Monday, July 20, 2015


an appreciation – By Stephen Naysmith
Many watching the last day of the 2015 Open Golf Chanmpionship at St Andrews on Monday 20th July, will have heard Andrew Cotter make mention of the recent passing of William 'Bits' Anderson, a well known Prestwick man and long time Caddy at Prestwick GOlf Club.

The appreciation below was recently published in The Herald.

(From the website)
William “Bits” Anderson, who died recently aged 59, was Scotland’s foremost quiz exponent and a popular caddy at Prestwick Golf Club.
Bits was born on 11 December 1955. Suffering from dyslexia, he was considered stupid when at school at Prestwick High, and he would take “time off” to caddy at Prestwick.
A short stint in the navy – weeks as opposed to months (the navy were perhaps as pleased to see him go as he was to leave) – was followed by a job as a slaughterman. It is not surprising that he preferred carrying the clubs of members of and visitors to Prestwick Golf Club along with his many caddying friends. His rotund figure graced the hallowed links for many years as he imparted good advice.
Bits was well read and had a retentive memory. He was a formidable quiz participant, winning TV's The Wheel of Fortune, The Weakest Link and more recently The Chase. When asked what he did for a living by Anne Robinson on The Weakest Link he said he was a shepherd, referring presumably to the many people he had shepherded around Prestwick.
He added that he had a couple of sheepdogs, Ranji and Rocker, the names of two of his fellow Prestwick caddies. Plans were afoot at the time of his death for him to captain a team of Prestwick members in another TV quiz show The Eggheads.
Bits was an ardent supporter of the Tartan Army, attending home games and travelling to many abroad. He was a most popular touring companion until it came to sharing a room, as his snoring was legendary. When asked by a friend on his mobile where he was after a game in Paris, he replied that he was standing under a big pylon, the pylon being the Eiffel Tower. A keen traveller, he went to Augusta to see the Masters, and his immaculately kept garden was called Little Augusta.
Bits’s funeral cortege proceeded up Links Road, passing a guard of honour made up of his fellow caddies. His coffin was draped with a saltire and his caddy’s bib, the latter being autographed by those who had worked with him. The funeral, attended by over 600 people, was held at St Nicholas Parish Church. The wake, which went on until late at night, encompassed many Prestwick pubs, ending up at the Glenburn Miners Club.

Bits was divorced from his wife, with whom he had a son and a daughter. He is survived by Elaine Lawson, his partner of many years.

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