UNDOUBTEDLY the best thing about this Provost’s job is that you get to meet some totally amazing people.

I don’t mean all the birkies and bigwigs but just plain decent interesting folk who after just five minutes you know that it’s your privilege to be in their company.

On Monday I met Bob McGaughey. He’s ninety-three with every marble in the right place.

He lives on Eldon Street and has had a lifelong connection with the now-defunct Gourock Amateur Swimming Club.

At one time he presented them with a trophy. His name is on most of the other ones. A group of their former members came in to see me and you will be able to read about that elsewhere in this newspaper soon.

Anyway, Bob had us enthralled as he recounted his swimming career. It was the long-distance stuff for him, like twelve and a half miles down Lake Windermere.

You can go on to YouTube and watch him on Pathe News winning the five-and-a-half-mile swim from Dunoon to Gourock when he was twenty-two, and the Provost of Gourock presenting him with his trophy.

He trained off the Esplanade. No wet suit. ‘Nowadays’, he says, ‘they call it wild swimming, we just called it swimming!’.

He made us laugh when he recounted a race swimming across Morecambe Bay. ‘The organisers got their tide calculations wrong and halfway across we ended up just going for a walk on the sand’.

There was a young chap with us in school uniform, Phillip. I saw him deep in conversation with Bob. The best bit of advice you could ever give a young person is for them to talk to an old person. I hope Phillip enjoyed his blether as much as I did! Thanks Bob!

Mon eh Ton!

Morton are bottom of the league. Hauding it up! The honeymoon for community ownership is now well and truly over. It has to be said that the team are playing much better than their lowly position would suggest.

Mr Imrie, the manager, knows the game and few are calling for his head. He doesn’t have a big pool of players and injuries have hit hard. What some are calling for is private investment in the club to strengthen the team. It’s unlikely to happen.

The people in charge at Cappielow have been impressive getting us thus far but the most impressive thing about them is their financial management and their discipline. It all has to add up and they appreciate that.

To spend more money, they need to generate more income. That’s the only way. They need more youngsters supporting the Morton and less supporting Barcelona! They need more folk making the journey to Sinclair Street. Anybody can go when they’re winning. It’s now they need your support.

It’s all a few light years away from the world of those multi-million-pound player transfers across Europe but that old stadium in the east end of Greenock is still the best place to spend your Saturday afternoon!

PS Yon Messi couldnae lace Andy Ritchie’s boots!