Line of Duty's Martin Compston and Scotland star John McGinn and give pep talk to Kirkintilloch volunteer
A Kirkintilloch man has received a pre-tournament pep talk from Scotland star John McGinn and Line of Duty actor Martin Compston after signing up to be a behind-the-scenes volunteer at UEFA EURO 2020.
John Reid is among those stepping up to help as a volunteer at the event at which Hampden Park will host four matches, including two Scotland group matches in our first participation in a major tournament for 23 years.
And as part of the preparations he and other volunteers were given some pre-tournament words of encouragement, not only from Aston Villa midfielder McGinn and Line of Duty star Compston but also Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and Scotland legend James McFadden.
The A-listers engaged with the volunteers in an exclusive training video designed to inspire and motivate the ‘team behind the team’ as they begin their preparations.
More than 90 per cent of the volunteers who applied to the UEFA EURO 2020 Volunteer Programme pre Covid-19 – and before Scotland’s epic qualification against Serbia – have been reselected.
Among them is John, who spent 25 years serving in the Royal Navy, much of it overseas in the former Yugoslavia, South America and the Caribbean.
During that time he kept a close eye on the Scotland national sides from afar; will now have the chance to support the team directly as a venue management volunteer at Hampden.
The role will add to John’s wealth of experience as he currently dedicates time volunteering as an Intelligence Analyst for the Maritime Reserve Intelligence Service and coaches local youth football club West Park United, in addition to his day job as a Career Development Officer.
He said: “It has been a bit of a rollercoaster, at first I was delighted, to know that I was going to be involved was fantastic and I just couldn’t wait to get started.
“The excitement of trying on the UEFA Euro 2020 uniform was something else completely, but then the pandemic hit and it felt like the tournament wouldn’t happen at all. So it was great to hear that it would eventually be played.”
Highlighting the importance of volunteers, Martin Compston said: “They are the face of Scotland and the face of the tournament – the point of contact for so many people.
“I still in some ways don’t feel like this is real, Scotland is hosting a EUROs, and Scotland is playing in it. To say you’re going to be a part of it is something you will keep with you for the rest of your life.”
Current Scotland favourite John McGinn added: “The volunteers are just as important as us to show that we are capable of hosting an event like this.”
John said: “What actually inspired me to volunteer was while attending the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and then the European Championships in 2018, I was blown away by the enthusiasm and willingness of the volunteer teams to assist fans and spectators and it made me proud to be a Glaswegian.
"As soon as I knew that Glasgow would be a host city for UEFA Euro 2020 I was keen to be involved, even if it meant sacrificing the opportunity to be a spectator myself.”