Charity Memorial Cup Set For St. Roch’s

Report by Chief Reporter Tom Scott

CHARITY MEMORIAL CUP SET FOR ST ROCH

Juniors.info Exclusive

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DAVIE GREIG has called upon the football fraternity to rally round and support a charity match organised in memory of former St Roch’s and St Anthony defender Mark Ritchie at James McGrory Park this coming Sunday (kick-off 2pm) writes Tom Scott.

PIC: MARK RITCHIE …  sadly died in June, and his family have donated the cup which will be played for on an annual basis between St. Roch’s and St. Anthony’s.

The junior game was left stunned in June when 34-year-old Ritchie died whilst working abroad.

Now the Mark Ritchie Memorial Cup, involving teams from the Candy and Ants, will go ahead at a ground where he is still recognised as a legend and inspirational captain. His brothers will lead out the respective line-ups and, while admission is free, the organisers are asking everyone attending to make a donation to Mark’s favourite children’s charity – the Make A Wish Foundation.

Speaking exclusively to thejuniors.info, Davie Greig revealed: “Mark made such an impression on me.

“It’s guys like him that kept them (St Roch’s) going. In his time it was £4 to watch the team, and £10 to play for the club! “I have loads of stories about him. He was a special guy, a St Roch’s legend and I really miss him.”

Mark Ritchie had a couple of spells at the Candy Rock totalling five years. He also had a season at Benburb, and another three with St Anthony.

Said Davie:  “I can recall one of those years at St. Roch’s when we finished second in the league, but also reached the last 16 of the Scottish Junior Cup, plus quarter-finals of both the West of Scotland Cup and League Cup.

“Mark stood 6ft 4ins, and every time we won a corner or free kick he attacked it – so much in fact one season he finished up our top goal scorer!”

Davie Greig stepped down from management (with Irvine Meadow) at the end of last season after relegation from the McBookie.com Super League Premier Division, but he will be back on the touchline come Sunday as manager of the Mark Ritchie St. Roch’s X1.

James “Cotter” McKenna will take charge of the Mark Ritchie St Anthony X1, and every year from now onwards both clubs will play for the cup which has been donated by his family.

Davie added:  “It will be a very emotional day. “Everyone that played with Mark at St. Roch’s wants to be involved. “Other junior managers have contacted me asking if they can do anything to help. That speaks volumes for the impact and good name Mark Ritchie had in the game, and I hope they turn out in good numbers for him on Sunday afternoon.”

 

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