taken from cumnock cronicle dated 31/8/19
MATT Speirs was quite simply, the best Regional Secretary Scottish Junior Football ever had.
During his long stewardship, the Ayrshire Region, for all the local rivalries simmering away beneath the surface, was a model of probity and a well-run organisation. This was down in no small measure to Matt Speirs, as Regional Secretary, and his right-hand man and fellow Hurlford United man, John McMurtrie.
But he was more than that.
During his period as Lottery Manager of the SJFA, he oversaw a competition was was a lifeline to the smaller clubs in the junior game. And this was his strength; Matt knew full well, the likes of Auchinleck Talbot, Kilbirnie Ladeside, Irvine Meadow or Glenafton were as good as any of the nearly 200 Scottish junior clubs. However, he also helped the smaller village sides.
The Kilmarnock man gave over 30 years to Ayrshire junior football, as club secretary at Hurlford, then the epitome of neutrality as regional secretary, through his work with the lottery, and as Secretary then President of the West of Scotland Junior FA, and as a press liaison man with the local and national media, providing results and news as well as later becoming a junior football correspondent.
He had the support of his wife Celia, and, when Celia, who was if anything more-popular around the clubs than Matt, died in 2008, around the time the West of Scotland Regional Leagues were formed, well, the time was right for Matt to step down.
But, Matt had another life - he was a devout and committed Christian, an elder, the senior elder, of St Marnock’s and St Andrew’s Church in Scotland, and it was there that a good congregation went last Friday for a memorial service. Matt had died as he had lived qu5
Aged 86, he had been in failing health for some time, but set-off to Somerset, to see his daughter Carole and his seven grandchildren. On arrival he said this would be his last visit. Sadly, within days, his health deteriorated and on July 6, in the care of a hospice, Matt passed away. At the memorial service, his humility, integrity and dignity were stressed. Matt was a doer, whether as secretary and treasurer of the Sunday School, as a representative at the Presbytery of Ayr, or as a Commissioner at the General Assembly, or a tireless supporter of and fund-raiser for CHAS – the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, or keeping Ayrshire junior football on the right track, Matt Speirs got things done, efficiently and quickly.