Greenock Morton has become the first professional Scottish football side to carry the name of a Veteran’s charity on its shirts all season after announcing a new partnership with Erskine ahead of showcasing the kit against Rangers in this Saturday’s Viaplay Cup tie at Ibrox.
Kirk Broadfoot and Robbie Muirhead, who netted in the season opener against Ayr United, were joined by Veterans Jim Boyland and Tam Moran for the launch of the new yellow ‘Erskine’ away kit as the countdown begins to the weekend’s televised showdown.
Jim, 68, and Tam, 64, both attend the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre (ERMAC) in Bishopton after a military career serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. ERMAC, one of several services Erskine offers, provides Veterans with the opportunity to learn new skills, explore a number of interests and access support services.
The charity, based in Renfrewshire and Edinburgh, also has three care homes and a Veterans Village, comprising of 44 cottages, an activities centre, five assisted living apartments and 24 transitional supported apartments. They provide round-the-clock specialist care for Veterans aged between 17 and 103 years of age, many of whom have fought in conflicts such as World War II, the Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Erskine Veterans will become a familiar fixture themselves at Morton’s Cappielow Stadium this season, with a raft of fundraising and engagement events lined up for the year ahead. It is also envisioned that the charity will form part of the club’s Remembrance Day tributes.
The shirt sponsorship was the inspiration of Morton director Ross Gourdie, himself a former RAF serviceman and a current representative of club sponsor Dalrada Technology UK. Ross’s influence, along with the backing of the Dalrada Group, made it possible for the away shirt sponsorship to be gifted to Erskine.
Ross said: “The charity is close to my heart, I spent nearly 10 years in the Royal Air Force and I have always been aware of the fantastic work Erskine do.
“After visiting the village and getting to meet some of the excellent staff and volunteers, it was clear to see what a wonderful and caring environment they’ve created. I was very impressed with the help and support they provide to all their residents no matter what their age or military background.
“Greenock Morton is delighted to have started the season well in the cup and we are looking forward to the game with Rangers at the weekend. It is not only a big financial boost for the club but a great opportunity to give Erskine Veterans Charity the exposure that it deserves.
“When I became a director at Greenock Morton, we were able to bring in investment and as a board we decided that we wanted to donate the away shirt to a charity like some other clubs have done previously. I met with the team at Dalrada who have links to the military themselves, and we decided that we wanted to donate the away shirt to Erskine.”
Erskine Chief Executive, Wing Commander Ian Cumming MBE, said: “Erskine is delighted to be embarking on a partnership with Greenock Morton Football Club. As one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs it is very well known to our Veterans past and present. We look forward to seeing the new season’s football shirts in action and no doubt many Erskine Veterans will be heading down to Cappielow to see them in person.”