HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY TO SAM MORRISON OF ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS

HAPPY 80th BITHDAY TO SAM MORRISON OF ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS

One of the true stalwarts of Scottish Junior Football and in particular Ardrossan Winton Rovers celebrates his 80th birthday and from all of us connected with www.thejuniors.info we wish Sam Morrison a very happy birthday.
Yesterday we caught up with Sam ahead of his big day.

HOW LONG DOES YOUR ASSOCIATION WITH WINTON ROVERS GO BACK?
SM: My Father took me to my first game as a young boy in season 1946/47 and it was an away fixture at Troon which Winton won 3-1 on the day. That was in the days when Troon played at the Loans before they moved down to Portland Park. Many years later I joined the committee back in 1980 and I later served the club as Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman during different intervals.

IN ALL THE YEARS YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE GAME YOU MUST HAVE SEEN MANY DIFFERENT CHANGES WITHIN THE JUNIOR GAME?
SM: Yes I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years and the present set-up is as good as it could be. The level of support in the game has definitely tailed off over the years compared with what it was say back in the 1950s. The 1951 Junior Cup final between Irvine Meadow and Petershill drew in a crowd of 80,000 at Hampden Park then. And just to give you an insight of how big Winton’s level of support was back during this era I can remember my Father told me about the day we took 17 double-decker buses (every one of them full) to a Scottish tie away to Dennistoun Waverley.
I worry a little bit for the future of the small clubs that serve their communities and whether they are as appreciated as much as they should be.

TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE HIGH POINTS OF FOLLOWING WINTON ROVERS ALL THESE YEARS AND SOME OF THE GREAT PLAYERS YOU HAVE WITNESSED OVER THE YEARS?
SM: We haven’t had the level of success over the years on a par with that achieved by the likes of say Auchinleck Talbot or Irvine Meadow. We won the Ayrshire Cup back-to-back in the 1950s and then in season 1970-71 we had our best ever run in the Scottish Junior Cup when we reached the semi-finals before losing to Blantyre Victoria at Ibrox Stadium. Players wise, in the 50s we were blessed with great players such as Billy Scollen, local lad Jackie Thomson who was a great half back, Billy Drew and Willie Cairney who had one of the hardest shots I’ve ever seen. Around the time of our Scottish Junior Cup in the 70s we had a great goalkeeper by the name of Bobby Watson who eventually went onto play for Rangers. The next decade the 80s saw us enjoy the talents of striker Dennis Donnelly who scored an amazing amount of goals and who was took from this world ever so young in his early 40s.

YOU PLAYED A HUGE PART IN SAVING THE CLUB FROM GOING TO THE WALL BACK IN THE EARLY 1990s?
SM: Willie Kean deserves a lot of credit for that because it was him that set the ball rolling when it looked as the club might fold back then after a venture that saw the club become a limited company didn’t work out as well as it was hoped it would. Willie brought me back to the club and when I saw the state of the ground and the park I have to admit I could have cried. After a lot of hard work we got the club up and running again and as a result Winton Park is protected to the extent that it is guaranteed that it can’t fall into the wrong hands and be used for anything but football.

IN 2014 YOU DECIDED TO TAKE A WELL EARNED REST?
SM: That’s correct and if I’m being honest I just simply ran out of steam and stood down from the Committee. The Committee we have at the club today is the best the club has ever had. Chairman Pat Breen has done a great job along with the passionate Tony Da Prato who has put so much hard work into the club along with Secretary Bobby Macnamara who has been with the club since he was a young boy. The Committee has about 10 people on it and they work tirelessly for it. Things haven’t gone as well on the park this season but I’m sure we’ll avoid the drop.

HOW WILL YOU SPEND YOUR BIRTHDAY?
SM: I’m looking forward to going to my Daughter’s for a special tea which will be nice.

One Response to “HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY TO SAM MORRISON OF ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS”

  1. Avatar Eddie reid says:

    Sam
    Have a great birthday with many more to come. You are a true Winton Rovers legend.

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