A LEGENDARY Scottish Juniors goalkeeper from Greenock who wrote himself into the history books is now penning his memoirs after a double family tragedy.

Jim Marner, who started out with Morton as a youngster, made a name for himself with Kilbirnie Ladeside, winning the coveted Scottish Junior Cup.

To this day the retired council joiner is one of only two goalkeepers in the country to score a hat-trick from the penalty spot.

Following a tragic two-year-spell when he lost his brother-in-law, the former Morton and Kilmarnock legend Eddie Morrison, while on the way home from a holiday, and then his dad to dementia, Jim has decided to share his incredible life story.

Now, 43,000 words later he is poised to publish his autobiography 'In a blink of an eye it all went by', with the hope of raising money for charity.

Jim, 66, who now lives in Gourock, said: "It was the most traumatic two years of my life to see my dad suffering from dementia and then to lose Eddie the way we did.

"Eddie was a legend of a man and footballer, playing for Morton and Kilmarnock, and was Killie's top post war goalscorer.

"He died so suddenly 10 years ago, aged 63, on the plane returning from holiday with his wife Christine, myself and my wife Audrey, his sister.

"At his funeral in St Mary's, they were on the streets for him, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist, were among those there to pay their respects."

The tragedies inspired Jim to pass down his memories to daughters Nicole, 39, Roslyn, 38 and his granddaughter Ruby, six.

When his dad was ill with dementia the family created a memory book before he passed away in 2012.

He said: "After reading my dad’s memory booklet I made a promise I would document my life for our girls so they knew my journey - there was so much about my dad's life I didn't know.

"I started the book but never got far until the first Covid lockdown and then I started again."

As a youngster, St Columba's High pupil Jim, who was born in a town tenement and later lived in Larkfield, showed promise as a footballer playing for Morton youths and reserves.

He moved into the juniors and ended up as a goalie, playing mostly for Kilbirnie, where he won the Junior Cup in 1975.

He's now a club ambassador after being inducted into their hall of fame.

The talented 'keeper also made history when he scored from the penalty spot three times against rivals Beith in a cup tie.

He went on to score no fewer than 14 spot kicks that year, after the manager appointed him the chief penalty taker because of the outfield players' poor record.

Jim then went on to play professionally in Australia alongside the likes of Dixie Deans, Pat McCluskey and Frank Munro of Celtic as well as Alun Evans of Liverpool.

He said: "I loved the life in Australia but Audrey and me missed our family and Kilbirnie Ladeside.

"I have such a huge attachment to the club and I was so proud to be in their hall of fame and represent them."

The prospect of Jim's book has attracted great attention in junior football circles, with fans, former team mates and other players getting in touch.

He added: "I have had a great journey with my family and I am so proud of all of them, including my family here and over in Ireland and also the Morrison family I love dearly."

*'In the blink of an eye it all went by' by Jim Marner will be published shortly.