Hamilton Accies delivered a direct and honest talk about the dangers of drug use to pupils at St John Ogilvie High.
The football club’s chief executive Colin McGowan, himself in recovery for over 35 years, went to the school with former professional player Colin McNair, who lost everything through drug use.
Together, they spoke to 50 fourth-year pupils in depth about their experiences, and how taking drugs led to both men being on the streets of Glasgow.
The pair recalled hitting rock bottom and how they came through their own recovery to a transfixed group of pupils.
McNair, who admitted dreaming of being a footballer from a young age and having the world at his feet, also discussed playing at the very top level in the Scottish game before succumbing to an invitation on one occasion to sample drugs.
The former Motherwell player said: “That one Saturday evening when I took my first ever line of drugs, and thinking that just the once won’t do any harm, led to taking drugs on a Saturday and Tuesday.
“Then a Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and so on until I was taking drugs every day of the week and feigning injury so I didn’t have to play football, until it all fell apart and I was found out for the drug user that I was.
“I owed dealers money left, right and centre and turned to crime to pay for my habit, eventually ending up in jail.”
He added: “It took 25 years to get to where I am today.”
McGowan then delivered statistics revealing the devastation drugs are causing in communities, at one point asking the pupils for a show of hands of how many of them knew someone in the grasp of addiction.
He told the pupils: “Politicians, lawyers, teachers, police officers, nurses and doctors, for example, are not immune to the scourge of substance abuse and do not escape addiction. It is a popular misconception that drug addiction rests solely among the unemployed and poverty-stricken.
“The true reality is that this is endemic across all communities in Scotland.
“Please make an informed decision to say no to drugs.
“We urge anyone with addiction issues, or those affected by someone with addiction issues, to consider taking a look at the Hamilton Accies community outreach support website at www.needtogetcleanandsober.com.
“This is a site that guides people to the various 12-step recovery programs.”
Source: Daily Record