TRIBUTES have been paid to an ice hockey-loving grandad who kept on skating until he was in his late 70s.
Former Paisley Piranhas star Chic McFadyen has died at the age of 83, following a short illness.
The dad-of-five had starred with the veterans Piranhas side right up until he was 78 – with only the amputation of a leg forcing him to give up the game he loved.
Chic’s eldest daughter Ray, 47, said: “Dad was the type of guy who was always smiling and I’ll never forget that.
“Even after the operation to amputate his leg, he was brilliant. He just got on with things and never let it get him down.”
Born in 1928, Chic grew up in the Ferguslie Park area of Paisley before moving to Foxbar after marrying wife Rachel in 1955.
A pottery caster at the Shanks factory in Barrhead, which made toilets and wash-hand basins, he went on to have three sons – Charles, William and Stuart – as well as daughters Ray and Alison.
Chic was a keen St Mirren fan and a season ticket holder at Love Street for many years.
He also ran his own football team for a spell, named Marlboro Star in honour of the heavy smoker’s favourite cigarette brand.
But it was at the ice rink where Chic’s real passion lay.
He had enjoyed ice hockey as a youth and returned to the sport after retiring at the age of 68.
Chic became known as the ‘doyen of hockey pensioners’ and his incredible rink exploits with the Piranhas, who were based at the Lagoon and made up of players who were all over the age of 50, even hit TV screens when he featured in a STV documentary back in 2001.
That year, he also told the Paisley Daily Express: “We get fitness and fun, all for £15 a year, and the camaraderie is great.
“A couple of years ago, we went on tour to Canada and played a few games there. We had a great time. We’d love to find a few other teams at our level to challenge. I think all the boys would love that.”
Chic had to hang up his skates after having a leg amputated following a medical emergency brought on by his love of cigarettes.
However, Ray fondly remembered: “When dad played with the Piranhas, it brought the family so much joy to see him all kitted out in his hockey gear, even though he was well into his 70s.
“It’s something we will all remember with affection.”
Chic’s other favourite pastime was dominoes, which he played at the Cavern Bar, in Paisley, and then, in later years, at the St Mirren Club.
The granddad-of-four – affectionately known as Papa Fudgey to the youngsters – also doted on his daughter Alison, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Ray added: “Dad had a special love for Alison. She kept him going over the years and her smile lit up his day, regardless of what was going on at the time.”
In the years before his passing, Chic was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was nursed at home by loving wife Rachel and Ray before finally moving into hospital just three weeks before his death.
His funeral took place at Woodside Crematorium, in Paisley.
Ray said: “He was a family man and all of his children have great memories of him having fun and joking around. He’ll be sadly missed.”