TRIBUTES have been paid to Borderer and “real gent” Jim Gracie following his death aged 79.

The former Scottish Rugby junior vice president was born in Hawick in 1944.

His work in the knitwear trade took him to Montreal in Canada in 1967, before he returned to Scotland and continued in knitwear in Tillicoultry.

He began his long association with Alloa Rugby Club and when injury forced him to retire from playing, he fulfilled a number of off-field roles for the club, including vice-president and then president.

His work took him to Israel in the late 1980s, before he came home to Scotland and launched Callant Knitwear.

He served on the Midlands District Committee and then the combined committee with the North, before joining the SRU General Committee as Midlands District representative in the 1995-96 season.

During his 10-year stint on the general committee he rose through the ranks to become Junior Vice President, before organisational change in the 2005/06 season.

Graham Kerr, a former colleague, told Scottish Rugby: “Jimmy was a typical Hawick man – never flustered and a real gent.

“He was Mr Rugby at Alloa and even though his health had been failing in recent years, he would still come to the club.

“There’s been a lot of sorrow in the WhatsApp messages since we learned of Jimmy’s passing, but all the messages have been really complimentary.

“I don’t know anyone who had anything bad to say about Jimmy. He’ll be much missed.”

In a tribute posted on Facebook, an Alloa Rugby Club spokesperson said: “Jimmy devoted his life to his family and rugby. Such a likeable and funny man, he will be missed by all at ARFC.”