A son who lost his father to coronavirus says he’s overjoyed to have discovered archive news footage of his dad that he never knew existed.
Darran Robertson has been reminiscing with his family after spotting his dad William – who died on November 9 – in pictures of the 1984 miners’ strike, which were shown on last Friday’s STV News.
The archive images were shown during a report on Booker prize winner Douglas Stuart and his portrayal of growing up in 1980s Scotland.
When scenes from a coal miners’ protest came on screen, there was a familiar face in the crowd for the Robertsons.
Darran said: “I practically jumped off the couch and said to my mum, ‘that’s my dad’.”
His mum didn’t believe him at first.
Darran added: “And I paused it and I rewound it, and sure enough there he was, and it was just an incredible moment.
“Five minutes after we saw it on the television, my phone went ping, ping, ping with family members and friends.”
William, from Larkhall in South Lanarkshire, who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, died in hospital 13 days after testing positive for Covid-19.
Ahead of Monday’s funeral service, his family reflected on the 73-year-old’s life.
William, who previously worked in the Cardowan Colliery in Stepps, had moved his family to Fife to take up a job at the Frances Colliery in Dysart, near Kirkcaldy.
He had followed his own father down the pit and worked as a coal miner for around a decade.
Darran recalled growing up during the miners’ strike.
He said: “I remember my dad going out to the picket lines.
“To be honest, my main memory of that time is living in poverty. Local shops would donate food to social clubs and that is how we got fed because we had no money.
“It was a horrible time during the strikes but my dad loved working the mines. It was the one job in his life he really did love.“
William died at the University Hospital Wishaw. Relatives were unable to visit and relied on video calls with the grandfather-of-three as his health declined.
William’s granddaughter, Veronica Robertson said: “The nursing staff really did go above and beyond to get my papa’s phone working.
“I did get to see him and hear him, and it was so nice to have that. He knew we were there.“
His family say those last video calls along with the STV News footage give them some comfort.
Darran added: “He would have loved [the footage] because he loved his telly.
“He loved watching the news and the quiz shows, so he would have been in his element.
“It really put on a smile on my face. It was like he was saying hello to me, that he’s okay, you know.”
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