Tributes have been paid to Dundee’s ‘miracle man’ who has died at the age of 88 after surviving a horror fall off a church roof in the 1950s.
Douglas Cree hit the headlines back in 1957 when he fell over 100 feet off the steeple of McCheyne Church while trying to save his work mate, and broke multiple bones in his body.
However he managed to recover from the horrific fall and was dubbed the ‘miracle man’, and went on to have three more children and travel all over the world.
His daughter-in-law Sandra Cree has since paid tribute to Douglas, who died on December 16.
She said: “He was called the ‘miracle man’ because while he was working on McCheyne Church on Perth Road his work mate was at the very top of the steeple and got an electric shock because something had been wired up wrong.
“He was just about to go over when Douglas grabbed him but then he got an electric shock and fell over 100 feet to the ground.
“He had saved his work colleague, but he had broken every bone in his body and needed new ankles, knees and hips.
“That is why he was called the miracle man – he lived through it even though he was only 25 at the time.”
His son Douglas added: “He had his fall in 1957 before I was born in 1961 so by the time I was born he was back up on his feet.
“I never knew him any other way.
“It was a miracle he survived his fall and I would have never been born if he had died.
“But he was happy-go-lucky and always up for a laugh.
“He liked to go on holidays and had friends from all over the world.
“One story was when him and mum were going down to visit my uncle in London and when they hit the M25 dad said ‘do you really want to go?’ and mum said ‘no’.
“So he then said ‘do you fancy a holiday in France?’ and instead of going to see him they turned left to Dover, took a boat across and went to Marseilles for two weeks – the visit to my uncle never happened!
“He was very spontaneous, sometimes I would go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and he had knocked down a wall in the night because he loved to build.
“He loved a fish supper and his greenhouse was hid pride and joy and he was a good Dundee United supporter – we have gone to tie his scarves on the fence at Tannadice.
“My mum Betty died eight years ago and he really struggled after her death because she was his rock that pushed him to do more than he would have done himself.
“We didn’t believe dad didn’t die before mum because we always thought mum was the strong one, but it turns out dad lasted longer than mum did.
“But with the coronavirus lockdown he didn’t cope well and deteriorated over the nine months he was stuck in the house and he was lonely because he didn’t have many visitors.
“He had originally donated his body to science, but they are not accepting bodies just now because of coronavirus.”
Douglas leaves behind his children Brian and Douglas and the late Ann and Steven, as well as eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
His funeral is due to be held on January 7 at Dundee Crematorium.