MORTON goalkeeping great Erik Sorensen has revealed how he gave new Scotland boss Steve Clarke and Ton kitman Andy Bryan their footballing debuts as he recalled his time in Greenock.

The Dane, now 79, had two spells at the Ton in the 1960s and '70s and went on to become a coach and manager at Cappielow.

He ran The Cottage Bar in Arthur Street for around two decades after retiring from football, while his son Johnny and daughter Jane both attended Greenock Academy.

Nicknamed 'the man in black', Erik was back in town this week with his wife to celebrate the birthdays of a friend and that of his son, who now stays in Livingston.

During his career, the 'keeper also played for Rangers, won 15 caps for Denmark and coached at Morton's Renfrewshire rivals, where he first encountered new Scotland manager Clarke.

Erik said: "I was assistant manager at St Mirren in '82 and Stevie was just a young kid but he was very talented. "We were playing Aberdeen - and that was the year they won the European Cup Winners' Cup - and our two full backs were injured so we had to put two youngsters in and one was Stevie. "We put him in at left-back to play against Gordon Strachan.

"We beat them two-nil and after the game I said to him, 'that was your first game, what did you think about it', and Stevie said about Strachan, 'he cannae play'. "I think Scotland have got a right good man there.

"He's done extremely well.

"Stevie was always very thorough and a clever young man."

It was during Erik's time on the west coast that he first introduced long-serving Ton kitman Andy Bryan to the club.

Erik said: "At that time I was manager and brought him in as a ball boy. "Andy was very fast - he still looked quite nimble when I saw him again the other day."

Erik was the first from his country to play for Morton and the man who sparked the famous Danish invasion.

But it was the club's home grown players that really caught his eye, particularly team-mate Allan McGraw.

Erik said: "Allan was the best striker I'd seen in Britain and Europe and it was fantastic that Morton held onto him.

"He was a fantastic goalscorer and laugh a minute.

"It was golden era for the club.

"I had many great years there, it was very enjoyable."

Nowadays, Erik is back home living in Odense and only quit coaching in December last year with local side OKS.

He said: "I still have a place in my heart for Greenock.

"I was treated very well here, it was unbelievable. "It was a very good time.

"The best part of my life I probably spent in Greenock, in fact, I'm sure of it."

Pictures by Kenny Ramsay