A MORTON legend has stepped in to play his part in saving beleaguered Greenock Juniors.
Andy Ritchie contacted their chairman after reading in the Telegraph how the club was on the verge of folding due to a cash crisis and lack of people to run it.
The 61-year-old, revered by Ton fans for his sublime skills and spectacular goals during the club’s glory days in the Premier League, says he got involved because the town holds a special place in his heart.
He said: “I read the Tele article and it struck a chord with me.
“I thought - ‘that’s another football club in trouble’. I’ve always had a good relationship with Morton fans and people in Greenock have been fantastic to me. Now this club is in trouble and I want to help them keep the doors open a wee bit longer.
“I phoned Alex Wilson, the juniors chairman, and asked him if there was anything I could do in the short term.
“I have a strong connections with Greenock and fond memories of my time at Morton.
“It’s 40 years since we won the First Division and went into the Premier League. I’ve always had a good relationship with Greenock people and they have taken the time out to listen to what I was saying.”
While Andy is keen to draw attention to the club’s plight he is only sorry that he cannot help them on the park.
He quipped: “Sadly I’m of the age where I can’t put a pair of boots on again!
“But seriously, this is a pretty desperate situation that calls for drastic measures.
“We can look at things to encourage more people to come to the games and generate more interest to keep the doors open.
“If it goes, it won’t come back.
“Alex is a good man and we need to give him and the club a bit of a hand’.”
Andy believes one possible solution to the club’s money wories is to encourage Morton fans to go along and watch them when their own side are playing away from home.
He said: “Morton are playing at Falkirk at 5.15pm and it’s being televised on BBC Alba. Local people who might not want to go to Falkirk can instead support Greenock Juniors and in this way help to keep the club afloat.
“It’s not going to be about having a massive amount of money, it’s about local people supporting their football team.”
Andy, who is currently working as a scout for Gordon Strachan with the Scotland squad, hopes he can help make a difference.
He said: “I’ve never had any involvement in the junior side, I’ve always worked with senior clubs - I was chief scout for Celtic and Premier League clubs in England but never the junior side of things.
“These clubs don’t have the same amounts of money but I hope I’ll be able to generate a bit of interest.”
Juniors chairman Alex says he is delighted to sign Andy up to the campaign to save the club.
He said: “It’s a tremendous boost, every Morton supporter knows Andy Ritchie, he’s a hero in this town.
“I met Andy last week at the Tontine and I could hardly keep people away from him, everyone wanted to have their picture taken with him. He’s keen to help and try to get Morton fans to come to see Greenock Juniors when Morton are playing away.
"We can see what other things we can do too, and we’re thinking of running a Morton ‘old crocks’ versus a Juniors ‘old crocks’ game.”