Mel Young, on behalf Homeless World Cup Foundation and the Homeless World Cup Network, said:

“I am incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Ally Dawson. He had a key role with one of our global street football partners, Street Soccer Scotland where he was hugely loved and respected.

Ally was the manager of the Scottish team in the early days of the Homeless World Cup, managing the team in the second edition which was held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2004. The team performed incredibly well with the players responding to Ally’s coaching methods, direction and support. He also made friends with coaches from the other countries which were taking part, he was an inspirational individual.

David Duke was one of the players in Ally’s squad in Gothenburg and he went on to establish Street Soccer Scotland in 2009 which became the new Homeless World Cup street football partner. We were delighted when Ally joined the new outfit and the success they have achieved since he joined is no surprise.

Ally coached the Scottish team to a memorable triumph at the 2011 Homeless World Cup in Paris. Ally’s football acumen allowed the unfancied Scottish team to win the tournament in wonderful style, a true credit to Ally and his managerial ability. Like all truly great sports people, Ally was unassuming and humble but he had a steely determination to succeed, yes certainly on the football field, but more importantly to make sure the players he coached and mentored went on to succeed in life.

Over the past 24-hours, many former players and friends have posted messages on social media which describe how grateful they were for Ally’s support and how their lives are now very different thanks to him. Some of them are very moving and they are all very positive which speaks volumes about his impact.

Ally played and captained Rangers as well as Blackburn and he also played for Scotland. The media has concentrated on this part of his career when his death was announced but everyone at the Homeless World Cup Foundation remember Ally as a manager and coach who made a difference to so many people.

He was, of course, a stalwart at Street Soccer Scotland and he will be sadly missed by everyone. The Homeless World Cup works with street football partners in over 70 countries across the globe, in an attempt to use football to change people’s lives.

It is often described by many as a big family. Ally was a special member of that “family” and we will all miss him dearly.”

Female Scottish players raise their hands celebrating before a match with their faces painted