THE 'King of Cappielow' has been re-united with the prestigious award which saw him crowned Scotland’s best player over 40 years ago.

Morton legend Andy Ritchie made history back in 1979 when he became the only part-time player ever to win the coveted Scottish Football Writers’ Association’s footballer of the year award.

Now 45 years on from the feat, Andy has been re-united with the silver trophy commemorating his achievement by a lifelong Morton fan.

Iain Crighton, 59, snapped up Andy’s trophy after spotting that it was up for public auction and has held onto it ever since with the intention of returning it to the Cappielow great.

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Following the Ton hero’s recent decision to step back from football, Iain decided the time was right to re-unite him with the trophy.

He told the Telegraph that returning the prize to his hero had been a special moment.  

Greenock Telegraph: Scottish Football Writers’ Association trophy returned to Andy Ritchie by Morton fan.

Iain said: “It was the right thing to do, it was quite an emotional thing to be able to give it back to him.

“The trophy has been in my house for years, I got it after being given a heads up that it was going to public auction.

“I bought it at the time and it’s been kept in a display cabinet in my office at home, but my intention was always to return it.

“I always felt an obligation to make sure I kept it safe for him.

“When Andy announced he was stepping back that accelerated things and I’m pleased I’ve been able to give it back to its rightful owner.”

Iain, like many other Morton fans, had watched on in awe of Andy’s exploits at Cappielow during his prime years.

He hailed the ‘special’ forward’s goalscoring prowess and incredible feats on the field.

Greenock Telegraph: Scottish Football Writers’ Association trophy returned to Andy Ritchie by Morton fan.

Iain added: “I feel that I’m fortunate to be of an age where I got to watch Andy play.

“He was an incredible player, I remember how he used to torment Scotland’s two centre halves when they played for Aberdeen and those are two of the best centre halves Scotland has ever produced.

“He scored all kinds of goals, from corners, from free kicks, from anywhere.

“Andy’s a hero of mine, he was like that for anyone my age.

“He lit up the Premier League and you have to bear in mind that Morton was a part time premier league team.

“The year Andy won this award Morton were top at Christmas.

“He was one of those guys that comes along once in a generation, Morton have had some fantastic players, but Andy Ritchie is the one who’s synonymous with Morton.

“When I gave him the trophy he was gazing at it, I assume he was reminiscing of all the things way back in the day.

“He put hundreds if not thousands on the gate when he was in his pomp and that was in a Morton team full of talented players.

“It was a really special moment to return this to him.”