Ian was born in Falkirk in 1952. He played most of his football at amateur junior levels before having to give up his playing career due to a very serious leg break. He subsequently took up coaching at the local boys’ club teams at Denny FC in Stirlingshire and had good success in promoting youths to the professional level.
In July 1993, John (Sloop) Blackley approached Ian and asked him if he would help out with the coaching at Falkirk FC alongside himself and Peter Houston. Ian had no hesitation in accepting as he was a Falkirk fan. In his time at Falkirk, Ian was promoted to Youth Development Manager under Alex Totten.
He worked under a total of seven different managers in the 10 years he was with the club including Jim Jeffries, John Lambie, Alex Totten, Ian McCall, John Hughes and Owen Coyle and the man who asked him to start the youth policy at Falkirk – ex Arab Eamonn Bannon.
He was successful in bringing through many players that went on to play in Falkirk’s first team such as Steven Rennie, Darren Hill, Ricky Waddell, plus two players once prominent in Dundee United’s first team, namely Mark Kerr and Lee Miller.
John Hughes took over at Falkirk and he wanted his own men around him, hence Ian was not offered a new contract at the beginning of season 2004-2005. But within a fortnight, Ian McCall rang him and asked if he would take up a job of Kit Manager at Dundee United. Ian accepted the position on a part time basis.