William McIlvanney Remembered At Funeral

Authors, actors and politicians have joined family and friends of writer William McIlvanney at the funeral of the "Godfather of Tartan Noir''.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown, Rebus creator Ian Rankin and actors David Hayman and Tony Roper attended the service at the University of Glasgow to pay tribute to Mr McIlvanney.

Historian Sir Tom Devine, Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveetey, journalists and broadcasters were also in attendance.

The author of the Laidlaw trilogy and numerous other Glasgow-based works such as Docherty, The Big Man and The Kiln died at his home in the city on December 5. He was 79.

About 300 people crammed into the University of Glasgow Chapel as his life was celebrated at his former university.

The funeral opened with a Lament played by fiddler Aly Bain while Leonard Cohen's Anthem and Auld Lang Syne were also performed during the service.

Mr McIlvanney, originally from Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1960 and became an English teacher before changing career in 1975 to write full-time.

He gained immediate recognition with the publication of his first novel - Remedy Is None - and through other works he earned the title of "Godfather of Tartan Noir''.

He was also an influential poet, journalist and broadcaster, and contributed to political and sporting life in Scotland through a series of columns and TV programmes.

Leading figures in Scottish culture paid tribute to Mr McIlvanney when his death was announced.

He won a number of awards, including the Whitbread Prize and the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger.

A memorial service in celebration of Mr McIlvanney's life will be held at the university on April 2 next year.

He is survived by his partner Siobhan, his daughter Siobhan, son Liam and his brother, Hugh, the respected journalist.

A spokeswoman for the university said: "Everyone at the University of Glasgow is deeply saddened by the loss of our distinguished alumnus William McIlvanney.

"He was a true literary great and respected by many, and it is a privilege for the university to be able to host his funeral service. We are pleased to offer our support to his family at this sad time.''

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