Match in memory of footballer

Dale Whillans
Dale Whillans

Plans are at an advanced stage for a special match in memory of a young footballer who died earlier this month following a car crash.

Going under the banner of the Dale Whillans Memorial Match, the game, which will take place at Albert Park next Friday night (May 1), is the brainchild of a group of Dale’s close friends.

Taking up the story, Steven Drummond, a lifelong pal of the late 18-year-old, said: “I was brought up with Dale and knew him as a mate and a neighbour and we were really close.

“I also played football with Dale, firstly in the west end as young boys and later in youth football. He was a class player and far better than the rest of us.

“I just can’t take in that he is no longer here. He was very popular and had a lot of friends. A few of us got speaking about doing something for Dale and we came up with a memorial match. And things have just taken off from there.”

The two sides set to be in action are a Dale Whillans XI and a West End All Stars team.

Steven continued: “The two teams are made up of pals of Dale. Some are footballers and some are not, and the winners will get the Dale Whillans Cup.

“Dale always played in the number six shirt, so the game will be kickoff at 6pm.

“Apart from the two captains, who will have Dale’s name on the back of their jerseys, all the other players will have the number six on their shirts. Dale played for Hawick United and Hawick Legion and the strips are in their colours.”

Steven added: “The response we’ve had about the game has been tremendous. Border Embroideries have helped out with the strips, and the donations we’ve received for the raffle have been fantastic. The money raised is going towards a memorial bench for Dale, which was our intention from the beginning. Admission is by donation, and I’m expecting a really big crowd, which would be just great.”