Fight to keep football club at heart of village community

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NEWCASTLETON outfit Hearts of Liddesdale are on the verge of disbanding.

And officials have launched an impassioned plea to both the English and Scottish Football Associations to help save their club.

The problem centres around international clearance rules, which restricts players from playing in leagues in both England and Scotland - Hearts play in a Scottish league on a Saturday and an English league on Sunday.

The result is a shortage of adult players in the area for the club, which was formed in 1880 under the name Newcastleton FC.

Club secretary Ann Brough said: “Since the problem first arose, we have received a lot of sympathy from the local community and the leagues in Scotland and England. However, we have come up against a brick wall as the international clearance rules state that our players must choose which country to play in.

“We not only have a proud history in the area, but also an exciting future as we currently have a lot of youngsters who are learning to play the game. It would be a huge shame for them if the club were to fold, especially as we have some of the best training facilities in the region.”

The fight has been taken up by local MSP John Lamont, who has called on both Holyrood and Westminster to help save the club.