A community mourns a Glasgow "legend" who dedicated his life to improving the East End.

John Ferguson, known affectionately as Big Fergie, died in hospital on Monday.

He was born in 1939 in Parkhead, where he lived all his life and was described as a "one-off East End boy".

Working as a bus driver, he was also a founding member of Parkhead Housing Association, a Justice of the Peace, an activist, a volunteer and a father.

His son, David Ferguson, said the remarkable man will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

John Ferguson (Image: Parkhead Housing Association)

(Image: Parkhead Housing Association)

The 52-year-old said: "I always think of him as this strong man but also a loving dad.

"He was a passionate family man, very dedicated and protective of his relatives.

"But he was also a powerful character. People who came across him liked and respected him.

"He was the kind of person that would take no nonsense. He was very honest, he would never lie. He was never unfair, judgemental, biased or bigoted.

"He was also a man of action, determined to be active and make a difference in life."

John was one of six children and the oldest son, becoming the "head of the family" when his father died in 1965.

His youngest brother, Gary, 69, said: "When we lost our father, I was 10 and John took over the reign. He kept me in check.

"One time I dogged school and he found out. He wasn't too happy.

"I remember when John came back from doing his national service in the army, I used to run about with his tin hat and haversack on.

"I used to jump about and play soldiers. 

"He used to also take me away to Troon when all the buses used to go. He always got me a place.

"He looked after his wee brother."

He married his wife Rita and together, they had a son, David.

Family was always important in John's life.

David said: "After the national service, he became a volunteer in the Army reserves.

"He used to go away for a couple of weeks at a time and he would always bring me back some fancy toys, some kind of truck that I could play with.

"It was brilliant. I wasn't looking for any gifts, I just wanted to see him back home but that was how he was, very generous."

Throughout his life, John also dedicated a lot of time to bettering the area where he lived.

After recognising issues with housing, he and his friends founded Parkhead Housing Association, which he called "the best on the planet".

He was involved with the local community council, fought for the improvement of housing and healthcare and worked as a Justice of the Peace.

(Image: David Ferguson)

John with John KcKayJohn with John KcKay (Image: David Ferguson)

Jim Strang, former CEO of Parkhead Housing Association, said: "I don't think I have come across someone who had the skill, wit, experience and kindness with which he carried out his duties.

"The best way to describe him is a legend. He's been in the housing sector for well over 40 years.

"He was our guiding light.

"He and a few others started with nothing but ambition, clarity of thought and a broken typewriter."

John was "immensely proud" of how far the organisation has come and was the most excited about building homes for rent.

The 67-year-old continued: "In particular, the Black Cat Studio site. It was an old cinema in the 1930s.

"At some point, it was owned by Scottish Television and it was famous for the One O'clock Gang being recorded there.

"He used to tell me we need to get that side because he and his wife Rita used to have their date nights in the cinema there.

"The day we invited the Scottish housing minister to open the site, I don't think I have ever seen him so emotional."

John and Prince Philip (Image: David Ferguson)

John with Princess Anne (Image: David Ferguson)

John receiving MBEJohn receiving MBE (Image: David Ferguson)

(Image: Parkhead Housing Association)

John also received several honours for his tireless work, including an MBE in 2000.

Gary Ferguson explained that this was a momentous occasion for his brother.

He said: "John, Prince Philip and the Queen were close friends.

"He had dinner with them on a couple of occasions, when they were up here on their Royal duties.

"The recognition knows no bounds. He showed drive and determination to everybody."

Jim added: "It's reported that they had a brilliant relationship and he explained to His Royal Highness what a pawnbroker was.

"He was unveiling a plaque on Tolcross Road and next to it was a pawn shop.

"The prince asked what that was for and John spent the next 20 minutes explaining the poverty in the area.

"He will be sadly missed by all."