Former football pros line-up for charity game in memory of Denny musician Ian Wallace

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Falkirk district footballers, managers and ex-professionals will go head-to-head in a charity match in memory of well-known Denny and Bonnybridge musician Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace.

The game has been arranged in honour of Ian, who died from cancer aged 59 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in July.

He was the brother-in-law of Tam McKendrick, Dunipace FC development squad secretary and committee member, who has organised the fixture at the club’s Westfield Park on Sunday, October 24 (3pm).

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Proceeds will be split between FVRH’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where Ian was cared for, and cancer support service Maggie’s Forth Valley, along with palliative care provider Strathcarron Hospice.

Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace was a well-known figure in Denny and Bonnybridge.Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace was a well-known figure in Denny and Bonnybridge.
Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace was a well-known figure in Denny and Bonnybridge.

Tam approached Dunipace kitman Cammy Shanks, who was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in April 2019, to ask if he could use his contacts to form an 11-a-side outfit for the occasion.

Between them, Tam and Cammy have secured the services of a clutch of famous faces, including former Falkirk FC full-back Jamie McQuilken, ex-Dundee striker Steven Milne and one-time Hearts and Stenhousemuir winger José Quitongo, while ex-Falkirk manager and director of football Alex Totten will present a trophy to the winners.

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

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Alex Totten will present a trophy after the game (Pic: Michael Gillen)Alex Totten will present a trophy after the game (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Alex Totten will present a trophy after the game (Pic: Michael Gillen)

Self-taught drummer Ian, commonly referred to as Santa, played in more than 30 bands, including Boxing Clever and The Lobsters.

Despite his musical prowess, 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 by his teammates.

Tam said: “He was a great character with an endless supply of tales from his music days and nights which always had all around chuckling, usually at the expense of Ian who was, at most times, the focus of the hilarity.

“His other great loves were his wife and family, his many friends and a huge love of animals and the great outdoors.

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Jose Quitongo (Pic: John Devlin)Jose Quitongo (Pic: John Devlin)
Jose Quitongo (Pic: John Devlin)

“Santa also loved his weekly football sessions with his friends, where he probably wasn’t the greatest football player – in fact his Santa nickname came from the fact he was a goalie and always giving gifts to the opposition.

"He absolutely loved the game, the banter and just the sheer enjoyment and laughter they created.

“Ian passed away suddenly on July 2 at Forth Valley Royal ICU, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of those closest to him and all around the local area. He never passed anyone without having a chat and a laugh.

“We felt it fitting to work together with Cammy and arrange a charity football match, raising much-needed funds to those who help all year round.

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“We hope to see as many people on the day for a good bit of fun, the chance to watch maybe a few other local legends and possibly a decent football match.”

Spectators will be asked to make a donation at the gate.

Dunipace FC’s hospitality space, bars and food outlets will be open on the day.

Cammy said: “We’ll get a PA system and a compere.

“We’ll try to get staff from Maggie’s and Strathcarron there. I was even thinking about putting a strip on and going on for the last five minutes, just because I can.

“It should be a good day.”

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