TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Middlesbrough Football Club’s oldest former player who has died at the age of 88.

Joe Scott made 99 appearances for the club between 1954 and 1959, playing alongside the likes of Brian Clough and Alan Peacock.

Boro boss Bob Dennison signed “Geordie Joe” from Luton Town for £5,000, and it did not take long for the talented young player to make his mark.

In his debut campaign, Mr Scott scored 16 goals in 29 games, including two goals against Lincoln City in his first match, which earned the club its first win of the season.

Following his death, last month, Middlesbrough Football Club released a statement outlining Mr Scott’s achievements, adding: “Our thoughts are with Joe’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Born in Fatfield, near Sunderland, Mr Scott’s football career began as a teenager when he joined Crook Town in 1948. This was a historic season for the club, with the Northern League side reaching the semi-final of the Amateur Cup only to be be beaten by Romford in a replay at West Ham. Mr Scott made 38 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals, before moving to Newcastle United the following season.

He then moved to Spennymoor United and later Luton Town until he was signed by Middlesbrough.

In 1959, Mr Scott moved to Hartlepool United, where he made 62 appearances, scoring eight goals. He then played for York City before finishing his football career with Ashington in the North Eastern League.

Mr Scott retrained as a quantity surveyor and settled in Acklam in Middlesbrough with his late wife, Rose.

The couple had three children, Shelia, Linda and Tony, and have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Outside of work, Mr Scott loved to watch football and critique the players.

He also enjoyed socialising with his many friends at the Jack Hatfield Social Club, and at a nearby Costa coffee shop.

His son-in-law Bill Langford said: “He was a lovely pleasant man and very well-liked by everyone.

“I don’t think anyone ever had a bad word to say about Joe. In fact, people used to say that whenever they saw him, he had a smile on his face.

“He was the kind of man who could talk to anyone and he got on with people of all ages, including younger people who used to ask him about his football career.”

He added: “Joe was always smartly dressed and never went out without a shirt and tie.”

Mr Langford spoke fondly of watching football with his father-in-law on Sunday afternoons.

“Joe loved football,” said Mr Langford.

“He liked to follow all of the teams he played for, especially Boro. He used to come for his lunch on a Sunday and we would watch the football together, and sometimes we would go to the pub to watch a game.

“He used to criticise the players, and was always saying football wasn’t what it used to be.”

Mr Scott died on Tuesday, January 30, at Stainton Lodge Care Centre in Hemlington, Middlesbrough, surrounded by family and friends. His funeral took place last week at Teesside Crematorium.