Grassroots legend, Pat Griffin, from Whins of Milton, has been named winner of the inaugural People’s Award in the 2013 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards in partnership with McDonald’s, thanks to over 40 years of outstanding contribution to grassroots football in Stirling.

For the first time this year the People’s Award was included in the awards with three nominees in with the chance of being crowned winner.  Each of the nominees had been shortlisted for their outstanding contribution to grassroots football in their respective regions, before members of the public were given the opportunity to select the winner.

Watch people who have worked with Pat over the years explain his fantasic work in grassroots football in our video below.

Pat, 58, collected the award at Hampden Park at the national ceremony from McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish and Scotland Assistant National Coach Mark McGhee.

Without the incredible contribution of Pat, Milton Amateur Football Club simply wouldn’t exist. Pat helped establish the club more than 40 years ago and has dedicated the vast majority of his time to ensuring they are one of the most successful teams in the Central Scotland area ever since.

During his time at the club Pat has been a player, coach and has now moved into a committee member role overseeing the growth of the club. 

Thanks to Pat’s incredible work the club now boasts more than 350 male and female players on its books from the under-9s right up to the under-19s, both boys and girls. This rise in player numbers over the past few years has had a knock on effect and resulted in a steady rise of volunteers coming into the club – many of whom now hold coaching qualifications.

No job at Milton Amateur is too big or too small for Pat and he can regularly been found at the clubhouse putting up goal nets or even running around on training days retrieving balls that are kicked out of the park.

His enthusiasm for the game and the club doesn’t end on the pitch, in fact, Pat has in recent years become the driving force behind securing enough money to build and fund a new 3G pitch, something that now the whole club benefits from.

Pat’s unwavering dedication to improving and developing the club has paid off and in 2004 the club became the first in the area to be awarded the Charter Club status from Stirling Council.  Since then the club has also been recognised by the Scottish FA who awarded them with the Quality Mark status.

Upon collecting his award, Pat said: “It is extremely humbling to have been recognised by the Scottish FA, McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail. I dedicate my time because I love watching the club move forward and being a part of something really special.

"For me it isn’t about receiving awards, though it is greatly received, but making sure young footballers across Milton get the opportunity to play football. More importantly I want to thank everyone involved with Milton FC, without their hard work and determination our club wouldn’t be where it is today.”

Now in their 10th year, the Scottish Grassroots Awards, recognise and celebrate the young players, coaches and volunteers in the six Scottish FA Regions, who dedicate their time to grassroots football in their local community.

McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish, said: “Pat is an incredible inspiration to the community that he supports through Milton Football Club.

"He has been involved with the club for over four decades and has contributed no end to ensure growth and success at the club. Pat is an extraordinary grassroots volunteer who goes above and beyond for Milton, it was an honour to congratulate him at the Awards and a pleasure to meet him and pass on my congratulations.”

Watch highlights from the awards here.

The other award winners were:

Best Volunteer in Youth Football - Magnus Johnson

Best Volunteer in Adult Football - Mark Adams

Best Volunteer in Disability Football - Jamie and Mirren McDonald

Best Volunteer in Girls’/Women’s Football - Mark Lenathen

Best Volunteer in Schools - Philip Stuart

Best Professional Club in the Community - Heart of Midlothian FC

Best Community Football Club - Giffnock Soccer Centre

Best Coach of the Year - Billy McAdam

McDonald’s Community Champion - Blantyre Soccer Academy