The King of Cappielow Steps Back

Greenock Morton legend, Andy Ritchie has announced his intention to step back from football after a career spanning more than 50 years.

The King of Cappielow started his apprenticeship at Celtic as a teenager under Jock Stein but, it was joining Benny Rooney’s Morton side in the autumn of 1976 that saw him flourish into the maverick talent who lit up the Scottish game with a string of memorable performances and goals.

In his five years at the tail o’ the bank, big Andy became a bona fide fans’ favourite by helping to take the club into the Scottish Premier League as well as maintaining the ‘Ton as a top-flight club. In addition, he was instrumental in Morton reaching the semi-final stages of both domestic cup competitions on two occasions, just narrowly missing out on a final.

After a brief period at Motherwell, Andy retired from the playing side of the game but continued to work in a coaching capacity before, latterly becoming Chief Scout for clubs such as Celtic, Derby County, Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United and Aston Villa.

In 2019, he returned to Cappielow and teamed up with Matchday Host, Gerry McDade to bring their special brand of hospitality into the Douglas Rae Lounge but at the end of the current season, Andy is ready to call time on his life in football.

Speaking exclusively to the club, Andy recalled the highs of his career and especially his time in the blue and white.

“I had wonderful moments in a Morton jersey but have always said that the highlight was playing with a terrific bunch of lads. What a dressing room we had with guys like Bobby Thomson, Jim Rooney, Roy Baines, Roddy Hutchison and the guy who I always thought was the best footballer I ever played with, Jim Holmes.

It seems fitting to me that I finish my career at the place where I had the happiest memories, Cappielow Park.”

On this, the weekend of his 68th birthday, Andy will be addressing the crowd at half-time to offer his thanks for their support over the years and will also be in residence at the Spinnaker Hotel, Gourock on the Saturday night, 24th, if anyone would like to pass through and say hello as well as goodbye.

Andy continued – “I would like to thank the people at Morton for allowing me to say goodbye out on the pitch where I played, and I look forward to meeting and greeting anyone who comes along to the Spinnaker on Saturday night. In addition, I am looking forward to remaining in Hospitality for the run-in to what looks like an exciting season and want to wish Dougie and the boys all the very best as they contest in both the League and the Scottish Cup.”

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