be a difficult place for me for the next few months and I will think quite closely about what happens there but I will not make a decision while upset and emotional.”

Geoff, who became manager at the club in 2014, having previously played for the New Countess Park side, has agreed to take time away from the club while he, along with brothers Russell and Graeme, help their mum Fiona organise the funeral.

A funeral service, to which all friends and family are invited, is held at Belhaven Parish Church next Friday (December 6) at 10.30am.

Geoff said that he had spoken to his dad before the game.

He said: “I think, from memory, there were between five and 10 minutes left.

“I heard one of the parents of a player shouting my name and saying my dad had collapsed.

“I went to see what was going on and quite quickly realised from just looking at him that it was not good.

“I was expecting him to have fallen or something but he was not looking good.”

The manager, along with a member of the crowd, started giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while waiting on an ambulance.

Paramedics arrived and took over but unfortunately the 71-year-old passed away.

Malcolm, who lived between Dunbar and Spott with wife Fiona, had been instrumental in helping drive the club forward as they bid to get their Scottish Football Association (SFA) licence, which would allow them to play in the Scottish Cup and potentially gain promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League.

Dunbar United were among those who paid tribute, with the flag at the ground flying at half-mast following the game.

This Saturday’s game against Dundonald Bluebell has also been postponed as a mark of respect.

The club posted on Twitter: “The club is devastated to announce the sudden death of club secretary Malcolm Jones during yesterday’s match against Crossgates Primrose.

“We have lost a great man and friend who touched us all. Our deepest condolences go to wife Fiona, sons Geoff, Russell and Graeme and his five grandchildren.”

Tributes have been flooding in from football teams across the country since the tragic incident at Humbug Park.

Musselburgh Athletic tweeted: “Condolences from everyone at Musselburgh to everyone associated with Dunbar United and Malcolm’s family.”

Fellow East Lothian side Tranent Juniors also offered their condolences: “Absolutely devastating news, had a great chat with him last week and about the club’s plans applying for their licence, he was in great spirits.

“Condolences to all of Malcolm’s family and everyone associated with the club. We are here if you need anything guys.”

Preston Athletic tweeted: “Awful news, deepest sympathies to Malcolm’s family and friends and all at the club from us all at Preston Athletic. Malcolm was a lovely man and a true gent.”

Haddington RFC also posted their own tribute to Malcolm, who was an architect, with his own business in East Linton, and had previously worked as a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art.

The rugby club posted on their website: “He was a very talented sportsman, excelling at cricket and rugby.

“In rugby, he captained Haddington in season 1970-71 and had the distinction of being named at full-back in the best team of the last 50 years at the centenary dinner in 2011.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”