Three years since we lost Robert Watt - aka Little Boy Blue

Discussion in 'The Bear Pit' started by mdingwall, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't want to be morbid but I think it's important on this new system of a messageboard to bring together some info about Robert.

    G_S


    Little Boy Blue has passed away - Robert Watt RIP


    I received a phone call this morning to say he has passed away after being taken into Ninewells Hospital last night where he sadly deteriorated very quickly and died in the wee small hours.


    Robert was a mainstay of both Follow Follow fanzine and the website for many years - his wit and wisdom remain there for all to see - his last article for the website was written the morning after the League Cup exit. The last call I had with him was regarding an up coming article about the 3-2 league Cup win with Ally scoring a hat-trick - he was, as ever, reeling off facts, figures and anecdotes about it as he could do with many games.


    Robert has a wide and varied media career that took him from the Rangers News and local papers to national circulation magazines, West Sound radio, national papers and latterly the Belfast Telegraph. Whether FF was a high point or a low point in that career was something he often joked about!


    Behind his devil-may-care public persona there was a man of principle - he left several jobs because he thought he was treated unfairly. In fact he took Peebles Publishing (then in charge of the Rangers News) to court and won. In time of need he wasn’t too precious about himself and would turn his hand to bar-tending or other jobs to get by - he was happy with just enough to see the Rangers and be comfortable at home.


    It was the football that brought us together - he was truly obsessed by it - all of it, not just Rangers. He had a huge video library which in the last few years he was changing over to DVD - you would call him and he’d tell you he was just pausing some Bayern v Dortmund league game he had taped ten years before! His memory for facts, figures and stories about Rangers was legendary amongst his circle of friends.


    Over the years I would bump into him in the strangest of places - he’d turn up in Amsterdam or Rotterdam or some pre-season friendly - at the Emirates he turned up and announced “where have you got me a room”!!! In latter years he and his partner Doris, an Ibrox season ticket holder, would enjoy themselves on our European jaunts and spend a lot of time in their Maltese bolthole.


    Much of his adult life was spent in Irvine and latterly he had a flat in Kilwinning and spent a lot of time in Forfarshire with Doris. It was from her home he was taken after falling unwell last night.


    In 2011 he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia but he pulled through - a recurrence lately meant more hospital visits but he seemed confident he could beat it a second time around. My last conversation with him centred around his frustration at not being able to get back to Malta - the doctors said the chance of infection on the plane journey was too great.


    In 2011 in was told to get into Crosshouse hospital immediately when the doctor received the results of tests and was told if he didn’t he had ten days to live. He faced up to it with great fortitude - I will shortly post up a magnificent email he sent me from his hospital bed in 2011 - so full of courage and hope it took my breath away - if only we all could summon up the same bravery when faced with the same.


    One thing about Robert was his never-ending sense of humour. On the first trip to see him in Crosshouse he told me to bring him a cargo as the nurses didn’t mind him having the odd snifter. Myself, the Gub, Robert McElroy of the Rangers Historian and Leggo all got gowned up. I slipped him a quarter bottle and said “That’s from Bob, he doesn’t think you’ll last long enough to finish a half bottle” - quick as a flash he replied - “You were always a miserable bastard McElroy!”


    And now he is gone. I’ll miss his enthusiasm for our club, his humour, miss his rants before every game at the subway or outside the Louden and his cleverly but outrageously biased match reports!


    Condolences to Doris, his friends, family and colleagues.


    Goodbye old pal.
     
    Kinbo, Hiram.Abiff, GREGRFC and 23 others like this.
  2. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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    Robert Watt - Little Boy Blue - The Gub pays tribute


    The Gub pays tribute



    Time was, when Follow Follow was in its heyday, which was before the advent of the internet, there were many good writers and great contributions to the fanzine on many a varied theme. Of course everyone has their own individual and particular favourites, Robert Watt, or as he was known in the mag as ‘Little Boy Blue’ or later on participating on the website as ‘LBB’ was one of mine.

    Hearing the sad news yesterday on his passing away, whisked me back almost twenty years to match day in The District Bar with ‘The Major’ and his squeeze, ‘The Lovely Anita’. Of course a new issue of the mag coming out would be of special interest for us to see just how much of our frustrations with the side on the park and the dictatorship of Murray off it, the editor would reasonably allow. GS was always under the impression it was orchestrated and synchronised bampottery on our part but it never was. We were bampots in our own right.

    Getting a hold of the mag on a match day would see certain rituals involved. A quick skimming through the mag in the pub beforehand to see what and who was going on. Another quick look through at half time. But getting home and after dinner and all was quiet later on the Saturday evening or early in a Sunday morning I’d usually have devoured it.

    Little Boy Blue appealed to me because I identified with his thoughts. He was my kind of bear. I asked TM one time if he knew him and the answer was of course, and the next time he was in The District introductions were made. That was us, we were off and running. Just two bears who had the same core values for the club and we both knew a wee bit about the club too.

    Now I never ever saw much of Robert, especially on a match day as he’d have the press shenanigans to attend to before and after and it was very rarely our paths would cross in TD after because usually by that time I’d be on my way home. And that’s how it stayed, just bears who shat in the same woods from time to time.

    Which brings us more up to date, when I received a phone call from Mark Dingwall informing me that Robert had contracted Leukemia. Obviously at that point no one knew what was happening and it was such a shock but we resolved to visit Robert as soon as we got the all clear.

    So it was one midweek afternoon I was picked up in Glasgow, then Robert McElroy and we went to Cross House hospital in Kilmarnock to see our pal. I have to say I didn’t know what to expect when going to the wards but was pleasantly surprised to see our man sitting up, looking good and looking half in expectation for something extra.

    ‘Did any of you lot think to bring up a cargo? He said. He was looking more at me I thought. A double whammy m8, I was thinking. There was no way I was going to bring up a half bottle of something to a guy battling such a serious illness. As for expecting Messrs Dingwall or McElroy to do so? The double positive equals a negative sprang to mind; Aye Right! ;-)

    Anyway the pre match chit chat was first up. How was he feeling, you taking your medicine, how often do you have to take it etc. Robert quickly fired through the answers. What he really wanted to know was how we had played the previous weekend? With that game duly dissected it was on to the match itself.

    I don’t know why, perhaps Davie White had been in the news but the topic of conversation seemed to centre on 1967-69 which encompassed all of Davie White’s reign. We started off under Scot Symon mind, and the two missed penalties against the yahoos in the League Cup sectional ties at the start of the season, then Orjan Persson’s mazy goal in the league encounter as well as Auld’s over the ball tackle on Davie Provan. Then the disgusting way in which Scot Symon’s Ibrox career ended.

    From there we were at the cesspit at New Year 68 and John Fallon got a special mention too. Then the draws at Tannadice and Cappielow, which did for us in the title run in were discussed. From there the mood brightened with Wee Bud’s goal scoring exploits at the cesspit the following season and the great football the team were playing at times under Davie White.

    Then there was the sinister 42 day ban administered to Colin Stein by Kel.. oops the SFA in the run up to the Scottish Cup final. I think Baxter’s comeback match in the League Cup was mentioned before Gornick sounded the end for Davie White. What it also signalled was the end of our visit to see a stricken chum, which flew in. Hospital’s aren’t the best places to while away the hours, they do if the only topic of conversation is Rangers. I don’t know who enjoyed it most. Me or Robert.

    The visit didn’t finish there for me, not just yet. When I got home and over dinner my missus asked how Robert was? She had never met him but knew him through me and that I was going to visit him that day. The conversation went something like this.

    Mrs G - What medication is he on?

    Me - Eh, I think it’s this one

    Mrs G - You think? Could it possibly be this one? (She’s quite clued up on her medical stuff)

    Me - That’s the one

    Mrs G - What is the dosage?

    Me - I think it’s every four hours.

    Mrs G - So let me get this straight. You went all the way to Kilmarnock to visit a pal in hospital who is battling a very serious illness but you came away not knowing what drugs he was on or how often it is being administered to him? What were you talking about?

    Me - The Rangers.


    Cue one of those looks which have formed a staple part of my diet throughout marriage. Yon withering look, you know the one full of disgust and disdain, but which you finally get used to. Anyway, I blamed Robert, it was his fault; if he hadn’t started on about Rangers I’d have shut up. But seriously that was Robert. Even though he was battling through this illness, his first love, Rangers, were never far from his thoughts.

    As has been said elsewhere, although Robert was something of an authority on Rangers, he had a great knowledge about the beautiful game the world over. The reason Robert could talk a good game is because he knew it inside out.

    As Robert battled through his illness and regained his strength things were as they were before. I’d see him now and again outside Ibrox have a couple of minutes of chit chat and then go about our business. It was easier now though, because could communicate more often if we wanted through the website.

    So that was that until I received a phone call from MD at the tail end of last year telling me that Robert had caught Pneumonia and had been taken back into hospital. He actually PMed me from hospital during the festive period telling me what was happening, and with the medical side out of the way he duly went onto talk about what he called ‘our mutual obsession’ and the crimes being foisted upon us.

    I’ll keep this part brief, to say Robert was less than fond of the boardroom would be an understatement. But that is for another time and place. I will not sully the man’s memory by saying anymore on the subject at this point.

    My last ever contact with him was the last weekend in January, and once again he assured me he was feeling good and was just waiting on the all clear as he wanted to fly out to Malta on the Thursday as he couldn’t bear to think what awaited at Hampden the following week. He did add though, that although he didn’t know if he would get the all clear to fly but if he did and the teddies pulled it off you’d hear him singing back in Bridgeton Cross!

    So that’s my take on Robert Watt. We were never in each other’s company more than a sprinkling of time and never at any great length. But we were pals. He was my kind of bear. He was also one of the greatest and most knowledgeable Rangers fans it has ever been my privilege to meet.

    The pleasure was all mine, Robert.

    The_Gub
     
  3. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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  4. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    The graveyard at Letham on the day he was laid to rest.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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    AN ORATION AT THE FUNERAL FROM HIS MATE WERNER.


    Only 3 words in German


    Quite a few German Rangers supporters will have met Robert when he travelled to Rangers games in Germany and Europe. But all German Loyal will have read his articles in the Rangers News and surely later in Follow Follow fanzine and on the website writen under the name of >Little Boy Blue<.



    He followed The Gers to Cologne in March 1979. Rangers lost, I´m sure Robert would be able to tell us the scoreline right away as his memory for facts, figure and stories was legendary. Yes, Rangers lost that night, but Robert won a friend. He did something very unusual, mind you this was the time before the digital age, we started a Old School style-pen pal friendship, he would buy the British „Shoot“ football mag, read it and then put it in an envelope and mail it to me in Cologne. I would do likewise with the German footie mag, the „Kicker“.


    Not soon and he invited me to Glasgow. It was Robert who introduced me to the football, the rivalry and the Pubs of Glasgow. It was back then when I was adopted by the Rangers Family. We would go to many games, spending long hours on trains, buses and in Pubs.


    I always thought of Robert as a Fan in Disguise, you would see a football expert but meet a devoted Rangers man. Like on a trip to Aberdeen, four Rangers daft numpties and Robert in a car and we had to stop our celebration on the way back home in the middle of nowhere so he could tranfer his text to the Belfast Telegraph office.


    Our friendship developed even further, my lady liked him the minute she met him, too, so it was no surprise he was my best man when my wife and me got married in Troon 1996.


    When I woke up in Dundee on the day of his funeral two days ago I thought this time I traveled to Scotland for all the wrong reasons. But then suddenly I knew different. This trip was without any doubt made for the right reason. For the reason of Friendship.


    So, in the name of friendship I say these three words in German to Robert: Danke. Auf Wiedersehen.
     
  6. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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  7. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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  8. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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  9. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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  10. Alex Venters

    Alex Venters Well-Known Member

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    What a wonderful tribute to a fellow bear.
    I read it at the time and it's no less touching tonight.
     
  11. Paisleyprod

    Paisleyprod Well-Known Member Official Ticketer

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    A really good guy.

    Sadly missed
     
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  12. Carsons36th

    Carsons36th Well-Known Member

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    I never knew Robert but enjoyed reading his contribution to FF magazine and posts on the old board.
    As said above , that is a wonderful tribute
    RIP Little Boy Blue
     
  13. statto75

    statto75 Active Member

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    Wow. Can't believe it's been 3 years. RIP Robert.
    Got to know him casually as he travelled on our bus occasionally to away games (Stevenston Cross Keys.) Got talking to him as I thought I recognised his face. Obviously turned out I knew him from Rangers News, 90 minutes etc.
    Really nice fellow. Sadly missed.
     
  14. BL11

    BL11 Well-Known Member

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    Nice thread, OP.

    Good to see you promoting his legacy, I’m sure he’ll be appreciating it somewhere.
     
  15. omegaman

    omegaman Well-Known Member

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    Some wonderful eulogies there, especially from The Gub.

    Which begs the question: where is he?
     
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  16. The banter years

    The banter years Well-Known Member

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    Quite a moving few posts. I remember some of them although not all. R.I.P. little boy blue. :(
     
  17. thinline

    thinline Active Member

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    His contributions are well remembered. Can’t believe it’s 3 years.
     
  18. tambourineman

    tambourineman Active Member

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    Thanks for that post MD. I have no personal knowledge of anyone involved but all of the articles warm the heart of a fellow Bear.

    I actually remember the The Gub's kind words from the old board. It was an absolutely wonderful and uplifting piece about a fellow Bear, written in circumstances where most of us would struggle to find an appropriate word far less an entire article.

    And to finish; I loved the contributions of LBB in the fanzine. His articles were literate, coherent, well thought out and most of all - heartfelt.
     
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  19. The Shadow

    The Shadow Well-Known Member

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    I reckon there should be a hall of fame for FF members who have passed on.
     
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  20. Aragorn

    Aragorn Active Member

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    Really enjoyed reading that despite the sad circumstances surrounding the article.
     
  21. Coop1872

    Coop1872 Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic tributes which still bring a tear to the eye.
     
  22. rfc1952

    rfc1952 Active Member

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    Great tributes - 3 years - wow how time passes in a flash.
     
  23. bedsblue

    bedsblue Well-Known Member

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    Blubbing like a big wean reading this again.
     
  24. wee bud's pit boots

    wee bud's pit boots Well-Known Member

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    I knew it was this month but had forgotten the exact date, the service up north was beautiful too.

    You are still in our thoughts, fellow Ranger.

    A nice touch there from GS to bring Robert's memory back to the fore again.
     
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  25. immortal7

    immortal7 Well-Known Member

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    met him and his good lady on a couple of euro jaunts, a top man, bear and writer.

    sadly missed
     
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  26. jaws73

    jaws73 Well-Known Member Official Ticketer

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    Loved reading his articles in the mag.

    Hard to believe it is 3 years already since his passing.
     
  27. Wee buds swagger

    Wee buds swagger Member

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    Enjoyed his articles in the old fanzine , as I did all those who contributed . I prefered buying follow follow than a match program
     
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  28. Southside_shug

    Southside_shug Well-Known Member

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    We have lost several exceptional writers on this forum over the years.

    And LBB was one of the very best


    "Safe In the Arms of Jesus"
     
  29. Bearwood Bear

    Bearwood Bear Active Member

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    Never had the privilege of meeting him but read all of his articles: he was funny, insightful and literate.
     
  30. Koba

    Koba Member

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    I often feel I grew up with guys like Little Boy Blue, The Belfast Bigot, Dowanhill Hack etc. I loved the old fanzines. My only regret is I never met him in person. Thanks for posting Mark.
     
  31. SmokieBear

    SmokieBear Member

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    Very touching tributes, it is apparent Robert was a dearly loved Bear.
     
  32. Woodrow Call

    Woodrow Call Well-Known Member

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    He was posting under Peters Scarf the last couple of years of the old board. Think he was on a permanent ban. That seems strange as he goes way back with the gaffers on here and even got a mention in David Edgars book. An acquired taste but I miss him.
     
  33. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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    QV Loyal was another writer who immediately springs to mind as being taken too soon.
     
  34. omegaman

    omegaman Well-Known Member

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    He just PM’d me so is alive and well.

    I’ll leave it to him to reveal his new nom de guerre though.
     
  35. Southside_shug

    Southside_shug Well-Known Member

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    I believe he has already posted on this thread!! :D :D
     
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  36. Chester Perry

    Chester Perry Well-Known Member

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    Is the Dowanhill Hack still writing ?

    I used to enjoy his tales back in the day of the Fanzine
     
  37. mdingwall

    mdingwall Administrator Staff Member

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    He's still alive. :D

    Still freelancing away for the papers that are left!
     
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  38. Renoranger

    Renoranger Well-Known Member

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    Permanent ban for the Gub......what happened...was there a rumpus and he chinned all around him !
     
  39. Sancus

    Sancus Well-Known Member

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    I thought I recognised his writing style. Not as obvious on this thread but certainly on others.

    Excellent article on LBB, one of those guys I never met but read his articles over many years.
     
  40. Braeside58

    Braeside58 Well-Known Member

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    I knew Robert very well.
    Nice guy he was.
    Born and bred in Greenock.
    Used to go to the games with the Greenock Rangers Club when he was a young man. His dad was a committee man in club for years.
    Lovely family.
    Sadly missed is Robert.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  41. Jock Wallace

    Jock Wallace Well-Known Member

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    A nonce fc demolition job is long overdue
     
  42. Lawthornloyalist

    Lawthornloyalist Member

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    Knew Robert very well when he lived in Irvine. Met him on many a European trip too.
    Sadly missed
     

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