Footballing stalwart Irvine gets top award

Irvine Morris has been honoured for his services to local football in Ellon.
Irvine Morris has been honoured for his services to local football in Ellon.

An Ellon man who has dedicated years of loyal service to local football has received a top honour.

Irvine Morris has been named North Scottish FA Volunteer of the Year in Adult Football category, in the 2013 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards.

Irvine has been recognised for his unstinting work at grassroots for the sport in the Ellon area for more than 40 years.

Now in their 10th year, the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards recognise and celebrate the young players, coaches and volunteers in the six Scottish FA Regions, who give their time to grassroots football in their local community.

He moved to Ellon in 1970 and played from the 1971/72 season until the club joined the Scottish Junior Football Association in 1975.

Irvine served on the general committee before taking up short spells as treasurer and club president.

He has now been Ellon United FC secretary for more than 30 years and shows no signs of retiring.

Although Irvine is club secretary he is also the main organiser of every game day making sure everything runs smoothly on a weekly basis and ensuring that local players have constant access to football. He also covers United matches for the Ellon Times and files reports after every game, home or away.

Irvine told the Times: “Obviously I am honoured to get the award, but at the same time you always feel that there is someone else who had done just as much as you. It is a feeling of pride and it is recognition for the club as well.”

Irvine said news of the award came out of the blue.

He added: “I was a bit surprised to start with because I thought it was a team thing not for individuals.”

The footballing stalwart said there were other “unsung heroes” in the game and he was concerned that not enough players were staying with clubs to serve on committees.

As winner of the Scottish FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Award North FA, Irvine is now in with the chance of winning the national accolade selected by a judging panel of Scottish FA representatives.

The national awards will be presented to winners at a prestigious ceremony attended by legends of the game, including McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football Kenny Dalglish, at Hampden Park on September 26.