Iain Ashcroft - SJFA International Player
The Scottish Junior Football Association was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Iain Ashcroft. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Ashcroft family and his many friends both inside and outside football.
At the SJFA, alongside his successful club career that included a Junior Cup winners’ medal, we particularly remember Iain winning seven Junior International caps, including being a member of the team that won the 1997 Quadrangular Tournament. He also played for the Scottish Junior team in another five matches. Under Manager Jim O’Donnell, Iain was coach to the Scottish Junior team that took part in the 2000 Quadrangular Tournament hosted in the Isle of Man.
At his first club, Arthurlie, he made his debut for the Scottish Junior team and scored a goal in a 2-1 win against Wales (North Wales Coast FA) at Flint on 19 March 1988. His goal came from a corner kick where his strong challenge saw the Welsh goalkeeper lose the ball and Iain scored his team’s second goal in as many minutes.
Iain also played for the Central Regional League Select that season as Arthurlie were crowned Central Regional League champions.
He turned Senior with Hamilton Academical in July 1988. He also had a short loan period with Albion Rovers before returning to Dunterlie Park in July 1990. He was also straight back in the Scottish Junior team, playing in the home and away fixtures against the Republic of Ireland in the 1990-91 season as Arthurlie secured the runner’s-up spot in the league.
After the 1991-92 season Iain moved on to Shettleston for one season (1992-93) where they won the West of Scotland Cup before in August 1993 moving to Irvine Meadow XI where he had a two-season stay (1993-94 & 1994-95) and won the Ayrshire Regional League title in his first season. Moving on to play for Pollok, he enjoyed a very successful three-season spell where they won the Central Regional League title in his debut season and were runner’s-up in the other two. Iain won a Junior Cup winners’ medal in 1996-97 when Pollok beat Tayport in the final at Fir Park, Motherwell. However, it was only a runners’-up medal in the next season when his old club, Arthurlie, were victorious although Pollok won the West of Scotland Cup.
With Iain in top form and playing for a successful side it was no surprise that he was also back in the Scottish Junior team under Manager Dennis Gray. He played in two warm-up matches against a St Mirren XI and Troon in preparation for the 1996 Quadrangular Tournament in the Isle of Man where he was capped in matches against Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, in which he scored a goal. The following season he played in three warm-up matches against Bathgate Thistle, the Highland League Select and in a game to celebrate the centenary of Irvine Meadow. The preparation paid off as the team won the 1997 Quadrangular Tournament staged in Northern Ireland with Iain playing in both matches against the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland.
He returned to Meadow Park and in the 1998-99 season he helped the club win promotion back into the First Division of the Ayrshire Regional League. He later moved on to join Hurlford United for the 2000-01 season before turning to coaching at Beith.
Photograph courtesy of Arthurlie FC