Apr 10 2009 by Clair Fullarton, Kilmarnock Standard
A KILMARNOCK rugby legend has died suddenly, aged just 56.
David Gray, who was born in the town and is a former Kilmarnock Academy pupil, collapsed after going for a run at Ayr’s Dam Park stadium.
It is believed he suffered a massive heart attack. Frantic efforts to revive him were in vain.
David was a frequent visitor to the Ayr track where he often trained after work.
In a glittering rugby career, he played lock for Kilmarnock and West, winning nine caps for Scotland between 1978 and 1981.
A Scottish Rugby spokesman said: “Gray, at 6ft 8ins and 17st 10lbs, was the proverbial man mountain in his playing days and was a key figure in a formidable West of Scotland and Glasgow pack that also included British Lions and fellow Scotland caps Sandy Carmichael and the late Gordon Brown.
“Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to David Gray’s family and friends.”
The dad of two’s death shocked Ayr Seaforth athletes who had just arrived for their Thursday evening training session.
Club secretary Glen Harrower said: “Although David wasn’t a club member, he often joined us at his regular jogging sessions around the track.
“He was a gentle giant of a man who I got to know well.
“Two of our senior athletes tried to give him the kiss of life, and an ambulance arrived quickly, but nothing could be done.”
A spokesman for South Ayrshire Council, where David worked, said: “David was very well liked and respected by both officers and elected members and the wide range of community groups and agencies that he worked in partnership with.
“David will be very much missed and our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this very sad time.”