Turnbull Hutton has passed away, and his death is not simply that of just another backroom administrator, but that of a man who inspired a cause and who spoke for all of us.
He told the truth when others feared to try.
It is impossible to imagine the long, difficult summer of 2012 without his contribution to it, when he stood on the steps of Hampden and told the cameras that what was going on in that building, as the authorities and governing bodies strove to find a safe berth for Sevco Rangers, was nothing short of corrupt. That word cut through all the BS.
It went to the heart of everything many of us were thinking and feeling, and longing for someone to say.
On that day, he made himself a target, made himself an enemy of many in our sport, and painted a bullseye for lunatics and psychopaths on the wall of his club stadium, and he probably knew he was doing that when he said those words.
But Turnbull refused to be cowed. He knew what was right and wrong that day, and he refused to back down.
He was steadfast, even when those maniacs came calling and tried to set fire to the ground.
He was a no-nonsense guy, but one with a big heart and an open, friendly face which you got good vibes from.
He was a gentleman who it might have been easy to underestimate, but who had steel in his soul.
When he saw his club, and his fellow chairmen, being bounced into a scandalous decision he bucked that push and inspired others inside and outside the room to do the same.
He spoke for them that day on the steps, as he spoke for us, and articulated what some of them were thinking but didn’t have the stomach to say.
His courage was the flag they, and we, needed and we rallied to it. He was one of the “few good men” the game required at that time.
And he proved, as good men have throughout time, that speaking the truth plainly and without fear is often enough to move the tides.
His club, Raith Rovers, revered him. It was only fitting that he should have one of his finest hours at the helm of that club, the Challenge Cup victory over Sevco Rangers itself, at Easter Road on this day just one year ago.
The memories of that day will now forever be tinged with sadness, but also, always, with the kind of exhilaration that comes from a triumph of right over wrong, of good over bad, of light over darkness, encapsulated in his smile as his team walked around the ground with the trophy.
He stepped back from his role in the game some months ago, we now know to deal, privately, with leukaemia, the illness which took his life.
I believe it is one of the great tragedies of our national sport that he did not seek an executive role with the SFA or the SPFL because he would have brought integrity, honour and honesty to organisations which so often act completely without them.
For the last couple of years, he came more and more into the role of public critic towards those organisations and I think those in office came to fear him, as they should have. He had their measure, knew their worth … and he was ten times what they were.
We would have been right behind him, steadfastly, had he ever made a bid to take them on, and overhaul our sport.
Turnbull Hutton leaves this world as the guy who, for one shining moment, became part of the mythology of our game.
He stood on the steps at Hampden and refused to do what others had, to be silent when he knew something rotten was in the air.
I will remember that moment forever, when he blew away in an instant every piece of spin, when he dashed against the Wall of Truth the container of lies that we were being asked to swallow.
He could have chosen his words carefully, been politic about what he knew was going on in there, but he knew the game deserved better and needed more, and so he called out the charlatans and sent a message to everyone that was crystal clear.
What we owe him for that cannot be measured or quantified.
We will never, ever forget him and nor should we.
His name passes into the annals of history, the kind that outlasts what’s in the chip wrappers.
In years to come, when we tell our kids and our grandkids about those days, we will tell them that one man articulated events perfectly, and that man was Turnbull Hutton of Raith Rovers football club … a small man in the scheme of things, but a giant.
A leader when we needed one the most.
Honourable, honest and inspiring. That’s how he was.
All who knew him should be proud to have done so.
All of us who got to know him consider it a privilege.
This game owes him an enormous debt.
Thank you, Turnbull, and rest in peace brother.
(If you like, and want to support, what we do here remember that we can’t do it without you fine people. You can help us out by making a donation at the PayPal link at the top or the bottom of your page, depending on which device you are using. Every little helps and keeps us keeping on!)