Ex-footballers taking part in charity game in memory of Denny musician

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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 will be played 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, who has organised the fixture at the club’s Westfield Park on Sunday, October 24 (3pm).

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Proceeds from the match will be split between FVRH’s Intensive Care Unit, 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's music scene.Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace was a well-known figure in Denny and Bonnybridge's music scene.
Ian ‘Santa’ Wallace was a well-known figure in Denny and Bonnybridge's music scene.

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 for the Santa’s Superstars versus Cammy’s Legends encounter.

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These include former Falkirk FC full-back Jamie McQuilken, ex-Dundee striker Steven Milne and Dunfermline player Davie Irons, who also managed Stenhousemuir, while ex-Falkirk director of football Alex Totten will present a trophy to the winners.

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

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

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.

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.

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

“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.”

Spectators will be asked to pay £8 for adults and £4 for concessions at the gate.

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