On Monday, 6 March, Stirlingshire-based grassroots football club Stirling City All Stars was given a star studded surprise as Scottish footballing great Kenny Dalglish MBE volunteered at the club for the day.
The former Liverpool FC and Celtic striker and Scotland international took on the various roles of grassroots volunteers to celebrate the launch of the 2017 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail.
The awards recognise volunteers across Scotland who make a real difference to their communities. McDonald’s is the longest standing supporter of grassroots football in Scotland and continues to champion those who enable children and young adults to play and enjoy football regardless of gender or disability.
During his visit to the club, Kenny rolled up his sleeves to tackle some necessary daily tasks, such as setting up goals, switching on floodlights, picking-up kit and locking the venue. He also took part in a training session and passed on his wealth of knowledge to the teams in attendance.
“It was great to get the chance to visit Stirling City All Stars today and I was really impressed with the standard of football,” said McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish MBE.
“The club has a genuine community feel and it isn’t only the players that make a team but all the inspirational volunteers who give up their free time. It’s so important that we recognise and reward the hard work and commitment that all these unsung heroes put in to ensure clubs like Stirling City All Stars continue to thrive, which is why I urge everyone to nominate a local grassroots hero.”
Stirling City All Stars is home to Stephen Tortolano, winner of the 2016 Scottish FA Football Volunteer of the Year, and is celebrated for its work in providing disability football for the region.
As one of last year’s Scottish FA Grassroots Award winners, Stephen exemplifies the spirit of those being nominated. He won the 2016 Scottish FA Football Volunteer of the Year Award for his work coaching, mentoring and supporting disability players who represent Stirling and the Forth Valley in a wealth of competitions throughout the United Kingdom – all after overcoming an accident at work where he suffered serious brain injuries that required intensive physio four times a day for eight months.
“Every volunteer that works in our club and across Scotland does it for the love of the game and giving children a chance to play football,” said Stephen.
“It was an honour to be recognised with the award and attend an event alongside so many talented, committed individuals. Winning last year meant so much to me and I had the pleasure of receiving my award from Graeme Souness in front of an amazing crowd containing Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.”
“Stirling City All Stars is an inspirational community club. It is a pleasure to hear about all the great work that they do which spurs the teams on to flourish,” said local McDonald’s franchisee Elliot Jardine, who is a keen supporter of the club.
“This event was a great opportunity to celebrate Stephen’s fantastic achievements and the Stirling City boys’ and girls' passion for football. The Scottish FA Grassroots Awards are a fantastic way to honour those who donate their free time to helping young people enjoy football in their local area and something that I am proud that McDonald's are associated with. We hope to encourage plenty of nominations across Scotland in 2017 and I would like to wish everyone nominated the very best of luck.”
Nominations for the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail, are now open. To vote for a football volunteer, coach, club or league, visit grassroots.scottishfa.co.uk/