FORMER Bradford Park Avenue centre half, captain and manager Don McCalman has died aged 81.

The Greenock-born Scot made 297 appearances for Avenue in a seven-year spell, scoring five goals, having joined them from Hibernian in 1959.

The Avenue favourite was then transferred to Barrow, for whom he made 13 appearances in 1966-67.

It was a surprise when the former skipper was given a free transfer from Avenue at the end of the 1965-66 season.

Between February 27, 1960 and August 26, 1963, McCalman made 155 successive appearances for the club until he suffered a cartilage injury, equalling the record set by left half Jack Scott between April 1912 and April 1920.

That joint record was broke by the legendary Kevin Hector, who played 166 league games between December 1962 and September 1966.

McCalman was Avenue's manager from September to December 1968, with the trainer taking over from Oldham Athletic-bound Jack Rowley during the middle of "one of the biggest financial crises" of Avenue's history.

He was replaced by Laurie Brown, becoming assistant manager, but was back in the hot seat in 1969-70, ironically replacing Brown but being replaced by Frank Tomlinson.

McCalman was initially in the curious position of being manager for a trial period but the final say on team selection belonged to chairman Herbert Metcalfe.

The Scot was sacked in February 1970 after a run of one point from four matches.

McCalman, then living at Horton Bank Top, also made the news in 2000 when the gold medals from his junior days at Glasgow club Petersell in 1932-36 were stolen from his daughter Ann’s house, also at Horton Bank Top.