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Tribute to Inverness footballer who made new life in Australia

By Neil MacPhail

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Dennis Lockart.
Dennis Lockart.

A former Highland League football star from Inverness is being remembered after his sudden death aged 71 in Australia where he made a new home.

Dennis "Mecca" Lockart played for Inverness Caledonian, Forres Mechanics and Lossiemouth after leaving Inverness High School.

Along with some footballing mates from Inverness he emigrated to Oz and settled in Brisbane where he met and married his wife Carol and together they raised a family of five.

Many of the Highland footballers who moved to Australia found their skills in big demand. Dennis played for Grange Thistle before moving to Trident Valley where he played centre-half when they won the Queensland Division One and Cup in 1981.

Dennis, Donnie McDonald and Johnnie Mapplebeck in Trident Valley colours - the same as Juventus as they had a big Italian following.
Dennis, Donnie McDonald and Johnnie Mapplebeck in Trident Valley colours - the same as Juventus as they had a big Italian following.

Before retiring about two years ago, Dennis worked for Castlemaine Brewery, the makers of the famous 4X beer, before moving to wine and spirits company BWS.

The father of five died after collapsing suddenly at home.

Carol said: "Dennis was a beautiful, caring husband. He was a fantastic family dad to our five children Peter, Peggy, Kimberley, Rob and Jenny.

"We have seven grandchildren who call him Poppie and me Nannie – they all loved him.

"I met him 35 years ago and we were married for 33 years. He was a hard working man but always had time for family and friends. I love and miss him so much."

Dennis's busy football career -

In 1970 he was playing for the Caley 2nd team in the North Reserve League. His team played in three cup finals, winning one of those games.

In that team were Alan Stuart, Donnie Park, (who went on to play for Hearts and Partick Thistle) Kenny McGregor, Willie Aitken, Sandy Anderson, Nigel Ross, Hecky McDonald and Alex Ross.

In 1972 Dennis joined Forres Mechanics and then Lossiemouth before emigrating in March 1973.

He joined Inverness friends Huisden Lazenby and Donnie "Painter" McDonald who all played for Grange Thistle, a top Division One team in Queensland.

One of the players in that Grange team was Jim Hermiston who played for Aberdeen and had represented Scotland at Under 23 level.

The Highland trio went on to play for Trident where they were joined by another Invernessian, Johnnie Mapplebeck.

Jim Hermiston joined Brisbane Lions and Brisbane City in the Australian Premier League.

Trident merged with Valley becoming Trident Valley which became a very successful team winning the Queensland Division One and Cup.

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