East Fife signed Willie Laird from East Stirlingshire in 1937 and he made his debut in November of that year in a 1-1 draw with Airdrieonians at Broomfield. He immediately established himself as a regular in the side and played in every one of East Fife's Scottish Cup matches when they won the trophy in 1938. Following the Second World War, Willie returned to the club and won two League Cup medals - in 1947 and 1949 - to become the only player to win three major cup winners medals whilst playing for East Fife. This is a feat which will probably never be beaten. After 219 appearances and one goal (scored against his former club East Stirlingshire!) Willie played his last match for the Fifers on 19 August 1950 against Third Lanark at Bayview.
I had the pleasure of meeting Willie only once. The occasion was an East Fife F.C. exhibition at Methil Heritage centre a few years back when he came over and spoke to my son who was peering at a medal on display in one of the cabinets. The medal, explained Willie, had been presented to the East Fife team after one of the League Cup wins in recognition of the fact that none of the East Fife team were smokers! Although my son and I only chatted with Willie for a few moments, his gentlemanly manner left a lasting impression on me. It was this same gentlemanly manner which made him such a popular player both on and off the park. He truly was a great sportsman and one of the greatest East Fife players of all time.
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