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Former Caley Thistle and Ross County legend Barry Wilson gets football boots on again for Kynoch Park charity match in aid of Keith Cancer Link and Harry Bennett Foundation as Scotland and England veterans battle it out

By Craig Christie

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Former Ross County and Caley Thistle star Barry Wilson will this weekend grace the Kynoch Park home where his father Bobby crafted some great Keith triumphs.

The charity football match in aid of Keith Cancer link has been a big success over the years. Picture: Becky Saunderson
The charity football match in aid of Keith Cancer link has been a big success over the years. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Saturday sees the Keith charity football match take place between Scotland and England, with veterans from both sides of the border raising money for two worthy causes.

The fixture has traditionally been a fundraiser for the Keith Cancer Link and the Harry Bennett Foundation in the English midlands nominated by former Keith native and fellow match organiser Gary Macpherson.

Macpherson’s Catshill FC team will head north to take on the Scottish side including ex-Caley Thistle assistant manager Wilson and a band of former Highland League and junior football veterans.

Organiser Kevin Winton not only puts the football match in place but staged an auction after the match, which will include over 50 bottles of whisky, a signed and framed Aberdeen shirt and a signed jersey from former England and Rangers star Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne.

Charity match organiser Kevin Winton.
Charity match organiser Kevin Winton.

“Last year was an exceptional year when we raised £12,200,” Winton said. “I never thought we would raise that amount.

“Myself and my family and Gary (Macpherson) will attempt to raise another decent amount for the two charities this year.”

Winton took over last year from Willie Dick in organising an event which has made many thousands of pounds for cancer charities over the years, and was set up to benefit the local Keith Cancer Link and continues to do so.

Joining Wilson in the Scotland team are former Highland League favourites Ryan Green, Neil Whyte, Stuart Cameron and Paul D’Arcy.

The charity match is on Saturday.
The charity match is on Saturday.

Former Scotland captain and Keith legend Colin Hendry is unavailable this year due to commitments in his base in Lancashire, while ex-Keith record goalscorer Cammy Keith, who starred in last year’s game, can’t make this one either.

“It’s more of an ex-Highland League team this year and I’m still waiting on one or two who may come along and get involved,” Winton added.

“Colin couldn’t manage this year, so I think this could be the first he’s missed in six or seven years.

“We’ve got some guys who are playing who have given us great donations. Kevin Mitchell from Keith Builders Merchants will play part of the game and I’m happy to see some of the folk who had donated generously to get on the pitch as well.

“It’s all for charity and it’s a fun occasion, it’s more about raising the money. But there’s some good players coming down and in my eyes it’s a game that’s worth coming down to watch.”

The Scotland team will be managed by two former footballers from the Keith area, young Dod Simmers and Brian Geddes who both played Highland League as well as junior football in the past.

“Willie Dick was the man who put all of the ideas in and I’m just getting involved and there’s not much I’ve needed to tweak. Three year ago he made something like £18,000, it all comes down to Willie and Gary over the years and I’m just carrying it on.”

The match kicks off at Kynoch Park on Saturday at 1pm and donations will be accepted on the day.

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