The Scottish FA revealed the winners of the 2015 McDonald’s Grassroots Award on 17 September, continuing the 12-year tradition of giving recognition to the more unknown faces of Scottish football.
Alex Watters of Gardoch United YFC, Colin and Margaret Vize of Port Glasgow and Calum MacLeod of Carloway Football Club were the winners of the night’s main prizes, the People’s Awards.
Having dedicated more than 50 years to the grassroots game in the Falkirk area, Watters is a true icon. During that time, he has enjoyed a remarkable eight Scottish Cup wins and successfully coached various clubs.
Colin and Margaret Vize have excelled at developing their club. While Colin coaches at Port Glasgow Juniors Boys Club and sits on the club's committee, Margaret has envisioned the creation of a thriving girls section.
Meanwhile, Calum MacLeod was honoured for the countless hours and money he put in to develop Carloway F.C. as a chairman and for his important role in providing foundations within grassroots football.
Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish and National Team assistant Mark McGhee attended the ceremony on an evening full of laughter, praise and emotion. McLeish himself was appreciative of the winners’ devotion to youth football:
“These people have unbelievable importance to the game. I went through the process myself as a young kid, playing in the boys clubs. I had dedicated coaches who sacrificed their work and their family lives. I know how much the boys clubs and girls clubs mean to these guys and their significance to Scotland.
One of the most vital things in the modern game is encouragement and giving kids confidence. All these things are self-empowering. If we look at Scotland as a nation, we sometimes don’t believe in ourselves and often need to have our backs against the wall before we show our true selves. I would like to see us having a mentality where we believe in ourselves and believe we can play against anybody in the world.”
The full list of winners:
Volunteer Youth Football – Peter Frame (Loanhead Miners YFC)
Volunteer Adult Football – Steve McSwiggan (Cannon Fodders AFC)
Volunteer Disability Football – Caroline Diaz (Milngavie United FC)
Volunteer Girl’s/Women’s Football – Mark Forbes (Buchan Ladies FC)
Volunteer Schools – Jon Morrison
Professional Football Club in the Community – Aberdeen FC Community Trust (pictured)
Community Football Club – Gartcairn Football Academy
Coach of the Year – John Sneddon (Claremont AFC)
People’s Award – Calum MacLeod (Carloway FC)
People’s Award - Colin & Margaret Vize (Port Glasgow)
People’s Award - Alex Watters (Gardoch United YFC)