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'Braveheart' Colin Hendry to lead Scotland into battle against England for charity testimonial football match at Kynoch Park in Keith to raise money for Keith Cancer Link and Primrose Hospice charity


By Craig Christie

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IN his native Keith, the last man to captain Scotland's international football team in a World Cup finals will lead his country into battle against the Auld Enemy one last time.

Colin Hendry in action at Kynoch Park. Photo: John MacLeod moraylight.com
Colin Hendry in action at Kynoch Park. Photo: John MacLeod moraylight.com

Colin Hendry will join forces with some of his former Keith Athletic team-mates from a memorable, treble-winning 1977 season to raise cash for the Keith Cancer Link charity.

While the men from the Friendly Town will represent Scotland, former Keith man Gary Macpherson will return home with his Catskill veterans' team from Bromsgrove to form the English opposition in this month's special match.

Keith FC's Kynoch Park plays host to the fundraising 'friendly', which will also be staged as a testimonial for Gogs Younie, a former Highland League player who kept playing Moray welfare football into his 60s.

But Younie will forego the proceeds of a fundraising weekend with the cash being split between Keith cancer Link and the Primrose Hospice in Birmingham, a charity nominated by the visiting English team.

The event has been organised for the past 21 years by Keith man Willie Dick, who will resume his place in the Scotland goal for the match.

Colin Hendry in action at a previous Scotland v England clash in Keith. Photo: John MacLeod moraylight.com
Colin Hendry in action at a previous Scotland v England clash in Keith. Photo: John MacLeod moraylight.com

He says it will be the last match in a series which he believes has raised many thousands of pounds for charity over the years.

"We've enjoyed doing this over the years and I couldn't have done it without all the boys who have played every time," he said.

"The boys have been brand new about supporting the game and it's great to have someone like Colin Hendry playing in it once again."

Former Scotland hero Colin Hendry has taken part in Rangers Legends matches in Moray in the past. Photo: Eric Cormack
Former Scotland hero Colin Hendry has taken part in Rangers Legends matches in Moray in the past. Photo: Eric Cormack

The former Scotland, Rangers and Blackburn Rovers star, whose footballing days began in his home town of Keith before going on to skipper Scotland at the 1998 World Cup in France, played in the last fixture in 2019.

Dick said the man nicknamed 'Braveheart' in his sport scored with a header in a famous 5-1 Scotland win.

He has donated one of his 51 Scotland caps and a signed Rangers shirt to an auction also being held as part of the weekend.

Colin Hendry with Gary MacPherson and Gogs Younie (far right) at a previous Keith Cancer Link fundraiser. Photo: John MacLeod moraylight.com
Colin Hendry with Gary MacPherson and Gogs Younie (far right) at a previous Keith Cancer Link fundraiser. Photo: John MacLeod moraylight.com

The charity fixture hasn't been contested for the past two years due to the pandemic but is expected to draw a sizeable crowd to Kynoch Park on May 21 for the final curtain.

Ex-Highland League legend Eddie Copland, who starred in the Huntly team that won five consecutive titles in the 1990s, is one of the guest Scotland players.

Organiser Dick also offered a helping hand when England's goalkeeper was forced to pull out of the fixture.

For he has drafted in Keith's under-18 keeper Matthew Cook and under-16 counterpart Finlay Ross to play a half each against the Scotland veterans.

The match will also be a tribute to Younie, who played for his hometown Rothes in the Highland League during the 1980s and made a comeback at the age of 55 in a league match at Wick in October, 2015 when the Speysiders were short of players.

Gogs Younie in action for Rothes at the age of 55.
Gogs Younie in action for Rothes at the age of 55.

Younie, who Dick dubbed 'the Stanley Matthews of the north-east', had a playing career spanning five decades and next week's match will serve as a tribute to a remarkable period of footballing service in Moray.

As well as the Scotland v England football match at noon on May 21, an auction will be held offering up Hendry's international cap, memorabilia from Rangers and Spurs and numerous bottles of sought-after whisky among a wide range of items available for bidding.

The following day (Sunday 22nd) sees the footballers meet up in Keith's Plough Inn for darts and dominoes in the afternoon and a race night in the evening, all raising funds for the two charities.


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