Football legend honoured

A GREENOCK football hero who famously helped Aberdeen beat Real Madrid to lift a major European trophy has received a special award from Inverclyde Council.

Legendary player John McMaster was presented with an outstanding achievement award by Provost Drew McKenzie during a reception in the Municipal Buildings on Monday 19 February 2024.

John, who grew up in Gibshill and still lives locally, was part of the iconic Pittodrie team that beat the mighty Real Madrid in the 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup final in Gothenburg.

As well as European glory under the guidance of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, McMaster also won league titles and cups at Aberdeen, is in the club’s hall of fame, and played with hometown club Greenock Morton, as well as serving as assistant manager at Cappielow.

A request by Provost McKenzie for the council to acknowledge the former footballer was unanimously approved by councillors in September 2023 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Aberdeen’s famous European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph.

Provost McKenzie said: “It was a privilege to welcome John along with his nearest and dearest to celebrate his incredible achievements on the pitch and his contribution to Inverclyde as a great ambassador for the area.

John McMaster receiving an Outstanding Achievement Award from Provost of Inverclyde Drew McKenzie.
John McMaster receiving an Outstanding Achievement Award from Provost of Inverclyde Drew McKenzie.

“From humble beginnings growing up in the east end of Greenock to reaching the summit of Scottish and European football, John is a role model and highlights that if you work hard you can achieve your goals.

“He already has an enviable collection of medals and awards but it’s important that he is recognised locally and I was honoured to do that by presenting an outstanding achievement award on behalf of the council and the people of Inverclyde.”

The Gothenburg great was accompanied by his family and close friends a special reception held in the Grand Corridor and Provost’s Room within the Municipal Buildings.

John said: “It was a proud moment for me and my family to be recognised by the council and to receive this award from the provost.

“Inverclyde is a special place and I’m just happy to fly the flag for the area.

“It is rare that I am lost for words but I was on this occasion. Thank you to all involved.”

The text of the outstanding achievement award reads: ‘Inverclyde Council acknowledges the achievements of John McMaster in his long and illustrious football career, namely with Aberdeen FC and his hometown club Greenock Morton FC, and to mark the 40th anniversary of Aberdeen beating Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1983.

‘The Council also acknowledges his service to Greenock Morton FC as a player and assistant manager and commends him in the honours that he has brought and in his continual promotion of Inverclyde.’