TWO Ayr football teams have been recognised for their efforts in grassroots football at a special ceremony at Scotland's national stadium.

Ayr United and Ayrshire Deaf FC attended the 2022 Scottish FA Grassroots Football Awards national ceremony presented by McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail, held at Hampden Park on Wednesday, September 21.

Ayr United was named the national winner of the prestigious Best Professional Club in the Community Award and Best Para-Football Project respectively.

Volunteers from both Ayr United and Ayrshire Deaf FC accepted awards from football legend Marvin Bartley ahead of the Scotland’s Nations League group stage fixture against Ukraine in front of a full capacity crowd at Hampden Park.

The Scottish FA Grassroots Football Awards recognise and celebrate the tireless volunteers who dedicate countless hours to inspire those in the grassroots community.

Ayr United partnered with various different community groups to provide services to those in need in the community: helping to foster young entrepreneurs through its partnership with Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise; fighting loneliness and supporting active lives of the elderly through its provision of walking football; and helping to fight unemployment by helping people re-skill through the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

A McDonald's statement said: "Ayrshire Deaf FC owes a debt of gratitude to both Callum Holmes and Christopher Keen who both started the club during lockdown.

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"They noticed that youth club members could not gather in the usual way, due to restrictions so provided them with a social opportunity by giving them access to football.

"With a range of children aged from five to 18, both Callum’s and Christopher’s hard work ensures that children across the region get access to football on a weekly basis.

"Thanks to the inclusive nature of their sessions, the club has started to attract players from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Uddingston and Renfrewshire who are all willing to travel to be a part of this extraordinary club.

"Their incredible work has made a real difference to the people of their community from any age their impact has been invaluable and as a result are deserving winners of this award."

McDonald’s Fun Football ambassador, Sir Kenny Dalglish, added: “Grassroots football and the many volunteers is the life blood of our nations game. I’m so proud to be here in Glasgow to honour these incredible winners.

"People like Ayr United and Ayrshire Deaf FC are a testament to their community and an inspiration to those looking to get involved in the grassroots game.

"The Grassroots Awards are a special occasion and a chance to show how grateful we are to the hours of dedication volunteers put in to make football what it is.”

Local McDonald’s Franchisee Andy Gibson is an avid supporter of grassroots football in the Glasgow area, he added: “We are very proud to have a Grassroots Football Award winner from Glasgow.

"Ayr United and Ayrshire United FC have both shown amazing dedication to keeping the spirit of grassroots football alive and thoroughly deserves this award.

"It’s great to see all of the winners celebrated at Hampden Park ceremony – they are truly the heart and soul of the grassroots game.”