ROSS McGinn, a stalwart of the very successful Stirling Macedonia team of the 1980s and early 90s, has died at the age of 53.
Ross was the longest serving player at the club, which was called West Perth Macedonia when he joined after arriving from the UK in the early 1980s. The club later became Stirling Macedonia and is now known as Stirling Lions.
After he finished playing in the mid-1990s, Ross went on to become a prominent Perth business man and owned his own company, Acrow Celings.
The West Australian reported that Ross was well known in business, fashion and philanthropic circles for his support of causes including Telethon, the Butterfly Ball fundraiser for Down Syndrome WA, and STYLEAID.
According to newspaper reports in 2008, Ross and his wife Annmarie flew in ’70s popstar Leo Sayer to sing at their daughter Susan’s wedding.
The wedding was reportedly exceptionally colourful with a $50,000 firework display over the Swan River.
Born in Scotland, Ross was a talented midfielder and caught the eye of Manchester City when he was 17.
He was one of the key performers of City’s youth team and played in two FA Youth Cup finals – in 1978 against Millwall and in 1979 against Aston Villa.
He also won international honours for Scotland, playing in the Jock Stein-coached side that reached the final stages of the UEFA Under-18 Championship in Austria in 1979.
He had brief spells with Clyde, Hibernian and East Fife before heading Down Under in 1982.
Understandably, Ross quickly became an influential member of the Macedonia side that won three successive State League titles in 1983, 84 and 85. They were champions again in 1987.
The 1983 team was exceptional, losing only once in 22 games. They won 19 and drew two and took the crown by eight points from Spearwood Dalmatinac.
After their hat-trick of league titles, they were runners-up in 1986 before regaining the championship in 1987, this time by 10 points from Perth Azzurri.
Derek Combe was part of that 1987 title-winning side and said: “It was a very talented team and, with so many good players, not easy holding onto a spot.
“But Ross was always there. He was a terrific player and a great bloke. He will be sorely missed.”
Mickey Brennan is another ex-Macedonia team-mate of Ross – and also played for Manchester City.
“I didn’t know he played for City in Youth and Central League sides until I joined Maccies for the 1985 championship-winning side when Ross was my skipper.
“I have been in contact with my pal Fred Eyre who is Chairman of the Manchester City Past Players Association to let him know the tragic news.”
Ross also won the D’Orsogna Cup with Macedonia in 1992 when they beat North Perth Croatia 4-0.
He was in the side that lost to Perth Italia in the Cup final in 1993, which was his record 12th successive season with the club.