University of Stirling’s football teams have a new sponsor: World leading sports surgeon and inventor of the revolutionary internal brace Professor Gordon Mackay.
Mackay was a promising young footballer himself, on the books with Rangers as a teenager training each day alongside the likes of Graeme Souness and Ally McCoist. Unfortunately a knee ligament injury cut short his career and the world of medicine beckoned; what was football’s loss has been sports gain.
He went on to become the Country’s most feted sports surgeon and has worked with Rangers, Celtic, the Scottish Rugby union and now has turned his attentions to Scotland’s University of Sporting Excellence.
He is keen to see the University of Stirling’s football programme fulfil its potential. He said: “I’ve worked very closely with the University over the years and have always been impressed with their ability to combine high performance sport with education.
Having taken time out of my studies as a young doctor to pursue a sporting career, there are a lot of parallels between the two parties and I believe a balance between sport and studying is something that should be encouraged.
Stirling has always taken a lead in promoting this approach and I like the way it thinks differently, whether that’s around scholarships, establishing partnerships with the likes of the Institute of Sport, or appointing British senior football’s first ever female head coach.
All these things, along with the university’s vision, both for football and other sports, makes it all the easier to give my backing.”
Cathy Gallagher, Director of Sport at the University of Stirling, added: “The sponsorship provided by Professor Mackay is hugely significant to the continued development of our football programmes.
We deliver excellence in both men’s and women’s sport, where the education of students on and off the field of play is central to our philosophy, the essence of which is shared by our sponsor.
“Gordon has been a tremendous supporter of the university for many years and the sponsorship reflects his belief in the unrivaled value of sport to the student experience.
As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, we are delighted to be backed by a world-renowned sports surgeon, helping us enshrine standards for our talented student athletes.”
Supporting both the men’s and women’s squads, the deal will help fund the university’s renowned football scholarship programme which provides players with high performance training, competition and financial aid, alongside their studies.
It comes at a crucial time when the men’s and women’s first teams have both had successful seasons and will need all the backing they can get in order to maintain and improve in the coming months.
The university men’s 1st XI play in the Scottish Lowland Football League, finishing fourth in this year’s competition and securing entry into the Irn Bru Challenge Cup.
Meanwhile the women’s 1st XI currently sit fifth in the Scottish Women’s Premier League and have enjoyed great success this season, winning the BUCS Scottish Championship, promotion to the top British Universities league, the British Universities Trophy as well as the Scottish Student Sport Cup.