Allan Gunning – Chair
Allan is a local man and Ayr United season ticket holder. As a lad he was one of the supporters who sat on the track around the pitch when Ayr United beat Rangers 2-1 in 1969, in front of a Somerset record attendance of 25,225. He attended Newtonhead Primary and Ayr Academy.
After completing research and tutoring at university, Allan joined the UK Parliament’s Exchequer and Audit department and then the National Audit Office where he qualified as an accountant. He also worked in the NHS, mainly in Board appointments at Director and Chief Executive level, before retiring recently. He has chaired a wide range of national and local initiatives including the Scottish School of Primary Care’s Strategy Board (SSPC is a research collaboration of various Scottish universities). He has also served as a Director on the Boards of several local charities.
He joined the Academy Board in 2015 becoming Chair in January 2018. He has led a review of AUFA’s business planning and performance management arrangements and oversaw United’s preparation and application for inclusion in the SFA’s new Club Academy Scotland regime (Project Brave).
Alan McGregor is Professor of Economic Development in the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow. Much of his work involves providing guidance to governments and agencies to develop their economies, create employment and provide effective support for skills development.
Alan is from Ayr, and attended Heathfield Primary and Ayr Academy. He has been going to watch Ayr United since around 1954.
Among his fondest memories is the 1 – 0 defeat of Rangers in 1956. Ayr played much of the game with 10 men, some part of the game with 9, and eventually scored the winner through Willie Jap. Alan has been a member of the AUFA board since its establishment.
Graham is an Independent Director on the Academy Board and a long standing Ayr United season ticket holder.
Prior to retiring from full-time employment as a solicitor he was formerly an Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive with South Ayrshire Council. He is currently a Board Member of Ayr Gaiety Partnership Ltd and a Court Member of University of the West of Scotland.
Lachlan is the current Chairman of Ayr United F.C. and has been a director of the Academy since 2008. He is the Ayr United FC representative on the Board and plays an active role in the football side of the Academy.
Lachlan achieved Level 4 on the youth pathway in 2006 and during his time in Scotland has coached the Ayr United Girls U11’s, U13’s and has filled in when needed with the Academy 14’s, 15’s and 16’s with training and/or sports science.
Lachlan is passionate about football at all levels and is looking forward to continually progressing the Academy to the point where AUFA is the first choice of the most talented boys from the area to start their professional football careers.
Phil is the link to the NHS in Ayrshire and Arran and works as the South Ayrshire Community Health Partnership Facilitator.
He has a strong interest in football and cricket and, having been born in Tottenham, there are no surprises which team he grew up watching! Although English, he has now spent well over half his life in Scotland although this has had little or no effect on his accent! He is very excited to be on the Board of such a positive local initiative.
John Crawford – Director of Football
John first held the post of Head of Youth Development from 2007 and then became Director of Football in 2009. John has a long history of managing and coaching at various levels from the mid 1970s.
John was coach of the Cumnock & District Schools’ Select which won the Scottish Schools’ Primary Cup in 1980. John also helped establish the then very successful East Ayrshire Boys’ Club in the early 1980s before joining Ayr United Boys’ Club and managing their Under 15 and Under 16 teams.
John signed Duncan George who went on to become a successful player and captain for Ayr United.l FC. John also attended the National Sports Centre at Largs and attained his Adult C and B Coaching Licences.
John then moved into the world of Junior Football where he spent the next 26 years. John joined Whitletts Victoria in 1984 and was coach to the team who won the Ayrshire District League in 1986.
John then moved on to Annbank United as manager and in 1987 they won the Jackie Scarlett League Cup. Further spells as manager of Maybole, Kilwinning Rangers (winning the Ayrshire District League) Lugar Boswell and Cumnock Juniors provided John with valuable experience. In 1994 John’s Largs Thistle team won the Scottish Junior Cup defeating Glenafton 1-0 in the final at Ibrox Stadium. On the previous day at the same venue John’s then school team Drongan Primary won the Scottish Schools’ Cup.
John received the Manager of the Year Award for Junior Football after adding the Ayrshire District League title to the Scottish Cup win in 1994.
John’s Drongan Primary School Team produced players such as Stewart Kean (Ayr United & St Mirren), Ryan Stevenson (Ayr United & Hearts) and Kirk Broadfoot (Rangers & Scotland) who all featured in the Premier League.
John then managed Hurlford United gaining 3 promotions, an Ayrshire District League title and a local cup success. During John’s time at Hurlford the club provided 2 players for Ayr United, namely, Chris Robertson and Ryan Caddis with Garry Tweedie also signing for Elgin City. John received a long service award from the Scottish Schools’ Football Association in November 2010.
John has previously held coaching positions with Senior Academy teams including the Under 17s who successfully won the SFL League title in 2011.
John has also mentored a number of coaches within the Academy. John retired from his post as Head Teacher in 2013 and has resumed the post of Director of Football for the Academy.
John is currently Head Coach of the Academy’s Under 18 side and is also an active member of the Academy’s successful Walking Football Team who recently won the Seniors’ Walking Football World Cup 2018.
Stuart Millar is Director of Industry Programmes at Ayrshire College. He has responsibility for the College’s offer for Ayrshire’s businesses which includes courses to develop the skills of the current workforce and the Modern Apprenticeship programme.
Stuart hails from Maybole and, after a number of years living and working in Glasgow, has relocated back there. A keen footballer and Ayr United fan since he was young, he has great memories of Saturday afternoons behind the goal at the Somerset Road end, particularly a certain Andy Walker penalty.
With two young children, he unfortunately doesn’t get to watch the team as much as he’d like these days.
A keen Burnsian, Stuart is also a committee member of the Carrick Burns Club.