Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to her uncle, the former Daily Record and Sunday Mail journalist Iain Ferguson, who has died following a short illness.
Sturgeon said she “hero-worshipped” Iain from a young age and “looked up to him all my life”.
Sturgeon tweeted: “My wonderful uncle Iain, known to many in the journalist world, has passed away.
“Iain was the editor of several Ayrshire papers in his younger days and later assistant editor at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. He was latterly head of Ayr Racecourse.
“I hero-worshipped Iain when I was a wee girl and have looked up to him all my life.
“He and I shared a love of books and constantly texted each other recommendations. I will miss him so much. My love to Elaine, Emma, Lorna, his beloved grandkids, my mum and Uncle Scott.”
Iain started his working life in the media back in 1971 with a local news agency in Prestwick and went on to edit the Irvine Times, Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald and Ayr Advertiser, before moving to the Daily Record in 1989.
He became assistant editor at both the Record and the Sunday Mail. He also enjoyed a broadcasting career which saw him host the West Sound Saturday afternoon show from 1987-89 and again from 2003-05.
Following a long career in journalism, Iain took up a position with Ayr Racecourse’s public relations team.
In a statement, the racecourse said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our recently retired Head of PR, Iain Ferguson, after a short illness.
“Iain was a much loved member of the Racecourse and Western House Hotel team for 20 years and our thoughts are with Elaine, Lorna, Emma and all the Ferguson family at this sad time.
“We were delighted that he agreed to stay on at Ayr in a part-time role after his retirement last September and will provide any further updates in accordance with the family’s wishes in due course.”
Jim Delahunt, Ayr’s current Head of PR, said. “I was honoured to take over from Iain at Ayr Racecourse ten months ago and was delighted that he stayed on to contribute in a part-time capacity.
“We’re all shocked at his passing and all my thoughts are with the family at this time.”
Ayr United Football Club also paid tribute, tweeting: “Iain was an Honest Man and had recently assisted the club with skill and professionalism at events such as our player of the year awards and Burns Supper.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”