A COMMEMORATIVE football tournament is taking place on Saturday to celebrate the life of highly popular ex-Junior player Ryan Macdonald who died suddenly at the onset of lockdown back in April 2020.

The 41 year old’s local side Greenock Morton, have magnanimously thrown open the doors to their Cappielow pitch, dressing rooms and Hospitality Suite to play host to what promises to be a well-attended event featuring representative teams from Ryan’s former clubs, Greenock, Port Glasgow, Johnstone Burgh, Neilston, Petershill and Arthurlie (comprising of ex-team mates) as well as two further “pals “ line-ups from in and around Inverclyde.

The planned format is for two sections of four teams to play 15 minute matches (7-a-side) prior to the two section winners meeting in a Final and all proceeds from the day will be donated to award winning mental health charity Man On Inverclyde 

Ryan’s playing career spanned all of 16 years, starting off at Greenock and encompassed many highlights with various clubs, a trial outing with Partick Thistle among them, before ending at Port Glasgow however his passion and infectious enthusiasm for the game saw him taking up a coaching post with a Port Glasgow Boys Club under age side prior to his untimely death.

Present day Benburb assistant manager Martin Campbell was a Greenock team mate when a 19 year old Ryan first arrived on the Junior scene.

He recalled, “Back then we habitually played a bounce game to round up our training sessions  and afterwards I remember thinking the club had unearthed  someone really special  in Ryan.

“He was so confident in his own abilities and when in the mood,  virtually unplayable for defenders throughout his first Junior season so it was no real surprise to all and sundry when he caught the eye of the so-called big guns and was enticed into moving away.

“Ryan went on to play for a number of clubs and we teamed up in a dressing room again at Johnstone Burgh but he was arguably at the peak of his powers during his stint with Neilston in 2003 when they were only pipped on goal difference by Pollok to the first ever Premier Division title though nobody can deny he made a huge impression wherever he played.

“The many tributes from former team mates and indeed opponents at his sad passing in 2020 speaks volumes and there was a lot of disappointment felt when lockdown restrictions limiting his funeral service to no more than 20 people prevented a proper show of respect for an outstanding football player and a great guy into the bargain.

 "Most of us have bided our time for the past two years and it’s taken a bit of organising but hopefully this  event today will now allow his wife Lynne and their two young children Eilidh and Callan to derive a true sense of the admiration felt for Ryan..”

PLAYING TODAY (Kick Offs 2PM P.D.M Buildbase Premier League. Rob Roy v Hurlford Utd(Duncansfield) ,Cumbernauld Utd v Auchinleck Talbot, Pollok v Rutherglen Glencairn, Glenafton v  Beith,Irvine Meadow  v Darvel, Largs Thistle v Clydebank..PDM Buildbase Conference League A. Muirkirk v Shotts Bon Accord.