Injury couldn’t prevent Dalkeith’s Steven Costello receiving his Bank of Scotland Midnight League Player of the Year award from Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass.
The Bank of Scotland Midnight League is a network of free five-a-side football games that aims to keep youngsters aged between 12 and 16 off the streets and give them something to do on a Friday and Saturday night.
And, after not only playing but volunteering his time as a coach for the Scottish Football Association, Costello was handpicked as one of just 15 players nationwide to be invited to the Ibrox Community Complex to receive an award on Saturday.
A broken collar bone suffered three weeks ago meant the 17-year-old had to watch on as the country’s other stand-out performers trained in the shadow of Ibrox Stadium.
But the chance to see his beloved Scotland defeat Georgia 1-0 in their European Championships qualifier as well as the opportunity to pick the brains of Premier League star Snodgrass ensured Costello had a day to remember.
“It’s a bit frustrating to not be able to play but I’ve enjoyed it very much and had an awesome time anyway,” said Dalkeith High School pupil Costello.
“Playing in the Midnight Leagues has been great but the coaching is my main passion. When I’m coaching it is good to see the younger kids coming up.
“To see them progress is good to watch and that’s the side I really enjoy.
“To be here in front of Ibrox is a great feeling and to get to go to the game as well is amazing.
“And then to have Robert Snodgrass here as well is just incredible, it was something I never expected.
“To have someone like that supporting the league is great for the game and great for Scottish football as well.”
Read more in this week’s Advertiser, out now.