A talented Abertay footballer has won a prestigious award named after his best friend, who died in a tragic accident two years ago.
Jake Wright, who this week graduates with a degree in Sports Development and Coaching, received the Ross Cook Memorial Award as part of the university’s graduation celebrations.
Here to announce the winner of the @AbertayFootball Ross Cook Award is former @RangersFC & @ScottishNT legend Barry Ferguson. Huge congratulations ⬇️👏🏻⚽️🏆@AbertayUni @PLZSoccer #Abertay2020 #TeamTay pic.twitter.com/qkW7mykIC8
— Abertay Sport (@AbertaySport) July 7, 2020
The prize recognises an individual who has gone the extra mile for their club.
The 21-year-old is the first team captain of Abertay’s Men’s Team and led them to second place in the league this season, seeing off competition from much larger universities.
The award has extra meaning to Jake, as he was Ross’s best friend and flatmate.
Ross, who died after being struck by a train in Dumfriesshire in February 2018, was a key member of Abertay University Football Club.
The side has continued to pay tribute to the 19-year-old, retiring the number 5 jersey in his honour, and performing this year with ‘Forever Abertay Ross Cook’ emblazoned on their strips.
The award announcement was made by Rangers and Scotland legend Barry Ferguson who paid tribute to Jake, describing his award win as a “massive achievement.”
He said: “I’m delighted to be asked to reveal the winner of the Ross Cook Memorial Award.
“The winner is someone who has gone the extra mile for his club. He was captain and he was also Ross’s best friend.
“I’m delighted to say this year’s winner is Jake Wright. Well done to Jake – you must be proud and your family must be proud. What a great achievement and the best wishes from myself.”
Jake said receiving the honour was a “big deal”.
He said: “It means a lot to me. Ross and I met at Abertay and quickly hit it off becoming really good friends.
“He became a big player for the football team, and we’ve tried our hardest to honour him by organising fundraising events in his name, and making sure people know all about him.
“It really is a big deal to me that I’ve won this award, and as proud as I feel I want to make sure I do Ross and his family proud too.”
Ian Lowe, student services manager, said: “Congratulations to Jake for this much deserved award. His on-field achievements have been significant, and his off-field achievements have been equally impressive.
“He has been a tireless fundraiser and has helped keep team spirits high, building a real sense of togetherness.”