HE was the man in the over-sized cricket jumper. He was the man with the unkempt beard, the 30-year-old Adidas holdall, and the blue tartan scarf.

And he was the man who, if you were lucky enough to meet him, you would never forget.

Maurice Gordon died at his home last weekend - he was 62.

After more than three decades of service to his beloved Peebles Rovers it was perhaps fitting that his final act was a pitch inspection at Whitestone Park on Friday afternoon.

His passion for local football was only matched by his love of the town's cricket club and speedway team Edinburgh Monarchs.

For over 30 years Maurice spent his Saturdays on the sidelines supporting the Rovers or the Cricket, depending on the time of year.

Every kick or bowl was captured in his reports for the Peeblesshire News.

In keeping with his avoidance of publicity he wrote under the pen names of George Wilson (the name of his English master at Merchiston Castle School) for football, and Scoreboard Charlie for cricket.

But it's not just his printed words that will be missed. He carried out his duties as match secretary with the proficiency and acumen of a senior-ranking civil servant.

Even after his death, Maurice will leave behind a legacy of chronological files with details of every player who kicked a ball for his team over the past 30 years. And every word in the neatest handwriting.

He paid referees fees for each match out of his own pocket, on the understanding that his generosity was to be kept a secret.

Colin MacDonald, chairman of Peebles Rovers, said: "Maurice worked so hard behind the scenes for the good of the club. Maurice's passing is a terrible blow for everyone involved with Peebles Rovers - he was a great guy, totally eccentric and just a great, great guy.

"It didn't matter where you went with Peebles Rovers, the first thing you would be asked is 'where's Maurice?'" Maurice Gordon was born in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in 1949 - the son of a banker from the Scottish Highlands and an American mother.

The family moved to Bonnington Road, Peebles when Maurice was six years old - a town he was to call home for the rest of his life.

In the words of his few friends, he was an awkward, shy child. Educated at Merchiston Castle in Edinburgh, he developed a passion for cricket and football.

Friend Jason Raeburn told us: "I first got to know Maurice from the 1970s when Whitties would stay open late on a Saturday for the Pink paper. Maurice was always in the queue to get the results. He was a great character when you got to know him.

"He was in great spirits when I dropped him off on Friday - he was excited because he was planning to go to the speedway that night." Maurice never made it to Friday's speedway.

Since his death was announced on Sunday tributes have poured in.

Edinburgh Monarchs posted a photo of Maurice on their website with a touching farewell.

And from local football circles many more words of fondness have been made.

Rovers manager Stuart Robertson said: "When I got my first manager's job in 1989 at Peebles, Maurice was there.

"He was a larger than life character back then and, if anything, that character grew. If there was anything you wanted to know about Peebles Rovers he would know it.

"He'll be missed by all of us." When Gareth Smith and Dougie Swan researched the history of the Whitestone Park club for a book, they knew where to turn for modern day statistics.

Gareth said: "He was involved when I first went to play as a boy. He knew everyone and everyone knew him.

"He was friendly and really generous. There was a lot of jobs Maurice did for the club that nobody ever knew about. He liked it that way." Many friends from the world of football, cricket and speedway gathered for Maurice's 60th birthday party at the Tontine Hotel.

Former Rovers manager Mark Lamb pointed out why the match secretary was so popular. He said: "Maurice never said a bad word about anyone - not even referees.

"He was a true gentleman and one of the nicest men you would ever meet." Away from the sporting arena, Maurice was active with the Baptist Church and showed his competitive edge at the Bridge table.

But it is Whitestone Park where he will be missed the most. Former Rovers manager Gary French told us: "He was the unsung hero of Peebles Rovers. If it wasn't for Maurice I don't think we would have a Peebles Rovers today." Tributes also came from many other clubs. Alex Currie, match secretary at Vale of Leithen, said: "Everyone at the Vale is deeply saddened by Maurice's death.

"He will be a massive loss to Peebles Rovers and to East of Scotland football. The game will be a lot worse without him." It is expected all Peebles clubs, as well as other East of Scotland matches, will observe a minute's silence ahead of their games tomorrow.