A DEDICATED Stirling football coach has won a prestigious award from the sport’s governing body UEFA in recognition for his services at the grassroots level.

Milton AFC head coach Pat Griffin has won the Uefa Grassroots award after 42 years service the local amateur side and he reckons it is one of the proudest moments of his life, writes Graeme Lafferty.

Griffin told Stirling News Sport: “I would say that winning this award and gaining recognition from UEFA on an international scale has been one of the biggest highlights of my life. I played for Milton for around 10 years before I had a very serious leg break. I coached for a while and have been involved on the committee for 30 years.

“My best highlight was leading the team on to hampden park for the 1997 scottish amateur cup final. Although we lost 2-1 it was a tremendous day and one I will never forget but winning this award might even top that.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved at the club. Only 10 years ago we were a one-team club, now we have around 25 teams.” Griffin was a founding member of Milton AFC along with his brother John back in 1972 and he admits it has been a worthwhile journey when he sees where the club in now with around 25 teams at various levels now attached to the club.

He said: “My brother John and I formed the club in 1972 and it is a great feeling to think back on the impact we have had on the careers and development of so many talented players over the years. The number of players who have passed through Milton is unbelievable.

“We are now seeing young players progress through the ranks to a higher level. I am proud or Every player who has played for Milton through the years and hopefully there will be many more to come.

Despite over four decades of service to the club that has earned him the nickname of ‘Mr Milton’, Pat has no intentions of slowing down but instead is looking forward a bright future at the club in the next few years.

He added, “It looks brilliant. We have a thriving youth academy, a ladies section and all our youth teams are doing very well. I have been with club for 42 years and I will be involved with Milton as long as I am breathing.”