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IN tribute to Thomas Jarvie (VR, April 3, 2011, vol 168, p 436), Hunter Jarvie writes: Tom Jarvie, who died peacefully on the evening of Tuesday, February 1, aged 94, at Rowfant House, near Crawley, West Sussex, had an incredible life, carving out two distinguished careers: first as a professional footballer, mainly with Hamilton Academical FC, also gaining international recognition, and secondly as a prominent veterinary surgeon in England, where he moved after his studies. He was a friend of many of the football greats, and helped inspire the BBC television programme All Creatures Great and Small, based on the books by James Herriot.
Born in Glasgow on June 8, 1916, he grew up in South Lanarkshire and lived in the village of Douglas. He attended Lanark Grammar School, and played football with Douglasdale as a schoolboy and went on to play Junior with Douglas Water Thistle; both teams are now sadly defunct. In the summer of 1935, he was sought by both Manchester United and Hamilton Academical. At that time the ‘Accies’ were one of the leading teams in Scotland, regularly in the upper reaches of the top division, and had been runners-up to Rangers in the 1935 Scottish Cup Final. As Tom had already commenced veterinary studies at Glasgow university, he rebuffed the financially better English offer in favour of Hamilton, which paid him £10 per week and a further £1 appearance money for his services. He was an old-fashioned ‘half-back’, and made his Accies debut on February 29, 1936, in a league match against Dunfermline. He …