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Hewn from granite: North-east student designs latest charity football for the Denis Law Legacy Trust


By David Porter

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The Dennis Law inspired design.
The Dennis Law inspired design.

The Denis Law Legacy Trust has unveiled a new student-designed football that reflects the sparkling career of one of Aberdeen's greatest ever players.

The concept was created by Rowan McDonagh from Perth, a Communication Design graduate from Gray's School of Art who collaborated on the Denis Law inspired design with Alive & Kicking, the world’s only not-for-profit football manufacturer.

Denis Law Legacy Trust is a charity based at Robert Gordon University (RGU) which hosts a range of initiatives to improve the lives of young people in communities around Aberdeen, including Streetsport, its flagship programme.

Launched in 2006, Streetsport was established in collaboration between RGU SPORT, Gray’s School of Art and Police Scotland and has grown to attract thousands of youngsters and a host of partners with sessions running each weeknight throughout the year.

Denis Law, patron of the charity, was born in Aberdeen before going on to have an illustrious career for both Manchester United and Scotland and remains Scotland’s only ever Ballon d’Or winner.

Rowan, who is now employed as a graphic designer having graduated from RGU in the summer with a first-class degree, said: “The concept for the ball was inspired by the granite of the silver city and includes gold seams that represent and celebrate Denis winning the Ballon d’Or in 1964.

“The gold also represents the crown worn by the ‘King of the Stretford End’, a name that Denis was given to him by Manchester United fans”.

Iain Morrison, Lecturer at Gray’s School of Art, said: “Our Communication Design students’ have played a key role in the ongoing development of the Streetsport initiative, and this latest design is another great example of how RGU’s collaboration with the charity has enabled students to develop and apply their design skills within a professional, real-world context”.

The charity’s partnership with Alive & Kicking began in 2021, coming together through the Common Goal network to design and manufacture footballs that could raise money for future programmes as well as be used during sport sessions.

Catherine Orset, Alive and Kicking, added: “We were really pleased to once again be able to collaborate with Denis Law Legacy Trust on this unique and beautiful design.

"We came together to use the power of sport to grow happier, healthier, more empowered communities”.

Limited numbers of the one-of-a-kind ball will be available at the charity’s annual fundraising dinner at The Marcliffe Hotel on Friday, November 17.


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