THE First Minister is among those leading tributes to Craig Brown, the former Scotland manager who has passed away aged 82.

Brown, known for leading the Scotland men’s team to the 1998 World Cup, died peacefully today after a short illness in University Hospital, Ayr, his family said on Monday.

The giant of Scots football also enjoyed a playing career with Rangers, Dundee, and Falkirk, and managed Aberdeen FC from 2010 to 2013.

Rangers said in a statement: “Rangers are saddened to hear of the death of former player and Scotland manager, Craig Brown, at the age of 82.

“Best known for his time in charge of the @ScotlandNT from 1993 to 2001, Brown’s playing career began at Ibrox.

“The thoughts of everyone at Rangers are with his family at this difficult time.”

READ MORE: A look back at the life of former Scotland boss Craig Brown

Aberdeen FC paid tribute to Brown with a new header picture in his memory on their social media. The club wrote: “Everyone at Aberdeen FC is heartbroken by the loss of our beloved former manager, director and club ambassador, Craig Brown.

“A dear friend to us all, Craig will be sorely missed and our love and condolences are with his family at this terribly sad time.”

Aileen Campbell, the chief executive of Scottish Women's Football who formerly served as an SNP Cabinet secretary, said: “I am so sad to hear this news – as well as being a real giant of the game and providing many happy memories along the way, he was an absolute gent off the pitch – kind, witty and obliging. He will be sorely missed.

“Condolences to his family and friends from all at @ScotWFootball.”

The Scottish FA said: "Today Scottish football mourns the loss of Craig Brown, the former men’s national team manager and one of the most beloved personalities in the game."

First Minister Humza Yousaf added: “A towering figure of the Scottish game, Craig Brown and the Scotland team he managed gave us many good memories over the years.

“You would be hard pressed to find a man who loved Scotland as passionately as he did.

“My thoughts with his family and friends at this sad time.”

Football pundit Graham Spiers shared the news on social media, adding: “Apart from his football knowledge and achievements, I don’t think I met a kinder, warmer or more learned figure in the game.

“Add to all that his brilliant humour and you see what size of man Craig Brown was.”

The National: Craig Brown is the last Scotland manager to take the country to a major tournament

Sharing Spiers’s initial post, Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross said: “I only met Craig once (with Graham). Such a lovely man, who was a great storyteller too. May he rest in peace.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn also paid tribute, writing: “Ach this is terribly sad news.

“Feel very fortunate to have spent some time in Craig’s company over the years, most recently just last month when he was on his usual top form.

“Funny, engaging and always encouraging.

“A proper legend.”

And former first minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote:” So sorry to hear that Craig Brown has died. I last saw him in March at my uncle’s retirement from @ayrracecourse.

“He was in fine form – full of laughs and anecdotes from his life in football. He was an outstanding manager of @ScotlandNT and a truly lovely man.”

Many others paid tribute to Brown, sharing their memories of the 1998 World Cup and the 1996 Euro competition in particular.

“The opening game of France '98 is one of my most formative memories of falling in love with football,” Andrew Christie wrote.

“Very sad news. He led the team to Euro 96 and France 98. Unforgettable summers as a 16 then 18 year old,” Alex McCallum added. “The buzz, the laughs, the highs then the lows…. Thanks Craig. And a good man to boot.”