LONG SERVING MARY WILL BE MISSED BY EVERYONE AT COVE RANGERS, SAYS CHAIRMAN KEITH
COVE Rangers made a special presentation to catering staff member Mary Watt to mark her retirement after more than 19 years of loyal service to the club.
Club chairman Keith Moorhouse gave Mary a bouquet of flowers and other gifts ahead of our 3-0 Ladbrokes League Two victory over Brechin City.
Mary has chosen to step down from her duties, which included serving guests in the boardrooms at our previous home, Allan Park, and Balmoral Stadium.
Keith said: “We are all sad that Mary has decided to retire.
“She’s been a familiar face in boardroom for as long as I can remember and will be sorely missed.
“On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank Mary for her efforts over close to two decades and wish her a long and happy retirement.”
Mary was one of four volunteers on the catering side who had racked up an astonishing 100 years of service to the club, mainly in the boardroom and corporate areas.
The other three are husband and wife team, George (Dod) and Rhonda Allan and Karen Pirie (wife of kit manager Mike).
Dod has done his bit for Cove for more than 34 years, Rhonda has been by his side for the last 27, Karen for more than 20 years.
When you add in Mary’s 19 years it adds up to a combined century of service.
When you consider the club’s centenary isn’t until 2022, that adds up to commendable show of loyalty from the quartet regarded as Cove’s own fantastic four.
“When you say it that way it makes us sound pretty old,” said Dod, who answered a plea for helpers while attending a Cove Rangers match as a fan at our former home, Allan Park, way back in 1985.
“But we wouldn’t have kept coming back for so long if we didn’t enjoy it.”
LONG SERVING: Cove Rangers back room staff, from left, Mary Watt, Dod Allan and Rhonda Allan.
Dod started out by helping take in money at the gate on match days and was a committee member before finally becoming the much loved friendly face behind the bar in the boardroom, firstly at Allan Park and now at Balmoral.
Rhonda had a stint working in the pie shop before joining Dod in the boardroom, Karen came on board when husband Mike became involved as a youth coach, while Mary has spent the bulk of her time working alongside the Allans looking after visiting directors.
“The four of us get on really well”, said Rhonda.
“You need to when you spend as many hours at the stadium as we do on a match day.”
Dod and Rhonda also found love through their association with Cove Rangers.
“We first met working together at the club and clicked right away,” said Rhonda.
“That led to us getting married, we have a lot to be grateful to the club for.”
TRUE BLUE: Karen Pirie, who can usually be found behind the bar in the corporate lounge on match days.
One of the perks of the job has been meeting all of the VIP guests who have attended Cove games over the years.
Rhonda’s personal favourite was rock legend Sir Rod Stewart, who used the boardroom after playing at Allan Park in a friendly game.
“I’m a huge fan of Rod so that was a big thrill,” she said.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been a regular over the years (“A real gentleman,” said Rhonda) and legendary Scottish football commentator Archie MacPherson also made an impression during his visit.
All four were also delighted to be of service to FIFA president Gianni Infantino when he watched a game at Balmoral Stadium last season.
Mary said: “Seeing someone of his standing at a game was a reminder of just how far Cove Rangers have come over the years.”
“He was also a really nice man - who would have thought we would ever see the boss of FIFA happily posing for pictures wearing a Cove Rangers woolly hat!” added Karen.
Cove chairman Keith added: “Dod, Rhonda, Karen and Mary are typical of the army of volunteers we have working for the love of the club.
“We simply wouldn’t be able to operate without them.
“It’s why I was quick to dedicate winning promotion last season to them and the many other people who had worked behind the scenes over many years to help Cove Rangers improve.
“They are the lifeblood of our club.”
STAR VISITOR : Fifa president Gianni Infantino wearing his Cove Rangers hat with pride at Balmoral Stadium last season.