Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

St Mirren legend Tony Fitzpatrick has revealed he used a bogus scouting report to get players fired up for one of the most important matches in the club’s history.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

Tony was Saints manager when the team needed to win away from home against Stirling Albion to avoid relegation. It was the penultimate game of the 1998 season and if Saints dropped into the Second Division, it would have meant a financial meltdown for the club.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

In his newly-released autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life, Tony says the future of St Mirren was at stake and describes how he used a cunning plan to trick his players into putting in the performance of their lives to win 1-0.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

In his book Tony reveals: “I came up with a ploy to get the players wound up for the game. When we arrived at Forthbank and while the players were out on the park before getting changed, I sneaked into the away dressing room and left sheets of paper lying on a table before I headed back out to join them.

“It was a spoof scouting report for the Stirling Albion manager, Kevin Drinkell, whose name was on the top of the first page. It was an assessment of each St Mirren player and how they performed in our last game.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

“But it didn’t come from any of the Stirling Albion coaching or scouting staff accidentally leaving it in the dressing room – I had written it and deliberately left it there. Since I wanted to get our boys fired up, I slaughtered every player in this ‘performance report’.

“I told our coach, Matt Kerr where in the dressing room I had put the sheets of paper and he was to make a big deal in front of the players when he ‘found’ the report.

“The players are getting changed when suddenly Matt shouts: ‘Gaffer! You need to see this.’

“He hands me the sheets of paper and I act like I’m intently studying what’s written on them. After a minute or so, I turn to the face the players, hold the sheets of paper above my head and say: ‘Bastards! I can’t believe this. It’s a report on how you guys have been playing and you should see what they’re saying about you. You’re getting slagged off something rotten.’

“I go through the fake report reading it out to them. ‘Murray – you’re too slow, you run like Bambi and you’ve only got one star out of five. McGarry – says here you’re a clever player, but if you get hit hard that’s you lost interest and you won’t want to know from then on. You only get one star as well.’

“I go through all the players and every comment is criticising them. I could feel the players bristling with indignation. I go in for the kill: ‘You going to let them away with that? They think you lot are hopeless and are there for the taking.’

“By this time the boys are raging and we’re having to hold them back as they’re desperate to get out on to the park and start a war.”

Tony says that after his team talk with the bogus scouting report the players made sure Saints were never in any danger of losing the game and a Hugh Murray goal in the second half sealed the win.

Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available to buy fromwww.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

paisley own hall
Ensuring the benefits of Renfrewshire’s ‘buoyant’ economy reach right across the region was the hot topic at the area’s annual Economic Development Conference yesterday (Tuesday 20 November 2018).
paisley own hall
More than 150 staff from jobs, skills and economic development agencies attended the popular conference organised by Renfrewshire Council’s economic development team Invest in Renfrewshire, held at Paisley Town Hall, which this year focused on tackling inequalities and delivering inclusive growth.
Delegates heard how Renfrewshire’s economy is greatly improved, with the highest employment rate across the Glasgow city region and more businesses generating a greater turnover than this time last year.
paisley own hall
They also learned about new developments and opportunities set to boost the economy even more, including a manufacturing innovation district being developed next to Glasgow Airport and £100million being invested to transform Paisley town centre and its cultural venues.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills delivered the keynote speech.
He said: “The Scottish Government recognises a strong, vibrant and diverse economy is essential to our national prosperity. We are committed to delivering inclusive growth and tackling the inequalities that prevent people from achieving their potential.
“We have invested £48 million to develop a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. Located at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, it will provide support for manufacturing businesses, help to attract investment, and connect all of Scotland’s engineering universities and colleges.
“Our devolved employability support service, Fair Start Scotland, offers a distinctly Scottish approach where participation is voluntary for everyone who chooses to take part. We want the process of finding work and starting a new job to be seen as an opportunity and choosing to take the opportunity of support can’t be driven by fear of sanctions.”
Colleagues from Creative Scotland and the Council’s regeneration team outlined plans to develop Renfrewshire’s creative economy, while delegates also discussed the changing labour market.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire’s economy is buoyant, and this conference sees the organisations contributing to its success share best practice and consider the next steps.
“We’re helping more people find and sustain work and are working hard to create the conditions which bring new businesses to the area and enable established businesses to grow and innovate.
“Over the next five years we have made a long-term commitment to help people most in need into work and do more to support start-up and early stage businesses with exciting plans in place to grow the creative business sector and attract thousands of high skilled jobs in manufacturing.
“I am pleased that the conference focused on how best to achieve inclusive growth as this is central to improving the opportunities for current and future generations in Renfrewshire. It is vital the area’s economic growth benefits everyone and that’s why we are targeting our resources to communities facing deprivation and to help people unemployed and underemployed.”
Fast facts on the Renfrewshire economy
• Business incubator InCube supports the start-up of 300 new businesses each year
• Programmes to help people into work are rated the best performing in Scotland
• At 76.1%, our employment rate outstrips the entire Glasgow city region
• Weekly earnings for Renfrewshire residents are £28.50 higher than the Scottish average
• Hosting major events this summer boosted the local economy by £1.25million
• 80% of 16-64-year-olds are economically active, but by 2041, our working age population is expected to decrease by 2.1%
• Manufacturing provides employment to 11% of our total workforce with 358 different manufacturing sites in the area, including world-renowned Rolls-Royce and Diageo.
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Photo 1 shows the Town Hall conference
Photo 2 shows (l-r): Ruth Cooper, Economic Development Manager, Renfrewshire Council; Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Scottish Government; Alasdair Morrison, Regeneration Manager, Renfrewshire Council and Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board.
Tony Fitzpatrick, Councillor Cathy McEwan and St Catherine's Primary pupils (3)

Pupils at St Catherine’s Primary in Paisley were delighted to receive a visit from Renfrewshire Council gritter ‘Tony Gritzpatrick’ yesterday after the name they submitted was voted to be one of nine famous names for the gritting machines.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Councillor Cathy McEwan and St Catherine's Primary pupils (3)

Pupils from the school’s Citizenship Committee wanted to honour friend of the school and St Mirren legend Tony Fitzpatrick, and the man himself took the time to pay them a visit and meet his winter namesake.

Tony said: “It’s fantastic that the young people at St Catherine’s Primary put my name forward for one of the gritters and I’m humbled to have been chosen.

Tony Fitzpatrick in his winter namesake

“The competition caught the imagination of everyone, for all the names, and I just want to again say thank you to everyone who voted, and especially to the pupils at St Catherine’s.”

The pupils had taken part in the council’s #NameOurGritters competition which set out to recognise the local heroes within Renfrewshire who keep the area moving throughout the winter period.

Famous faces, places and landmarks were sought for their new names and Tony’s gritter will be joined by names such as Ploughlo Grittini, Fridge of Weir and Paisleigh.

Lauren Berry, Head of St Catherine’s Citizenship Committee, said: “The pupils were delighted to take part in the competition and had fun coming with ideas and learning about what happens to prepare for winter.

“They’re all big fans of Tony and they’re thrilled that their suggestion was chosen as one of the winners and that they got to meet the newly-named gritter alongside their hero!”

The competition was part of the annual #RenReady campaign which aims to prepare local communities, groups and businesses for the effects of winter weather.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The competition reached people of all ages and we received more than 1600 suggestion and over 8000 votes in the final polls which is fantastic.

“We need to celebrate the people who work in our gritting teams, our Care at Home staff and our homeless support team as these are the people keeping Renfrewshire going throughout the winter, and this competition gave us the chance to highlight that.

“We saw last year the trouble an unexpected weather event can cause so it’s important that we are all #RenReady to cope with anything winter can bring.

“Please check our website for advice and guidance on how to keep safe this winter.”

For more information on the competition, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/nameourgritters, and for advice and guidance on how to be prepared for winter, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/readyforwinter.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

St Mirren football legend Tony Fitzpatrick escaped a life of poverty and violence to become a trophy-winning footballer, manager and now chief executive.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

Tony has penned his autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life, revealing many humorous and heart-breaking tales of his time in and out of football.

Bullied at school, he was seconds away from taking his own life by drowning himself in the Forth and Clyde Canal and was saved when he found a tiny statue of the Virgin Mary he had been carrying around in his pocket.

Tony tells of the violence that was the norm in his life and how he was arrested for carrying a knife and attacked by a machete-wielding thug, who left him with his pinkie hanging off his hand by a thread.

He tells how as a teenager he was left devastated after Aston Villa told him he would never make it as a footballer because he was too small.

Tony defied his Celtic-daft father and signed for St Mirren. It was a good move on his part though, as when he was still a teenager, Saints manager, Alex Ferguson made him team captain. But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tragedy struck at the height of Tony’s football career when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died from cancer. And if burying his boy wasn’t heart-breaking enough, when Tony returned home after the funeral, he discovered callous thieves had ransacked his house, stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

Tony goes on to win the Scottish Cup with St Mirren and tastes alcohol for the first time by drinking champagne from the trophy in the Hampden dressing room. He also describes at length the worst moment of his football career. The St Mirren game against Hammarby, who scored two last-minute goals to put them out of the UEFA Cup, still haunts him.

Tony twice becomes manager of St Mirren and admits he behaved like a “mad chimp” during his first stint in the dugout – trying and failing to emulate Fergie and his infamous hairdryer treatment.

But in charge for a second time, he tricked his players with a bogus scouting report to get them fired up to win a game that would save the club from relegation.

He was sacked after constant battles with the board and Tony goes on to run Livingston FC’s youth development programme. He pours thousands of his own money into the club and loses it all when the club goes into administration. But he bounces back and as part of a groundbreaking police initiative, works with some of the most violent young men in Glasgow’s gangs encouraging them to give up the blade and the gun.

Now the chief executive of St Mirren FC, Tony’s must-read autobiography is a heart-warming story of personal triumph over adversity.

Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available from www.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

FOOTBALL legend Frank McAvennie is teaming up with an old football Buddie for a book signing session.

Macca will be at intu Braehead shopping centre on Saturday, November 17 between noon and 2pm to sign copies of his former St Mirren teammate, Tony Fitzpatrick’s newly-released autobiography.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

Fans will be able to buy the book, Fitzy – The Story of My Life, at the signing session being held outside Costa Coffee in the lower mall.

Tony Fitzpatrick not only won a league title and a Scottish Cup medal with St Mirren, he also had two spells as manager and now he’s the club’s chief executive.

frank mcavennie

In his book he tells some hilarious tales from the dressing room and reveals the behind-the-scenes boardroom battles he had.

But behind the football banter and bust-ups, there’s an amazing story of being brought up in one of the poorest and most violent areas of Glasgow and how he used his football skills to escape that life.

While at the top of his football career, tragedy struck when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died after cancer struck down the young boy. And on the day of his funeral, callous thieves ransacked the family home stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in only his second managerial job, made the teenage Fitzpatrick the captain of St Mirren FC.

But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tony said: “Frank McAvennie is one of the great characters in Scottish football and he was a fantastic teammate. He’s still a good friend and we keep in regular contact.

“I can’t wait to hear some more of his banter with the fans at my book signing session at intu Braehead on Saturday.”

 Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is also available from www.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

tony fitzpatrick

ST MIRREN legend Tony Fitzpatrick escaped a life of poverty and violence to become a trophy-winning footballer, manager and now chief executive.

Tony has penned his autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life, revealing many humorous and heart-breaking tales of his time in and out of football.

tony fitzpatrick

Bullied at school, he was seconds away from taking his own life by drowning himself in the Forth and Clyde Canal and was saved when he found a tiny statue of the Virgin Mary he had been carrying around in his pocket.

Tony tells of the violence that was the norm in his life and how he was arrested for carrying a knife and attacked by a machete-wielding thug, who left him with his pinkie hanging off his hand by a thread.

He tells how as a teenager he was left devastated after Aston Villa told him he would never make it as a footballer because he was too small.

tony fitzpatrick

Tony defied his Celtic-daft father and signed for St Mirren. It was a good move on his part though, as when he was still a teenager, Saints manager, Alex Ferguson made him team captain. But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tragedy struck at the height of Tony’s football career when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died from cancer. And if burying his boy wasn’t heart-breaking enough, when Tony returned home after the funeral, he discovered callous thieves had ransacked his house, stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

tony fitzpatrick

Tony goes on to win the Scottish Cup with St Mirren and tastes alcohol for the first time by drinking champagne from the trophy in the Hampden dressing room. He also describes at length the worst moment of his football career. The St Mirren game against Hammarby, who scored two last-minute goals to put them out of the UEFA Cup, still haunts him.

Tony twice becomes manager of St Mirren and admits he behaved like a “mad chimp” during his first stint in the dugout – trying and failing to emulate Fergie and his infamous hairdryer treatment.

But in charge for a second time, he tricked his players with a bogus scouting report to get them fired up to win a game that would save the club from relegation.

He was sacked after constant battles with the board and Tony goes on to run Livingston FC’s youth development programme. He pours thousands of his own money into the club and loses it all when the club goes into administration. But he bounces back and as part of a groundbreaking police initiative, works with some of the most violent young men in Glasgow’s gangs encouraging them to give up the blade and the gun.

Now the chief executive of St Mirren FC, Tony’s must-read autobiography is a heart-warming story of personal triumph over adversity.

Fitzy – The Story if My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available from http://www.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

Photographs taken by Brian McGuire for www.paisley.org.uk

st mirren

Nobody said that life would be easy back in the Scottish Premiership for St. Mirren after The Buddies romped to the Scottish Championship title last season. The top-flight always provides a different set of challenges and a much stronger competition, particularly for the traditionally more modest clubs.

 

Frequent changes in management don’t tend to help much either. Jack Ross did an excellent job of guiding St. Mirren back to the Premiership, recognised for his efforts by also being named PFA Scotland Manager of the Year. However, the talented young coach was then lured away by Sunderland, tempted to take on a bigger project and the next step in his managerial career.


Image Source: @BBCSport via Twitter

There was plenty of optimism when Alan Stubbs was announced as St. Mirren boss in June, while the team also got the Premiership campaign off to a positive start with a 2-1 victory against Dundee. However, three straight defeats against Rangers, Livingston and Hearts were also accompanied by the Scottish League Cup exit against Aberdeen. St. Mirren moved swiftly and opted to sack Stubbs, hoping a change at the helm would improve their fortunes.

Not without some irony, St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick turned to a candidate he’d interviewed in June, one that had been overlooked in favour of Stubbs. The club officially announced the appointment of Oran Kearney as manager on 7th September, with the former PE teacher and Coleraine coach delighted to finally get the job.


Image Source: @BBCWestScot via Twitter

The tenure of Kearney got off to a flying start with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against title favourites Celtic, but subsequent results have shown the difficulty the Northern Irish coach faces in turning things around. St. Mirren lost the next seven games on the trot, cementing their place as one of the Scottish football betting favourites for relegation at 13/8 odds, although the Buddies boss is bringing in additional help to aid their cause.

Boasting an excellent track record in Scottish football, 61-year-old Jimmy Nicholl is joining the St. Mirren backroom staff, where he will help the younger manager by imparting his wealth of knowledge and experience. Nicholl was Graeme Murty’s assistant at Rangers last season, taking over as caretaker manager towards the end of the campaign. He is also currently assistant to Northern Ireland national team manager, Michael O’Neill.


Image Source: @ColeraineFC via Twitter

Amongst those already welcoming the move is 27-year-old defender Lee Hodson, who has shared time with Nicholl at Rangers and with the Northern Ireland squad. “I know Jimmy very well and he’s a good character to have around the place, especially if morale is a little bit down,” he told The Scottish Herald during a recent interview, certain the vastly experienced coach will help bring a more positive atmosphere to the squad.

As for the future of Kearney at the helm, irrespective of results, it appears that St. Mirren are keen to keep faith in their managerial choice, as they battle the odds to avoid relegation. Conscious that he took control of a side he didn’t have a hand in building, the club may well afford Kearney the opportunity to bring in new signings during the January transfer window, giving him the chance to mould the side a little more to his liking. 

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

The votes have been counted and verified and the nine winners have been revealed as Renfrewshire’s #NameOurGritters competition comes to a close.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

More than 8000 votes were cast on the council’s Twitter account as the quirky competition captured the imagination of the local community.

Following a series of polls, the public decided that Renfrewshire’s roads will be kept clear this winter by Ploughlo Grittini, Thawin’ Batty, Tony Gritzpatrick, William Wall-ice, Gerry Raffersleigh, Fridge of Weir, Gleniffer Brrraes, Buddie Baltic and Paisleigh.

Sean Batty

STV weatherman, and Renfrewshire resident, Sean Batty will be able to report on his namesake this winter as Thawin’ Batty takes to the roads.

Sean said: ““This has to be one of the highlights of my career so far, having a gritter named after me.

“I was so excited when I heard that someone had suggested Thawin’ Batty and hoped it would do well when it went to the public vote. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sitting on the day refreshing the results to see how it was getting on!

“As a big fan of cold snowy weather, I now have the extra excitement of watching for my gritter passing the house.”

Tony Fitzpatrick

The competition set out to recognise the local heroes in Renfrewshire and they don’t come much bigger than St Mirren’s legendary, cup-winning captain, Tony Fitzpatrick.

Taking to the roads this winter will be Tony Gritzpatrick and the club’s Chief Executive was delighted to be chosen.

Tony said: “People had got in touch with me to let me know I was in the competition and it’s a great honour. I’m very proud to have been chosen.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

“I think it’s a great idea, creative and that’s what Paisley is all about at the moment and to see my gritter driving through the streets and helping people, it’ll be fantastic.

“For the people that voted, thank you, it really does mean a lot and that’s from the heart.”

More than 1600 suggestions were submitted by the local community before they were whittled down to a final shortlist by a judging panel which included a gritter driver, Care at Home staff member and a community resilience volunteer.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (2)

Councillor Natalie Don, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a fantastic competition this has been and it’s one the local community have supported in their thousands.

“We wanted to raise the profile of our local heroes who keep Renfrewshire moving throughout the winter period and I hope it has made people recognise the work that is undertaken, often throughout the night, by our inspiring staff.

“This isn’t just our gritter drivers but also the staff who deliver meals to elderly residents, work in our care homes or carry out emergency repairs for residents.

gritters

“I want to use this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication, and I do hope the gritter drivers enjoy taking the newly-named gritters out on the roads this winter.”

The competition was part of Renfrewshire’s annual #RenReady campaign which aims to ensure local communities and businesses are prepared for winter weather and are able to deal with issues such as a loss of utilities, difficult journeys or flooding in the local area.

There is support and guidance available via the council’s website and an ongoing social media campaign will take place throughout the winter period to keep residents informed.

For information on how to stay safe this winter, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/readyforwinter.

ENDS

tony fitzpatrick

ST MIRREN legend Tony Fitzpatrick is offering a unique triple bonus to people who pre-order his soon-to-be published autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life.

tony fitzpatrick

People who pre-order the book before the November 6 publication date will be –

  • among the first to receive a signed copy of the autobiography;
  • entered into a prize draw to win two tickets for a Saints home game with a VIP matchday experience in the St Mirren boardroom;
  • and Tony will personally deliver a copy of his book to the homes of three people chosen at random.

For the first time Tony – who not only won a league title and a Scottish Cup medal with the Saints, but also had two spells as manager and is now the club’s chief executive – is telling his life story in this new book.

Tony Fitzpatrick’s life is more than just a football story.

There are lots of hilarious tales from the dressing room and behind-the-scenes boardroom battles in his autobiography, published by Macdonald Media.

But behind the football banter and bust-ups, there’s an amazing story of being brought up in one of the poorest and most violent areas of Glasgow and how he used his football skills to escape that life.

While at the top of his football career, tragedy struck when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died after cancer struck down the young boy. And on the day of his funeral, callous thieves ransacked the family home stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in only his second managerial job, made the teenage Tony Fitzpatrick the captain of St Mirren FC.

But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tony lost a fortune after he put money into Livingstone FC and the club went into administration. But he bounced back and as part of a groundbreaking police initiative, worked with some of the most violent young men in Glasgow’s gangs encouraging them to give up the blade and the gun.

Co-writer of the book, Paisley journalist and author, Norman Macdonald said:

“I was amazed at some of the stories Tony had to tell and the book will touch all your emotions.

“It’s a must-read heartwarming story of personal triumph over adversity.”

Log on to www.fitzybook.co.uk to order your copy today and Tony could be turning up at your door to deliver your book.

smisa

The St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) has announced a question and answer night with new manager Alan Stubbs on Tuesday 31st July.

smisa

Alan will be on hand to take your questions ahead of the new season starting.

The event takes place in the hospitality lounge at the Simple Digital Arena.

Entry is free but there will be a capacity so you need to register to guarantee your place. You can guarantee your place by registering via the Eventbrite link here: http://bit.ly/2L0eFHQ.

Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start and the event is only open for those 18 and over as it will take place in a licensed bar.