I’ve been surprised at how affected I’ve been by the death of Kevin McCarra at just 62 but I shouldn’t.
McCarra was the football writer my heart wanted to be. A fellow Glaswegian Southsider, whose career from Glasgow to London mirrored by own consuming obsession with the game and move down south. Alzheimers had long since taken his byline away from the back page but his writing was filled with unusual kindness, generosity and humour — an introvert with a unique voice.
I saw him once, in Stoke Newington’s solitary ‘Celtic pub’ predictably. We were both there to witness Celtic miss out on a title on the final day. I was a little star struck to see him, he spotted that I'd recognised him and smiled, and not a word was spoken. I wish I’d told him then just how much his writing had shaped my experience of football, and of being a Scot in London.