ABERDEEN and St Mirren hero Frank McDougall has sadly died aged 65.
A prolific goalscorer, McDougall passed away in hospital due to heart complications.
Born in Glasgow, McDougall got his big break with Clydebank in 1978 and after scoring 28 goals on one season, earned a move to St Mirren the following year.
The £150,000 fee that took him to Love Street was a record transfer between two Scottish clubs.
He made more than 100 league appearances for the Saints, further enhancing his reputation as a prolific striker.
McDougall was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for Aberdeen in 1984 for £100,000 and he made a spectacular impact.
He was the Scottish Premier Division's top scorer in his debut campaign with 22 league goals, 24 in all competitions.
That inspired the Dons to title glory with the Pittodrie side retaining the championship and finishing seven points clear of Celtic.
McDougall struck a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle, a result that confirmed Aberdeen as champions.
He scored a further 20 times in all competitions in his second season, including four in one game against the Hoops.
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Although the Dons couldn't retain the league title, they did win both domestic cup competitions.
However, a persistent back injury troubled McDougall during his time at Pittodrie.
It would be diagnosed as traumatic spondylitis and ultimately forced him to retire aged just 29 in 1987, six months after he played in what would be his final match.
McDougall was inducted into the Aberdeen Hall of Fame last year but he was unable to attend the ceremony.
It was revealed at the time he was battling lung cancer.
He did however manage to make an emotional return to Pittodrie in February this year, appearing as a guest of honour at the 1-0 win over Livingston.
The sad news of McDougall's passing was announced on behalf of his family by reporter Ally Begg.
He said on Twitter: "Hi, I’ve been asked to post this on behalf of Frank McDougall’s family.
"Frank sadly passed away this morning in hospital due to heart complications. Thoughts and prayers very much with Frank and his beloved family. RIP legend."
Aberdeen said they were "deeply saddened" to hear of the news of McDougall's passing.
They said: "Aberdeen Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Frank McDougall this morning.
"Frank was an AFC legend, as during his two seasons for the Dons, between 1984 and 1986, he scored an incredible 44 goals and won all three domestic medals."
The club's chief executive Alan Burrows added: "Desperately sorry to read about Frank’s passing. I was never lucky enough to meet him, or watch him play (just before my time), but I know he is held in such high regards by everyone associated with AFC, who remember a talented, lethal striker. My thoughts and condolences are with Frank’s family and close friends at this very sad time. RIP."
St Mirren paid tribute to McDougall, hailing him as one of Scottish football's best forwards of the 1980s.
The club said: "St Mirren Football Club is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former player Frank McDougall.
"Renowned as one of the best forwards in Scottish football during the 1980s, Frank joined St Mirren from Clydebank in June 1979 in a move that broke the Scottish transfer record at the time. During his five year stay at Saints, Frank scored 64 goals in 169 appearances.
"Frank would then move on to Aberdeen in 1984 where he became a huge fans favourite – scoring 44 goals in just 69 appearances – before having to retire with an injury in 1987.
"The thoughts of everyone at St Mirren are with Frank's loved ones at this sad time."
Former Love Street team-mate Frank McAvennie said: “It’s such sad news this morning.
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“Frank was my first strike partner and friend from day one in early 80s. RIP pal – gone way to soon. I’m gutted.”
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