Successful Inverness-born footballer Ryan Christie was recognised in the Scottish Parliament today by MSP David Stewart.
The Highlands & Islands MSP kicked-off a crucial debate on improving youth football in Scotland with words of praise for the home-grown Celtic FC star.
Mr Stewart, who chairs Caley Thistle’s charity arm, the ICT Trust, told his colleagues in the chamber youth football had played a vital role in the club’s success, growth and development – and he said Ryan Christie was an excellent example of its success, and a “shining ambassador for the Highlands”.
Christie, who began his career with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, scored the vital goal that helped the qualification to get Scotland into Europe for the first time in 22 years.
Mr Stewart said: “As a life-long football fan who has followed Inverness Caledonian Thistle since its inception, I am honoured to be opening such an important debate for Scottish Labour.
“As Parliamentarians, we have a dual interest in this issue. Firstly, we have a responsibility to use the scrutiny and legislative powers we have to ensure that children who are part of professional youth academies are adequately safeguarded, especially when it comes to registrations and contracts.
“And secondly, we have an interest in ensuring that Scotland’s best young footballers are able to thrive and grow to reach their maximum potential as athletes.”