Ure in the game

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Long-serving East Stirlingshire player Derek Ure is to be rewarded for his efforts on the club’s behalf when he is given a Testimonial Match against Falkirk on Wednesday evening with a 7.30 p.m start.

The game at the Falkirk Stadium will feature a few surprise guests on the pitch as the local clubs unite to celebrate an unsung hero of the local game.

Ure has been a regular fixture in the Shire team since signing from ICI Juveniles back in 2001 and recently clocked up his 300th appearance for the club, a figure which would have been a lot higher but for injury.

“Derek Ure is a real fans’ favourite,” said testimonial committee chairman Craig Brown. “He is exactly the kind of player supporters of all clubs love; a hometown boy who chose to stay with his local team through thick and thin rather than seek a more lucrative career in the game.

“He actually had a trial at Falkirk but nothing came of it before he signed for Shire. That’s why we thought a game against them would make sense. Also, the two teams are such great rivals but don’t meet all that often these days.

“Derek is well-known throughout the local football community,” continued Craig. “So having a game against Falkirk will allow all those people to come out and support him on his big night. I would urge all local football fans to come along.”

Falkirk were happy to offer the use of the stadium at Westfield for the occasion and Craig is hoping staging the match at the biggest venue in the town will swell the crowd.

“The committee would like to thank Falkirk Football Club and George Craig for all their help. They really have been fantastic and it has been a perfect example of how local rivals can co-operate in a friendly manner,” said the testimonial chairman.

Ure made his Shire debut as a 17 year-old striker but certainly won’t be up front on Saturday when they take on Elgin City at Ochilview.

Coach Jim McInally refused to criticise his players after Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Clyde, but has warned them that if they want to feel sorry for themselves then they can go elsewhere.

“I told them that if any of them felt like throwing in the towel now then they are free to leave,” said McInally who has been hit by a fresh blow this week in that young centre-half Stuart Beveridge has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing an appendix operation in midweek.