University of Stirling Sports Management graduate Scott Grant is taking his love of the beautiful game to new levels.
Accepting his dream of becoming a professional footballer will remain just that, Scott is instead converting the skills picked up from his studies to organise a major football fundraiser, while also coaching the newly created Stirling University FC 5th XI.
A chance discussion led to Scott linking up with Stirling Albion Supporters Trust, helping to arrange a tribute dinner for former Leeds United and Scotland legend Billy Bremner.
“I’ve been working with the club, its directors and the club’s volunteers to promote the event,” said the 23-year-old who moved to Stirling from Montrose in 2005 to study Marketing and Sports Studies. “It has proven to be so popular we didn’t even manage to get all the posters up before it sold out.
“BBC Radio Scotland presenter Tam Cowan will be hosting it which is fantastic and there will be many of Billy Bremner’s Leeds and Scotland team mates attending. Bremner was the most famous player to come from Stirling and the only player to be in both the Scottish and English hall of fame, so hopefully we can pay a fitting tribute.”
All 330 tickets have been snapped up for the event at the DoubleTree Dunblane Hydro Hotel on 26 March, which includes guest speaker Alex Smith, Bremner’s best man at his wedding.
Smith, a former player and manager at Stirling Albion, is currently working as an assistant manager with Falkirk FC. He said: “I’m delighted to be asked to speak and privileged to be present at a tribute dinner for Billy. He was one of the most fantastic footballers I have ever known, equal to his status as a person.
“I am so proud to have known him and for a wee guy that came from a tough, but happy background, his attitude and his love for life was fabulous. He was 100 percent committed to the game of football and always played with the self-belief that he was as good as anyone he came up against.”
It is hoped the event will also raise funds for Stirling Albion and their charity partner The Aberlour Childcare Trust, with an Albion shirt signed by a host of stars including Brazilian star Carlos Alberto and Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo amongst the auction items.
Scott’s first foray into events management has led to him securing employment with Kippen-based marketing company Big blue Star.
“I had never really thought about doing event management,” admitted Scott. “But it’s another string to the bow and helping to organise the tribute night has also helped me to build up sporting contacts for the future.
“The Sports Management degree is hard work, covering a lot of areas like finance, marketing and such like, but I would encourage anyone interested to apply and if I hadn’t done it, I would never have got the chance to link in with Stirling Albion and ultimately, get a full-time job.”
Football at the University goes from strength to strength, the club oversubscribed with five men’s and a women’s team, with the best players supported by the International Sports Scholarship Programme.
While the first team is an established East of Scotland league side with players previously at clubs such as FC Basel and Middlesbrough, the fifth team is adjusting to life at the lowest rung of the British University Leagues, since it formed last Summer.
Scott added: “I had a great time playing University football and so the chance to remain part of the club was too good to turn down. I’m looking to take my coaching badges as it’s another skill and more experience in football.
“Most of the team are first year students and playing for the fifth team is a chance for them to impress and move up to other teams. We won our first match 3-2 with a last minute goal and the players have been brilliant with me so hopefully we can climb the leagues and realise our potential.”
The photo shows Alex Smith and Scott Grant at the University football pitches, pictured with the signed shirt and Billy Bremner autobiography.