Stan Shivas Dies, Aged 80

One of the best feature writers in Scottish journalism for two decades during a sparkling career, Stan Shivas, of the Daily Record, has died, aged 80.

Reporting his death yesterday, the tabloid said: “Widely regarded as one the best features writers of his generation, Stan could, and did, turn his hand to virtually any story.

“As his son-in-law, James McAllister, said: ‘During his time at the Record, he interviewed everyone who was anyone – from Sophia Loren to Burt Lancaster.

“‘He covered the wedding of Charles and Diana for the Record and he was on one of the first voyages of the QE2 to New York. He was also just at home talking to the man in the street and hearing their stories.'

“Another unusual claim to fame was that he discovered Scotland's best woman footballer of the last 40 years, Rose Reilly, and even arranged for her to have a trial in France that began her pro football career.”

The Record reports that Shivas started as a cub reporter in Aberdeen, moving to London to work for the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express. He returned to Scotland in the 1960s – spending 20 years at the Record.

He is survived by wife Alice, sons Stephen and Derek, and daughter Angela.

The funeral is understood to be at the Linn Crematorium in Glasgow on Monday at 1.15pm.

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“Stan was one of the last links from the time the Daily Record was a real newspaper, and truly Scottish. His interviewing technique, before the days of reporters shoving a recorder under their subject’s nose, usually consisted of a long liquid lunch, and a few notes scribbled on the back of his fag packet.

“From these, Stan fashioned fabulous word pictures of some of the biggest names from the world of showbiz. And the attention was never – as is the case nowadays – focused on the writer.

“Every Thursday, after a good lunch, and an afternoon painting those word pictures, Stan repaired to the Copy Cat, to the thrill of we younger journalists, as his stories were legendary. I admit to hanging on his every word, in the company of other giants, such as Alex 'Chiefy' Cameron.

“The colour of Stan’s writing was only ever beaten by the tales he told around the Cat’s famous podium.

“Stan’s last act, before setting off for his weekly visit to the casino, was to stuff a fiver in the breast pocket of his suit jacket. His taxi fare home in case he ended the night’s adventure, cleaned out. Style!

“It is perhaps fitting that he should take his leave of us at a time when the Record is about to do the same.”

David Leggat 

“Very sad news about Stan. I worked with him on many jobs during our time at the Record. He really was a brilliant writer and a great guy. I remember one trip to London to interview Bernie Winters at his home. We took the tube to Cockfosters where Bernie said he would pick us up.  'That's great,' said Stan. 'What make of car will you be in?' Bernie said you won't miss it. He was correct: a Blue Rolls Royce with a big dug in the back seat. I said to Stan I will sit in the front, okay? He said: 'No chance. Photographers always sit in the back seat.' It was a privilege to have worked with Stan. I will always remember the laughs and good times we had on the road, and the wonderful spreads that were produced for Record readers. Thinking of Alice and the family at this very sad time.”

Willie Thornton, photographer

“The picture on your home page of the 1981 Scottish Press Awards' winners including the late, great Stan Shivas brought back happy memories (some of us do have happy memories of the SDR&SM) of the days when being a journalist in Scotland was great fun.

“Stan was a hero to many of us and it may be trite but they really don't make them like him anymore … at least not many.

“In your picture Stan is flanked by me (on the extreme right) and by John Finlayson (now there was a really great news reporter). John and I shared the Reporter of the Year award for what was called the 'Robroyston land scandal'. What satisfaction we had screwing the then Scottish Home and Health Department.

“Clive Sandground, the editor of the Sunday Mail at that time, insisted on several four-hour (plus) lunches for the editorial staff to celebrate. We felt it only polite to go along with him. Happy days indeed.”

Nick Hunter