Charity football match in memory of Denny musician raises thousands

A charity football match held in memory of Denny and Bonnybridge musician Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace has been hailed a huge success.

By Fiona Dobie
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:30 pm

The fundraiser in aid of Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Maggie’s Forth Valley and Strathcarron Hospice, was played at Dunipace FC’s Westfield Park on Sunday afternoon.

Falkirk district footballers, managers and ex-professionals came together for the game in honour of Ian, who died from cancer aged 59 at the Larbert hospital in July.

The exact total raised from Saturday’s event is not yet known, but organisers say it will be in the region of £4500 that will be shared between the three good causes.

The teams line-up before the match. Santa's Superstars wearing yellow and Cammy's Legends in the black and white stripes of Dunipace. Pic: Scott Louden.

Among those well-known names who took part in the Santa’s Superstars versus Cammy’s Legends encounter were Falkirk FC full-back Jamie McQuilken, ex-Dundee striker Steven Milne and Dunfermline player Davie Irons, who also managed Stenhousemuir.

Players and management from Dunipace, Camelon Juniors and Linlithgow Rose also took part.

Ex-Falkirk director of football Alex Totten presented a trophy to Santa’s Superstars who ended the match 4-3 winners.

The fundraiser was organised by Ian’s brother-in-law and Dunipace FC development squad secretary Tam McKendrick, with Dunipace kitman Cammy Shanks, who was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in April 2019, helping secure the teams.

The crowd joined in a minute's applause ahead of the match in memory of Ian 'Santa' Wallace. Pic: Scott Louden.

Cammy said: “The day was absolutely brilliant, it was fantastic.

"We had a crowd of between 150 and 200 people and the weather stayed good.

"Ted Christopher hosted the event and at half time he played a set with a few songs.

"It was a fantastic success and a brilliant day.

The family of Ian "Santa" Wallace: Anna, 11; Carol, Ian's wife Linda, Jane and Ewan. Pic: Scott Louden

"There was so much love for Ian.

"Ian’s wife Linda and his family said there couldn’t have been a better thing to do in memory of Ian and they appreciated every pound donated.

"Thank you to everyone who came along on the day to show their support, and to all those who helped us organise the event and gave their services free of charge."

Self-taught drummer Ian, commonly referred to as Santa, played in more than 30 bands.

Ian "Santa" Wallace's great nephews Alastair, 10, and Fraser, 6.

Despite his musical talent, he was best-known for his love of enjoying a laugh with family and friends – and football, even if his goalkeeping ability was often humorously questioned and gave him the nickname Santa for giving gifts to the opposition.

Cammy made an appearance on the pitch during the match – something he describes as emotional after being told two years and eight months ago that he only had six months to live.

He said: “I haven’t played for many years, but I went on on Sunday, not because I’m a good footballer, but because I wanted to show that even if you’re given a diagnosis with a timescale like I was then sometimes it’s just about statistics and everyone reacts differently. I want to show anyone who has a diagnosis like that that there can be hope.”

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Alex Totten presented the trophy to Santa's Superstars captain Dan McKendrick. Pic: Scott Louden.