Inverurie Locos appointed Gillian Douglas as their first football chaplain earlier this week.
The Highland League club have also made history by having the first female chaplain at a senior club in Scotland.
Football has always been in Gillian’s life. Gillian said: “My late dad and three brothers were all football crazy. Although my sports were swimming and gymnastics, I had no option but to follow football.
“I played for the Civil Service in my earlier career. My claim to fame was being a flower girl at the legendary Jim Baxter’s wedding in the 1960s. He grew up with my dad.
“Since 1985 my husband has taken part in the local youth
football and when he coached a team I washed the strips and cut up the oranges for half time! Now, our younger son plays for Colony Locos 19s so my love of and interest in football continues”.
Gillian Douglas feels privileged to get this role at the club. “It is a huge honour to be asked to be club chaplain at Inverurie Locos. I have lived in the area for 30 years and have always taken a keen interest in local football. I’m not an ordained minister but that isn’t a barrier to this sort of appointment. In my day job I work as a Healthcare Chaplain in a hospital.
In this role I support patients, staff, families and volunteers of all faiths and none. The role of a football club chaplain is similar that I am there for anyone associated with the club, regardless of their beliefs.”
Gillian insists she would be delighted if more women were introduced as club chaplains across Scotland.” Whilst it is a great honour to be the first female chaplain appointed by a male senior Scottish club. I don’t want that to overshadow the work that I hope to do.
It will take time to build up relationships with the players, management and volunteers around the club and for them to understand how I can support them. It would be great to see more women in these roles but it is important that they are appointed because they are suited to the role and not the fact they are a woman”.
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