TRIBUTES have been pouring in for former Whitletts Vics stalwart John Scarlett after he died aged 88 on December 30.

He is most renowned for bringing the Ayr club back from the brink of extinction in the 1970's.

Four decades ago, along with his late brother George and Mike James, John took over at the helm of the club, which had closed its doors for what looked to have been the last time as a result of vandalism at their then Voluntary Park home.

At that time, the Scarlett brothers owned the Darlington Hotel in Miller Road and brought some big players to the Club, like former Ayr, Coventry and Rangers winger Quintin 'Cutty' Young.

He also sponsored juniors footballs Ayrshire League Cup which was commonly known as the Jackie Scarlett Cup, named after his father and is still often referred to by many as the Scarlett Cup.

Under his stewardship, Whitletts won the Ayrshire Second Division title on two occasions as well as the Kyle & Carrick Cup and reached the quarter-[finals of the Scottish Junior Cup - only to lose out to the eventual winners Blantyre Victoria in a replay.

Chairman John Dalton expressed the sympathies of everyone at the club at John's passing and said: "John Scarlett is one of the most important figures in the history of Whitletts Victoria and it is safe to say that but for him, George and Mike the likelihood is that the club would have folded many years ago. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting John in his home in Kilmarnock and the club recognised his contribution to the club by introducing an annual pre-season cup competition in his name, the John Scarlett Trophy."

"The thoughts of everyone connected with the club are with his wife Lynne and son Anthony at this sad time.