Scottish FA Performance Director Malky Mackay has paid tribute to renowned coach educator Dick Bate, who sadly passed away on Wednesday, aged 71.
Mackay held Bate in the highest regard and invited him to work with the Scottish FA as a consultant, in addition to presenting at the elite coaching programme masterclass last June, which focused on the art of defending.
He said: “I was saddened and shocked to learn of Dick’s passing, having last spoken to him four days ago.
“He was a close, personal friend and someone I considered to be a mentor.
“First and foremost, Dick was a gentleman who never had a bad work to say about anyone.
“The thing that always struck me was his deep love and passion for football, matched only be a desire to share his knowledge and help develop others.
“I first got to know Dick when I moved to Watford as a player. Aidy Boothroyd brought him in as Technical Director.
“When I started out coaching, taking the reserves, Dick was the guy who mentored me. Over the last 12 years or so we became good friends.
“When he decided to leave the FA I immediately snapped him up for Cardiff City, where he moulded our young coaches.
“He would always talk about drilling down into the detail of whatever you were doing. That would shine through in his work and it stuck with me.
“He had such an extensive CV and was essentially the architect of England’s Pro Licence course.
“I would echo Dan Ashworth’s comment that he was the finest coach educator that England has produced. I don’t think there’s a bigger accolade for him.
“Dick leaves a real legacy in terms of structure and the lives he touched.
“His influence is imprinted on coach education on a worldwide level – not least for his work with FIFA, UEFA amd countless other bodies.
“When he spoke, he made an impact.
“Dick had been a consultant to the Scottish FA for the last 10 years on the Pro Licence course.
“As soon as I started at Hampden I asked him to join my high performance commission as a consultant.
“As recently as two weeks ago he was working on stuff for us.
“I just knew he’d be someone who would benefit Scottish coaches. We saw that straight away.
“The thoughts of the Scottish FA are with Dick’s family, friends and all who worked with him.
“He was one of a kind.”