By George Connolly
Former Whitletts Victoria manager George Grierson says: “I don’t know how long I’m going to have a decent quality of life,” after it was announced on Saturday that health problems have led him to step down.
This news comes after Grierson took time away from the dugout following a hip replacement. Read more about this here (Via Ayr Advertiser):
Although he took some time away from the game, Grierson has decided to call it a day on his career, just a season after his Vics team were promoted to the SJFA West Championship. It was not a decision made lightly however, he says: “I was on holiday in Mexico for Christmas and New Year with the wife and I had three weeks to think and talk to her about it.”
The former Kilwinning Rangers and Saltcoats Victoria boss is moving away from management in a lot of pain. He says: “I’ve decided that I’m going to have a wee bit time off before I can’t. I’ve had five back operations and I’m going in for my second hip replacement.” He adds: “All my joints are getting attacked by arthritis.”
These operations and health issues have affected the former Ayr goalkeeper’s football life as well as his personal life: “I’m actually pretty sore going to training Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for the games,” he says.
Although ending his career in this fashion is not the best way to go, Grierson recalls numerous career highlights: “From a playing point of view, probably my first game as a professional, at only 16, for Ayr.” He also pointed out that he “won a lot of trophies with Troon Juniors” as a player. From a managerial point of view he states “winning the league with Kilwinning Rangers” as a highlight. He also says: “The biggest achievement I’ve done whether playing or being a manager was what we just managed to do with Whitletts.”
Leaving football will be tough for Grierson who has been in the game for a very long time. It will not be the game itself that he will miss though. He says: “I’m going to miss having an influence on the game.” He also points out that he will “miss it when the final whistle goes and I’ve won. Everything was about winning for me”.
It may not be goodbye forever for the former Vics boss as he confirmed he will have a role with the Ayrshire side in the future although he highlights that he is “not sure” of what his position at the club will be. He will also be going to “as many games as possible” and states that: “First and foremost, I’ll be a supporter.”
As coach of Whitletts Vics, Grierson led the Dam Park side to promotion from the Ayrshire District League last season and he gives his playing staff the highest amount of credit: “Since we came in a year ago, I can’t praise the players enough.”
Grierson’s departure means that the Vics are on the look out for a new first team manager, but in the meantime, coach Scott Clelland will be taking charge of the side. The former Darvel and Girvan coach joined up with The Vics at the start of this season. The Vics currently sit seventh in the league. Check out the SJFA West Championship table here: http://www.scottishjuniorfa.com/sjfa/competition_leaguetables.cfm?page=1758
Read the Whitletts Victoria statement below: