Dick Staite
Dick Staite
Dick Staite
● Dick Staite, 1964 (BLM)

born in Scotland

Richard John Staite was born on Sunday, 21st February, 1943, in Edinburgh.

The 6' 2 (13st 0lbs) midfielder signed for Willie Thornton's Thistle on Wednesday, 18th May, 1960, having most recently been with Maryhill.

Aged 19, he made his debut appearance on Monday, 30th April, 1962, in a 3-1 friendly win away to Morton.

That day, Dick became a member of our scoring debutant's club.

He scored the last of his 3 goals on Saturday, 28th December, 1963, in a 5-0 win away to Aberdeen in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 12th December, 1964, in a 4-2 defeat at home to Celtic in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 34 occasions.

Dick's club-list included Maryhill, Broxburn Strollers, Partick Thistle, Clyde and Raith Rovers.

Bio Extra

Defender Dick Staite joined Thistle in May 1960 from Maryhill. The left-half didn’t get his maiden 1st team outing until the end of the 1961-62 season; a 3-1 victory in a friendly against Morton at Cappielow on 30 April 1962 saw Dick score Thistle’s 2nd goal, with Billy Gourlay and Gordon Whitlaw getting the other Jags’ goals. The player was farmed out to Broxburn Strollers for a period. It was almost a full year before Dick again appeared in the 1st team, when on 24 April 1963 he played in a top flight match against Motherwell, the Jags running out 2-1 winners in the Firhill contest. The outstanding Billy Cunningham played left-half for most of that season, with Billy also playing and scoring “a thundering 20 yarder” in the Motherwell victory. Dick did play in the subsequent League victories that season against Third Lanark (1-0) and Falkirk (2-0).

Dick appeared intermittently in the following 1963-64 season, with his longest run being in the Summer Cup at the tail end of that season. He played in a number of the sectional fixtures, including a 7-2 victory over Third Lanark, and the home and away Cup semi-final ties against Aberdeen. Thistle won the home tie 1-0, but lost 3-1 at Pittodrie. A missed penalty in the away tie didn’t help the cause. Dick scored a brace in Thistle’s 5-0 victory against Aberdeen in an SFL First Division match on 28 December 1963. He also set up Billy Hainey for a third. The Evening Times described the Jags as “Staitley Thistle!” The player took part in Jimmy Davidson’s testimonial against Caledonian at Telford Street on 29 April 1964. Jimmy joined the Jags in December 1945 until March 1960. He was then a Caledonian player for 4 seasons. He later became groundsman at Firhill, all in all clocking up around 25 years acting for the club. Thistle won the testimonial match 3-0, with Jimmy playing, centre-half for Caledonian – at 38 years old.

In August 1965, Dick joined Clyde, a club he stayed with until 1970. He played part-time with Clyde, and initially worked as a manager in industry. He had gained an honours degree, and subsequently graduated as a teacher from Jordanhill College of Education. Dick was an integral part of the Clyde team of 1966-67 when the club finished in 3rd spot in the First Division, a creditable achievement for a part-time club. They were denied a place in the Inter-City Fairs Cup due to a “one club, one city” rule in place at that time. Rangers took precedence in the tournament, with Clyde’s spot going to Dundee – who finished 6th. They also lost a Scottish Cup Semi-Final tie to Celtic, after a replay. After 5 years at Shawfield, with more than 100 appearances, Dick joined Raith Rovers between 1971 and 1973.

Away from football, Dick was a teacher, and was appointed head of the newly created Beeslack Community High School in Penicuik around 1984. Dick involved staff, students and parents in the running of the school, and became a very respected headmaster, with the school highly thought of. He wanted his teachers to concentrate on teaching, and ensured that they were allowed the time needed to do this. In the 1997 Birthday Honours List, Dick was awarded an OBE for services to education. He served on the National Commission on Education, and was knighted for services to education in the 2005 New Years Honours List. He was the first Scottish secondary school head to be knighted under Tony Blair’s policy of rewarding outstanding headship. He moved to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education, initially dealing with primary schools.


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