SFA honours Scottish great-grandad who is UK's longest-serving football manager

Britain's longest serving football manager who has coached 2,000 games over the last 66 years has been awarded a gong by the Scottish Football Association.

Larry Barilli's football odyssey began back in 1953. Picture: Greenock Telegraph/SWNS

Larry Barilli, 84, has spent most of his amateur career managing seven teams in and around his hometown of Greenock, Inverclyde.

The octogenarian, who began his football odyssey in 1953, has been named this year's Best Volunteer in Adult Football in the SFA's Grassroots Awards.

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Great-grandfather Larry said the accolade was 'by far the best award' he had won in a managerial career spanning nearly seven decades.

The 84-year-old has been honoured by the SFA. Picture: Greenock Telegraph/SWNS

He was presented with his gong by former Scotland women's team striker Suzanne Winters and Scotland manager Steve Clarke at a ceremony at Hampden Park last week.

Larry, who began his career as a play-manager when he was 18, has won 11 league titles and played in 35 cup finals, winning 23 of them.

Over the decades he believes he has only missed six games through illness.

It is thought Forfar Athletic FC club secretary and manager James Black is the only man to have managed a team in Scotland for a longer time.

Over the decades, Larry believes he has only missed six games through illness. Picture: Greenock Telegraph/SWNS

But stalwart Larry will match his record this season when he leads his team, Chaplins FC, in the Greenock and District Welfare League.

Larry said: "It was a surprise to get it but I'm very pleased.

"Suzanne congratulated me and Steve Clarke shook my hand, they were both very nice.

"Everybody that was there said I was overdue it for what I've done.

Larry has been involved in football since the early fifties. Picture: Greenock Telegraph/SWNS

"It's by far the best award I've had.

"It was a good night."

Despite getting on in years and having to manage two Chaplins teams - one that plays on Saturdays and the other Sundays - he has no plans on retiring.

The great-grandfather of seven said: "As long as I feel OK I'll keep going.

"I've only missed about six games through sickness in my time playing and managing.

"But I've not missed one for a long time.

"We're playing again this weekend and I'm quite looking forward to it.

"I feel quite happy."