In 1997 when Hugh Scott became the major shareholder in Greenock Morton Football Club he
promised to take the club to a higher level. Within three years he was threatening to close it down 'just like the
shipyards, a reference to the many shipyards that have been closed down on the lower reaches of the River Clyde
which put thousands of men on the streets looking for employment and deprived young people from learning new skills.
As someone who had worked in the shipbuilding industry I understood only too well the significance of his statement
and the effects on the community at large.
It was against this background that I decided that it was time for the supporters of Greenock
Morton Football Club to take positive action to protect 126 years of footballing tradition. This was MY club, a
club I had supported for over 40 years since childhood, and I wasn't going to stand by and watch it being destroyed.
You see, this club is not about the bricks and mortar of a stadium or, for that matter, the
playing staff and managers; They are fleeting and they come and go, some remembered, some revered and others
forgotten. We, the fans, are the backbone of this club. Without us, and our involvement, this is not a football
club it's just a bunch of people playing football on a Saturday afternoon. So it's up to US to make the difference,
to grasp some control over the destiny of this community institution. Everyone in Inverclyde no matter what team
they support has a soft spot for the 'Ton' but only you and I, the supporters, can make a difference. I can hear
you saying now: "How can I make a difference? I'm only one person without financial clout. We need a white knight
to rescue us." Well you don't; collectively WE can be that white knight, given time, money and effort.
I was driving through Greenock one day when I spotted a young girl barely old enough to go to
school wearing a Morton football top. That's hope for you, someone's daughter and grand-daughter being introduced
to the trials and tribulations of being a Morton supporter. Just like my dad did for me, and most probably yours did
for you, hoping that in the future she or he would be able to go and watch the 'Ton' in a cup final at Hampden,
which I had the privilege of doing as a young Morton supporter.
I was so excited after following the team all through the league cup competition that I was
ill for three days before the big day and confined to bed until the Saturday morning. Only with a lot of pleading
from me and support from my dad, did my mum eventually relent and allow me to go. I was elated. This was our chance
to show the big boys of Glasgow what we, a small community team, could achieve. Sad to say it never worked out that
way and Rangers won the day in an emphatic manner. But what a day the people of the lower reaches had that Saturday
afternoon. What an unforgettable sight. Hampden was a sea of blue and white.
That's what this is all about. It's about pride, passion, tradition, memories good and bad
and supporting a non-sectarian 'safe' team. Who should deny future Morton supporters the opportunity and potential
for life long memories? Not any one owner, that's for sure.
WE the supporters are the custodians of this club. WE are the protectors of everything good
about following the 'Ton'. WE have the opportunity to ensure that those memories never die and that our young
supporters can grow up and have wonderful memories of their own.