George Welcomes Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is the nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging more employers to take on apprentices, and the campaign theme for 2018 is
‘Apprenticeships are the Business’.



George said,


‘I wholeheartedly support this scheme and agree that Apprenticeships really are the business. It’s vitally important that young people are given opportunities to learn and improve their practical skills, and apprenticeships are the perfect way to do both simultaneously.’


Organised by Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week highlights the commitment of businesses that invest in the skills of their workforce, and shows the success of apprentices who have chosen work-based learning to get qualified to develop their careers.


‘Business that take on apprentices and truly invest in their employees are what we want to see more of in today’s market so I was delighted to see the great scheme at St. Mirren first hand.’


‘Both boys, Conor McBrearty and Matthew Reilly, who are apprentice players at the club, spoke very highly of their apprenticeship and are very enthusiastic about the doors this will open for them in the future.’


‘The boys are very driven and seem to be throwing themselves into everything the apprenticeship has to offer. It’s great to see a big local name supporting local boys to reach their potential.’

Paisley Legend Goes to Parliament

The Scottish Parliament has been graced by the depiction of a Paisley Legend.  A portrait of Tony Fitzpatrick, former player, captain, manager and now chief executive of St Mirren will now hang in the office of Paisley’s MSP, George Adam at the parliament.

The famous captain of the 1987 Scottish Cup winning is depicted in a painting produced by Garry Byars, a local Paisley artist.



George Adam MSP with local artist, Garry Byars

George said:

‘Everyone knows that I am a St Mirren fan and I must say that Tony has a place in my heart.  He was captain of our club at the age of 17, Alex Ferguson had seen his potential and his capability at a very young age.  He was also captain of the club in 1987 a very special time for all saints fans that were around at that time.

‘Tony is someone that is very well thought of in Paisley and throughout football.  It’s going to be a real pleasure having Garry’s artwork in my office for all to see.


Garry said:

‘It has been a double honour with Tony Fitzpatrick signing the painting, which went on auction at this year’s Sma Shot Day Festival and now to have it going to such a good home in George Adam’s office at The Holyrood Parliament is beyond my expectations. I would like to say thanks to George and to St Mirren for making 2016 a very exceptional year.

Paisley’s MSP wants to call time on booze ban for supporters at St Mirren Park

Story from Paisley Daily Express –

Paisley MSP George Adam has called for St Mirren Park to be used in a pilot scheme to bring booze back to football.

The Saints fan has asked Minister for Sport Jamie Hepburn if the SPFL club could be used in a trial to examine the re-introduction of selling alcohol at matches.

And he has backing from St Mirren chief executive Brian Caldwell.

George at St Mirren Park

George at St Mirren Park

Since 1980, alcohol has been banned from Scottish grounds but Mr Adam believes the time could have come to ease restrictions.

But growing moves have been made to the reverse the ban.

Mr Adam said: “I like having a pint before the game on a Saturday and why should the presumption be that I will misbehave if I do?

“We also need to think about the financial aspect … lifting the ban could give clubs a much-needed financial boost.

“We do need to have a good look at this issue again, in an informed and considered manner.

“I will work with any interested party looking to take this matter forward and I have written to the head of Police Scotland and the SPFL asking for their views at this stage.”

Mr Adam pointed out the recent success of a free Fans’ Zone at St Mirren Park last month, which was attended by 200 adults and children before a match against Motherwell.

He added: “A marquee was erected in the car park, kids were able to kick a ball about and play computer games, while adults were able to enjoy a drink and listen to live music.

“It was a great atmosphere and proof that alcohol can be consumed at the ground before a game.

“Since the ban back in 1980, the game has changed dramatically as has the modern stadium.

“All Scottish Premiership grounds are now all-seater, have expensive security and CCTV systems monitoring the crowd and more importantly, gone are the days of the running battles in the streets before and after games.

“Were these fights even fuelled by alcohol, or were they just a product of their time?

“I choose now to put faith in the football fan, like we do with rugby fans across our nation.”

The initial response from Mr Hepburn was that – after seeking advice from Police Scotland – the Scottish Government is not leaning towards to lift the ban.

But, according to Saints chief executive Brian Caldwell, the Fans’ Zone initiative shows what can be achieved if it’s handled in the right way.

He said: “We have the newest stadium in Scottish football and have no pubs in close proximity, therefore to have the option to segregate and allow supporters to come to the stadium early and enjoy a drink would be a positive move and be a no-brainer for our club and both sets of supporters.

“The Fans’ Zone was extremely successful and all those attending enjoyed coming to the stadium early in a family environment and enjoying a few pre-match drinks.

“Stadiums have better facilities than ever before, with so many modern stadia and this has worked for rugby, the Commonwealth Games and other sporting events in Scotland, as well as for football and other sporting events in England and many other countries around the world.

“Now is the time to run a pilot and we would be happy to be involved with the new facilities we have in Paisley.”

Sir Alex Retires

Sir Alex Ferguson

In recognition of the career of Sir Alex Ferguson, George submitted the parliamentary motion below after Sir Alex announced his retirement. Sir Alex managed the Paisley Saints during the 70’s and won his first trophy with the Buddies.

George’s motion – That the Parliament celebrates the career of one of the greatest and most successful football managers ever to grace the game, Sir Alex Ferguson, who, at the age of 71, has decided to retire; notes that he started his management career in charge of East Stirlingshire, before taking charge of Paisley’s St Mirren where he won the Scottish First Division in 1977 with a record points total; notes that he then moved on to take charge at Aberdeen where he won the Scottish Premier League three times, the Scottish Cup four times and, memorably, the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 by beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final; acknowledges that, since moving to Manchester United in 1986, he continued to be successful, winning the first of his 13 Premier League titles in 1993 and winning his most recent this year, taking Manchester United’s total league wins to a record 20 times; commends Sir Alex for his many other trophy wins such as the Champions League in both 1999 and 2008, the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1991, his five FA Cup wins and four League Cup wins, while also noting his 60% win ratio over his 27 years at the helm in Manchester; considers that his career and achievements are unparalleled, and wishes him well in his new roles at the club and in his retirement from management.

Saints ‘Show Racism the Red Card’


George with Mo Yaqub and Thomas Reilly

George with Mo Yaqub and Thomas Reilly

George went along to the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ event held at St Mirren Park today.  Children from Glencoats and Gallowhill Primary attended the all day event, taking part in active workshops showing the harm that racism can produce.

George said:

‘It was great to be able to attend the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ event at St Mirren Park. As a frequent visitor to St Mirren Park to watch St Mirren, I can say that racism and sectarianism is not something I hear a lot of, if at all from our fans. We have come a long way from the scenes we seen in the 70’s and 80’s, so all parties including the SPL, SFA and individual clubs like St Mirren should be proud of the their efforts.

‘It is always great fun to go to events where school pupils are asking questions, they truly don’t hold back, but its great to see that they want to learn about these issues. There is so much evidence to suggest that preventative measures, like educating school children about racism and sectarianism and the problems that they cause, has a massive benefit to our community. We should always strive to prevent problems before they happen and Show Racism the Red Card work tirelessly to make this reality.’