Grassroots heroes in the South East region have been recognised by the 2014 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonalds.

East Lothian’s Lee Blair has been named winner of the South East Scottish FA Disability Football Volunteer of the Year, whilst Musselburgh’s Rab Taylor and Dougie Hall, have been named winners of the South East Scottish FA Girls & Womens Football Volunteer of the Year and Youth Football Volunteer of the Year categories respectively.

John Clarke and Ronnie Hamilton, meanwhile, have been named winners of the South East Scottish FA Adult Football Volunteer of the Year and Schools Football Volunteer of the Year categories.

For over a decade the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards have recognised and celebrated the young players, volunteers and clubs across the six Scottish FA Regions who dedicate their time to grassroots football in their local community.

Lee Blair has been instrumental in setting up and delivering the Disability Football Section at Tranent Colts FC. With only four Clubs in the South East offering Disability Football, Lee deserves enormous credit for his passion and enthusiasm for providing this opportunity. The addition of disability football to a club which already offers girls, boys, and adult football shows the great strides that this club has taken. 

As a Disability Inclusive Club Lee should also take credit for the popular disability sessions being free of charge.

When Musselburgh Windsor FC lost the head of their Girls section, Rab Taylor stepped up into the role, taking on all the girls’ age groups. He now coaches the Under 11s and Under 15s groups, while also helping the Under 13s coaches. He works tirelessly to keep the girls in football and sport, running sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, attending games on both Saturday and Sunday and handling the admin for the club on other evenings, all at the same time as holding down a full time job.

Dougie Hall has been involved with Musselburgh Windsor FC for around 14 years. He lives and breathes the club and practically lives at the ground. As well as being vice-president, he is the Wee Windsor leader and head coach of the 2003 age group which is made up of 42 players. As such, he organises matches and training for four squads every week. He is also the driving force behind a number of initiatives from organising trips to fund-raising and is currently preparing to celebrate the Club’s Diamond Jubilee this year by adding memorabilia to the local museum and organising events to mark this landmark in the Club’s history.

John Clarke started Tynecastle Star in the Edinburgh Amateur FA some 50 years ago, serving in various capacities at the club, which is now integrated into the Tynecastle FC community setup. He has also been Vice President on the Lothian & Edinburgh AFA for over 10 years and has served on the Eastern District Executive Committee of the Scottish Amateur FA since 2010 as well as being a Council Member of the Scottish Amateur FA. Receiving the Adult Football Volunteer of the Year Award is a fitting way for John to celebrate an impressive 50 years with the same club this month.

Ronnie Hamilton has given an incredible amount of energy, dedication and enthusiasm to Schools Football for over four decades. Having been involved with School Football as a coach and an administrator for around 40 years. Now he is retired, Ronnie maintains an even greater involvement as President of the Lothian Schools FA and Council member of the SSFA. Given the enormous amount of opportunities he has given players over the years, Ronnie is undoubtedly a worthy winner in the Schools Football Volunteer of the Year category.

As winners of a regional Scottish FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Award, they are all 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, held at Hampden Park on September 25th.

McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish, said:

“The Scottish FA and McDonald’s grassroots awards recognise and celebrate the hard work of hundreds of grassroots volunteers across Scotland. Volunteers like Lee are the lifeblood of the game, they dedicate countless hours to ensure young players have an opportunity to play and, importantly, enjoy football. It is important that we say thank you to the volunteers and clubs who ensure that grassroots football progresses.

"I would like to personally thank all of them for their hard work and congratulate Lee on winning this regional award.”

To find out more about the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards presented by McDonald’s and The Sunday Mail, log on to and follow @2014Grassroots.