Celebrating the life of David Potter

Yesterday the family, friends and former colleagues gathered at the Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy to celebrate the life of David Potter, of this parish….

“RIP David, You’ll Never Walk Alone, with love from everyone at Celtic Football Club”


I’ve wondered recently if David was fully aware (or far too humble to acknowledge) of how many lives he touched or impacted upon?

Don’t really want to get all mystical about it, but I’m pretty sure he may be watching from somewhere and realising the impact that he had on everyone at Celtic who met him and knew him.

Just thinking back with a wee bit of sadness and nostalgia, that he gave me a mild rebuke recently (rather stern by Potter standards) with regards my views on the future of Scottish football. What made that response significant, was the simple fact that David Potter believed in Celtic, but that he was also a great advocate for Scottish football as a whole and all those wee (my choice of word, not David’s) teams that make up the sum of its parts.

It’s not just the Potter family and Celtic that has lost a bright light…….it’s Scottish football in its entirety that has lost a phenomenal storyteller and spokesperson.

Spherical Planet – A well-known poster on Celtic Noise.

So true. I was speaking to Rosemary after the service and she was telling me that he was in the middle of writing a history of Dunfermline FC, which sadly will never be finished.

The service was packed. The family privately attended the crematorium ahead of the service because David didn’t want folk having around after the service, the church so busy, maybe 500/600 there. His CSC was requested to wear Celtic colours and they duly obliged. There was so much to David’s life – he literally never stopped.

David wrote an Old Kirkcaldy On This Day feature for a Facebook page for the town and that was later turned into a book which was the best seller in the bookstores in Kirkcaldy one Christmas! There was beautiful music, poetry, a reading in Scots, his family spoke so well and we all learned so much more about DP, all in an entertaining manner amid the obvious grief.

The family – who have received many hundred cards and messages from around the world – were really touched by the tribute at Celtic Park at the Ross County game and the black arm bands worn by Brendan Rodgers and the team. The club sent flowers, Peter Lawwell, the Celtic chairman represented the club alongside Tony Hamilton from The Celtic FC Foundation.

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell represented Celtic FC alongside Tony Hamilton from The Celtic FC Foundation.

Iain McCallum and Matt Corr were there – fellow Celtic authors paying their own respects to a legendary Celtic writer. Young Lubo 98, currently working as a lawyer in the East Coast (he has a new job in Glasgow, starting next month), took the afternoon off work to be there and was saying that he only knew about so many of the early Celts because of David Potter.

The minister, Dr John Ferguson, was brilliant too. He told the story of how 30 years ago he was going for the job and David, as Elder in the Church, was there to greet him and his wife, to calm the nerves and lead them into the interview. As they walked along the corridor David turned around and said, ‘don’t worry, I will throw you an easy question”.

The job interview proceeded and the candidate must have thought he was out of the woods with just the ‘easy question’ from DP to come. So David Potter asked him if he as a evangelical liberal or a liberal evangelist!

Lisbon Lion John Fallon was there to pay his respects to his friend and biographer David Potter. The two would enjoy a telephone conversation after every Celtic game to discuss what had gone on.

David’s roots in Forfar were mentioned often during a long, lovely service. The minister talked about his love of Celtic coming from his father and indeed his grandfather, which means that the Potter’s have been Celtic supporters for most of the club’s history.

When it came time to say the Lord’s Prayer, the minister said please say it in whichever version you are comfortable with. As I looked around there were folk from all walks of life, former Head Teachers sitting next to Bhoys from the Joseph Rafferty CSC, actors, dog walking pals, the well turned out Falkland cricket club crew, and of course The Celtic Star.

David Faulds – Editor, The Celtic Star

Just some of David Potter’s Celtic books

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. Alistair Carratt on

    A great summary of Mr. Potter’s thanksgiving service which was an amazing event. It would have been great to know who was all there. Lovely to hear that your chairman Peter Lawwell represented Celtic. I attended along with 4 other former pupils of Glenrothes High School who had been taught Latin and Spanish, played cricket and enjoyed Mr. Potter’s dramatic performances. We kept in touch on FB and participated in a Classics Quiz during one of the COVID lockdowns. Two of us are supporters of two of Fife’s small teams, East Fife and Raith Rovers, and are proud owners of the respective “On this day …” books written by Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter has indeed touched many, many lives in his full and well lived life.