Staff


Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless but because they are priceless

Stewart Jardine
Welfare Officer

Stewart manages his own educational support services business working with schools, Education authorities and the Scottish Government. He was headteacher of Carrick Academy during the eighties and later became a chief inspector of education with the former Strathclyde Regional Council. Recently he has worked with HM Inspectors of Education developing materials for school improvement and writing training materials for child protection and children’s services. He has also worked with a number of education authorities supporting the work of their child protection committees. He is a member of the Education Advisory Board of Capability Scotland. Most importantly, he has supported Ayr United through the good and bad times for more than 50 years.

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Dennis McLellan
Registrations Secretary


Dennis has been an ardent follower of Ayr United all his days. He was actively involved in coaching youth football for over 14 years. However, when approached by Ayr United Football Academy to get involved in an administration capacity he jumped at the chance and has been on board since June 2006. His main responsibilities are the signing and registration of players, but he is also responsible for liaising on behalf of the Academy with the SFA, the SFL and the club.

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Lawrence Grace
Kit Manager

Lawrence is currently a part of the ‘Academy’ administration team and was a former youth coach with Ayr Boswell Boys Club for 15 years. During his spell with Ayr Boswell Boys Club, Lawrence also had a spell as ‘Club Secretary’ and was also served on the SFA affiliated ‘Scottish Amateur Youth Football’ committee.

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Chris Johnston
Education Co-ordinator

Born in Ayr and brought up in Dundee and Clydebank, Chris returned to Ayrshire after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant to work for the Dodds Group in Troon where he became Company Secretary. After subsequent employment with Scottish and Universal Newspapers, he entered Local Government from which he has recently retired as Education Finance Manager at East Ayrshire Council having previously held various positions including Sub Region Chief Auditor with Strathclyde Regional Council and Assistant Director of Finance at Kilmarnock & Loudoun District Council.

As a lifelong football fanatic, as well as playing, he has followed teams wherever he has lived, and is said to have supported more clubs than Jack Nicklaus’s caddy. Other sports in which he currently participates include golf and squash. His other passion is music and singing.

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Cheri Burns
Sports Journalist, Girls’ and Women’s Football

Cheri Burns is a Journalism graduate, having gained a BA with first class honours at the University of the West of Scotland. She is set to embark on the next stage of her academic career in September, when she will begin studying for a Post-Graduate Diploma and MA in Broadcast Journalism.

An experienced writer who specialises in sport, she has consistently freelanced for a number of media outlets during the past five years. This has resulted in invaluable experience of the media industry and the enhancement of a number of skills and qualities that are vital to any journalist aiming to succeed in an increasingly demanding and competitive sector.

More recently, Cheri has taken an active interest in the progression and coverage of girls’ and women’s football in Scotland. This has led to the cultivation of numerous contacts associated with the sport, and the undertaking of interviews with and articles on individuals at the forefront of it, including the SFA’s Sheila Begbie, international star Julie Fleeting, and Glasgow City Head Coach, Eddie Wolecki Black.

Extremely passionate about the journalism profession, Cheri constantly strives to engage with related issues – particularly concerning the role of female sports journalists in Scotland. This is a topic she researched as part of her highly regarded University dissertation project. Not only did this enable her to develop a deeper understanding of the field and of what is needed to become a respected figure within it, but her abilities as an adept researcher were also strengthened.

National publications in which her work has appeared include the Scotsman, the Daily Record and the Evening Times.

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Ken Paul
Commercial Manager

Ken (pictured above flying the flag for the Academy in Canada) has been involved in football at various levels for over 24 years. This includes playing amateur, and then managing at boys’ club level with some of the players moving up to senior level. During his management period he took teams to international tournaments in England, Holland and Canada and was heavily involved in fundraising and sponsorship during this period. On a business level he has recently been promoted to Deputy Manager within a pawnbroker.

Ken would be pleased to discuss any commercial or sponsorship opportunities and can be contacted by email at ken.paul@live.co.uk or by phone on 07743 232654