A man who steered Scotland onto the world stage over 16 years has passed away The SFA have announced that former secretary, Ernie Walker has died peacefully after a long illness. Walker was assistant to secretary Willie Allan and succeeded him in 1977. He enjoyed overseeing Scotland compete in five consecutive major championship finals, from the 1974 World Cup in West Germany to Italia 90. He was one of the leading figures in the Think Tank, a root-and-branch review of Scottish football undertaken with the help of the Dutch coaching legend, Rinus Michels. SFA president, George Peat paid tribute to an administrator whose knowledge of the game was respected throughout world football. He was chairman of UEFA’s Stadia Committee for more than a decade, co-authoring reference books in this area, and was an advisor on many other aspects of the game. Peat said: "On behalf of the Scottish FA I would like to convey by condolences to the Walker family. Ernie was renowned throughout the game as a first-class administrator and a first-class gentleman. Indeed, one of the first people to contact me upon hearing the news was Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA’s Deputy General Secretary. It is a tragedy that we have lost Ernie and his successor, Jim Farry, in recent months; two men who presided over a golden era for Scottish football and the national team. Ernie was renowned for his negotiation skills and his impact on the Scottish FA and the game in this country continues to be felt. It is symbolic that Ernie’s passing has coincided with another review of Scottish football, conducted by Henry McLeish. In many ways, Ernie was a visionary who cared deeply about the national game. I am sure Ernie will have approved of the changes that the Scottish FA is currently undertaking to rejuvenate both the organisation and the game as a whole."