A FORMER Dumbarton manager who led Sons into the top flight of Scottish football in the 1980s has died.

Former Scotland winger Davie Wilson ended his playing career at Dumbarton before becoming manager at Boghead, and leading the club to promotion into the Scottish Premier Division in 1984.

It remains Sons' last spell in the top flight.

Wilson made 373 appearances for Rangers between 1957 and 1967, and also won 22 caps for Scotland.

His family announced in August last year that Wilson had stopped attending matches at Ibrox due to “ongoing Alzheimer’s and dementia issues”.

Rangers said in a statement: “Rangers Football Club are today extremely saddened to hear of the passing of former player Davie Wilson at the age of 85.

“The thoughts of the directors, staff and players of Rangers are today with the family and friends of Davie.”

Wilson won 11 domestic trophies during his career at Ibrox and was also part of the team that reached the European Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1961.

After leaving Rangers in 1967 at the age of 28, Wilson went on to make more than 100 appearances for Dundee United, before finishing his playing career at Dumbarton.

He joined Sons in January 1972 and helped the club win promotion at the end of that season before retiring at the end of the 1972-73 campaign, having helped preserve Dumbarton's top flight status.

He later served as Alex Wright's assistant in the Boghead dugout, a spell which saw Dumbarton reach the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1976, before two spells in the manager's hotseat in his own right, from 1976-78 and 1984-86.

Appointed for his second spell after Billy Lamont's sudden departure to Falkirk during the 1983-84 campaign, Wilson kept Sons' promotion push at the top of the First Division on course and they secured their place in the top flight with two games to play.

But their spell in the Premier Division was to be short-lived: they were relegated back to the First Division a year later, and haven't played in the Scottish top tier since. 

Wilson left Boghead for a second time in 1986, and later had a spell managing Queen of the South, with Alex Wright returning to Dumbarton to succeed him.