One of Ellon’s most dedicated sports administrators has stepped down after 26 years of distinguished service at the Meadows, writes Jack Nixon.
Irvine Morris, a long-serving committee member of Ellon United, was given a warm and emotional send-off by his colleagues at a specially-convened meeting of the Meadows Trust on Tuesday night, when they presented him with a quaich in recognition of his services.
Eddie Graham, the current chairman of one of the top-rated sports facilities north of the River Tay, said: “Irvine was one of the visionaries in 1989 who stepped forward to put sport in the area on the map. We shall be forever in his debt.
“He has been a tower of strength on the committee and very supportive of a long line of chairmen, including myself.”
Shona Fraser and Michelle Rothney, joint managers of the complex - which plays host to eight member clubs - were glowing in their praise of the modest, retiring Mr Morris.
They said: “Irvine has been a joy to work with over the last 20 years.
“He has been so supportive through the difficult years we have encountered and survived. We wish him a happy retirement.”
But for the former Ellon United player, now a member of the junior club’s committee, retirement was the last thing on his mind.
Mr Morris said: “I intend to continue serving on the United committee, but will have many good and happy memories of my 26 years with the Meadows Trust, including the formative years when under the leadership of Forbes Hamilton we met in the Ellon Royal British Legion to form the first administration for the Meadows.
“Bob Duncan and Alan Wallace were also key members in 1989. I have been privileged and proud to play my part.”
He also recalled the visits of two members of the Royal family and a Scottish Secretary in his time.
Mr Morris recalled: “The opening ceremony conducted by the Princess Royal in 1990 was a real red letter day in the history of Ellon, followed by visits from Prince Edward and the Secretary of State Michael Forsyth, helping keep Ellon sport on the map.
“I just hope there are young people in the sporting fraternity who will come forward to take on key posts on the Trust.”