Alan Dunmore lived life to the full – and was looking forward to getting back to it once the pandemic was over.
The 76-year-old had travelled the world with his wife Pauline, had golfed with friends on courses near and far, and watched his beloved Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
These were all things the keen runner – who ran the Great North Run more than 10 times – intended to enjoy all over again once the world re-emerged from the pandemic.
Sadly, after battling Covid-19 in an intensive care unit (ICU) for seven weeks, the pensioner lost his fight last Sunday.
He had contracted the virus after being admitted to Ninewells Hospital in November with high blood pressure.
His wife, Pauline led tributes to the father-of-two, who became an adopted son of Broughty Ferry after moving from South Shields nearly 20 years ago after meeting her offshore.
She revealed there would be a “massive void” in the Ferry following his passing as the former rigger was known to many in local public houses.
As part of a tribute during his funeral precession later this month, Alan will be going on one last “pub crawl” past the haunts where he’d befriended many.
“I’ve not only lost my husband, I’ve lost my soul mate and my best pal, he was a gem of a guy, its tragic the way in which we’ve lost him,” Pauline said.
“He got admitted with high blood pressure into Ward 33, they thought he had maybe had a stroke, then he contracted Covid-19 whilst he was in hospital.
“I hadn’t seen him for 14 weeks until I got to be there last Sunday. He’d battled it bravely and had been in ICU for 7-weeks.
“I can’t thank the ICU staff enough for all they did for my husband. It was challenging not being able to be there physically with him until the end.
“The staff in ICU have also found that difficult that people’s loved ones can’t be with them during this process.
“Alan was Covid-19 free by the end but the damage it did to his lungs was irreversible.
“He had been on one of those oxygen hoods on for 10 days and it had been hard to see him on a facetime call like that before he was then placed onto a ventilator.”
Following his passing last weekend, many golfers who had played with Alan at the Grange and Broughty Golf Club paid tribute along with friends and family from South Shields.
Following his funeral at Dundee Crematorium on January 18, his ashes will be scattered at the Stadium of Light, which Alan still visited regularly after moving to Scotland.
Pauline added: “When Sunderland where in the playoffs he had the garden decked out in the Ferry in all his Sunderland strips.
“Although he lived up here for a long time he never lost that twang. People couldn’t understand him up here and he couldn’t understand them.
“Folk in the Ferry had dubbed him ‘Mackem Al’, he was a Sunderland fanatic.”
Even in Alan’s passing, he has been able to make Pauline laugh with some of his funeral arrangements.
She added: “I’ve asked everyone to be in red, black and white – the Sunderland colours – on the day.
“Alan wasn’t always the best organised with certain things but he surprisingly had his funeral arrangements sorted.
“He’s requested The Great Escape theme tune as his final song at the ceremony and that was just him all over.
“Unfortunately, due to current restrictions we can’t have a big service but we will be holding a celebration of his life when we are able to do so at the golf club.
“People are still in shock to hear that Alan has passed. The Ferry is like a village and Alan was always wandering around, everyone knew him through the Occidental Bar, the Post Office Bar or Gunners.
“The one comfort I will take is that Alan had lived his life to fullest and he will sorely missed by all who knew him.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside added: “Our thoughts remain with Mr Dunmore’s family at this difficult time.”