Scorer of fastest football hat-trick, Tommy Ross, dies

By Steven McKenzie
BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

  • Published
Tommy RossImage source, PETER JOLLY/NORTHPIX
Image caption,
Tommy Ross with newspaper reports from the time of his historic hat-trick

The scorer of the fastest hat-trick in football, Tommy Ross, has died at the age of 71.

Mr Ross set the Guinness World Record by scoring three goals in 90 seconds as an 18-year-old while playing for Ross County against Nairn County in 1964.

The previous record had been set by a Gillingham player in the 1950s.

Mr Ross went on to play for a number of English clubs, including Peterborough United, Wigan Athletic and York City, as well as Scottish side Brora Rangers.

News of his death was announced by Tain football club St Duthus, which he managed during the 1990s.

Image source, Tommy Ross Family/St Duthus FC
Image caption,
Tommy Ross when he was at Wigan
Image source, Tommy Ross Family/St Duthus FC
Image caption,
Ross playing for Peterborough United in 1966
Image source, Tommy Ross Family/St Duthus FC
Image caption,
Ross, left, at York City

The club, which plays in the North Caledonian League, has posted tributes to Mr Ross on social media.

St Duthus said everyone at the club "extend their deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to Tommy's family and close friends at this difficult time".

Mr Ross played six games for Peterborough United and scored two goals.

Wigan Athletic said it was "saddened" to hear of his death.

"He was with us for a season only back in our non-league days in 1969, but is remembered fondly by those supporters who watched him," it said.

Inver-born Mr Ross joined Ross County in 1961 at the age of 15, and scored his first goal for the club that same season.

Image source, Wigan Athletic
Image caption,
Tommy Ross playing for Wigan against Skelmersdale

He scored 44 goals during the 1964-65 season, when he secured his place in history with three goals in 90 seconds against Highlands rivals Nairn County.

His form attracted attention from a number of clubs on both sides of the border, including Cardiff City, Millwall, Newcastle and Aberdeen in Scotland, before he moved to Peterborough United in 1965.

He then played for York City, Wigan Athletic and Rossendale United before returning to Scotland to play for Brora Rangers in the 1970s.

He then got involved in coaching, and took the reigns of Tain St Duthus for several seasons in the mid 90s.

Two of his sons, Stuart and Andrew Ross, are now the management team in charge of St Duthus, which was revived as a club last year.

As well as playing for Brora Rangers, Mr Ross started a construction company with his brothers John and James.

He later worked at North Sea oil and gas industry yards in Nigg and Ardersier in the Highlands, and for a car sales company in Inverness.

Mr Ross also worked as a youth scout for Tottenham Hotspur, based in the north.