Secret benefactor of Scottish sporting stars is revealed with top award

Paul Morron's funding has helped athletes to reach Olympic standard and several have gone on to medal in major games


When Glaswegian Paul Morron retired from the field of criminal justice social work ten years ago, he wanted to do something to “help young people fulfil their potential”.

As a sports fan, he came up with the idea of funding promising Scottish athletes to assist them up the ladder towards international competition.

Not seeking publicity — “even the athletes I sponsored didn’t know it was me until the end” — he named the scholarships PHM (his initials).

He has now awarded 80 grants across a range of sports and the beneficiaries have justified his faith. They include three Olympians and ten members of the Scottish team, two of them medallists (badminton player Kirsty Gilmour and flyweight boxer Reece McFadden), at last year’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Mr Morron’s cover was finally blown when, to his “absolute shock”, he was announced as Team Scot of the Year at Team Scotland’s Scottish Sports Awards, a glittering ceremony in Edinburgh attended by 500 people.

The award recognises an individual whose actions embody “the key values of Team Scotland — united, proud, ambitious, inspirational and inclusive”. The citation acknowledges Mr Morron’s “vision and generosity” and his huge impact on the nation’s young athletes.

He told the JC that his scheme “did not just send a financial message. It was a vote of confidence in the athletes. It has been miles more successful than anyone could have imagined.”

Mr Morron is well known communally as a former Glasgow Jewish Representative Council president and a key supporter of Jewish chaplaincy.

A former referee, the last match he officiated was between Glasgow shuls Giffnock and Newton Mearns, where he diplomatically blew for time 90 seconds early with the score at five-all.

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