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Thurso 999 Services versus Rangers Legends was 'great experience' for mascots


By Alan Hendry

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Rangers Legends before the match against Thurso 999 Services with mascots from Thurso Football Academy – (from left) Liam MacKinnon, Gracie Patrick, Chloe Saxon, Ethan Gulloch, Sam Miller, Dave Steven, Orry Gray, Lewis Barrowman, Riley Gray, Kian Sutherland, Cameron Mackay, Noah Elder, Colin Miller and Keira Gunn.
Rangers Legends before the match against Thurso 999 Services with mascots from Thurso Football Academy – (from left) Liam MacKinnon, Gracie Patrick, Chloe Saxon, Ethan Gulloch, Sam Miller, Dave Steven, Orry Gray, Lewis Barrowman, Riley Gray, Kian Sutherland, Cameron Mackay, Noah Elder, Colin Miller and Keira Gunn.

Taking part in last weekend's charity match between Thurso 999 Services and Rangers Legends was a "great experience" for the mascots from Thurso Football Academy.

They helped entertain the big crowd at the Dammies before and after the game as well as at half-time. The match, and a sportsman's dinner at the Royal British Legion, resulted in more than £25,000 being raised for good causes in Caithness.

Rangers Legends won 2-1 against a team from the local emergency services.

Ian Durrant was in charge of the Ibrox veterans who included Gordon Durie, Gordon Smith, Charlie Miller, Bob Malcolm, Derek Ferguson, Grégory Vignal, John MacDonald, Alex Rae and Ian Ferguson.

Charlie Miller got both goals for the ex-professionals – a free kick and a penalty – and Sean Stewart scored for Thurso 999 Services.

Mascots from Thurso Football Academy showing some of their skills at Saturday's charity match. Picture: Mel Roger
Mascots from Thurso Football Academy showing some of their skills at Saturday's charity match. Picture: Mel Roger

It was a memorable occasion for the mascots, according to Thurso Football Academy's head of coaching Alyn Gunn.

"It was a great experience for the kids to show off their skills before the game, at half-time and then in a penalty shoot-out after the game," Alyn said. "Emergency services keeper Graeme Miller gave up his time to be the goalie for the shoot-out.

"The kids got the opportunity to go into the legends' dressing room before the game to meet them all and get their shirts signed, and even got the chance to hear Ian Durrant's team talk before they led the teams out onto the park.

"Mascots were picked across various events that the academy put on over the last 18 months, whether that had been going into schools to coach or events with High Life Highland, and were picked on ability, enthusiasm and working hard during the sessions.

Thurso Football Academy's Alyn Gunn with some of the mascots. Picture: Mel Roger
Thurso Football Academy's Alyn Gunn with some of the mascots. Picture: Mel Roger

"All in all it was a great event and I'm personally delighted that it was Charlie Miller that scored the legends' goals to win them the game.

"Charlie has given a lot of his time to me personally so that I can pick his brains, and also to the community as a whole over the years by coming up to Thurso to coach our kids."

Main sponsors for the match were Eric Gunn Driver Training, CS Drilling Services and Autoquip Motors.

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Mascots from Thurso Football Academy showing some of their skills at Saturday's charity match. Picture: Mel Roger
Mascots from Thurso Football Academy showing some of their skills at Saturday's charity match. Picture: Mel Roger


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