Collingwood extends its deepest sympathies to the Laidlaw family following the passing of club patron and life member, John Laidlaw.

John was for decades a generous Collingwood benefactor and friend to many at the club. He passed away on the weekend at the age of 87.

John brought together his substantial business acumen and passion for the Magpies by putting the name of his clothing company, Yakka, on the club jumper in the 1970s.

He would remain, in various guises, with Collingwood for the best part of half a century.

John helped to establish Collingwood’s philanthropic arm, the Collingwood Foundation, and the Collingwood FC Community Centre at Victoria Park.

He supported with passion, counsel and significant funds many key Collingwood Community initiatives, such as the Barrawarn Indigenous training program and Magpie Nest, the attempt to alleviate Melbourne’s homelessness problem through a partnership between Collingwood and the Salvation Army.

The Freeze MND cause was also close to his heart, with his wife Betty a motor neurone disease sufferer.

For his philanthropy John was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the community. He was long recognised as a champion of the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.

John became club patron in 2012 and received life membership in 2017.

John is survived by his wife, Betty, and their four children Melissa, Jen, David and Mark.