A GROUP of former Celtic and Rangers footballers will take to the field in the Vale next month to raise cash for two deserving local causes.

The two 'Old Firm Legends' teams – including ex-Celtic stars Frank McAvennie, Rudi Vata, Derek Riordan and Garry O'Connor, and former Rangers legends Derek Ferguson, John MacDonald, Bobby Russell and Gary McSwegan – will line up against each other at Argyle Park in Alexandria to give a boost to youth football in the area and to a ward at Dumbarton Joint Hospital.

The event has been jointly organised by the Old Firm Legends organisation and Elaine Neeson, a former winner of the West Dunbartonshire 'Citizen of the Year' award for more than 15 years of charity work in the area.

Elaine told the Reporter: “Part of the proceeds will go to the Glenarn ward at the Joint Hospital, which cares for people with dementia and where my brother-in-law is one of the patients.

“The ward team are hoping to bring in 'Barry the Cat' [local graffiti artist Barry Jenkins, whose work has brightened up buildings all over the Vale in the last year] to create a mural of Dumbarton's High Street in the garden – not as the street is now but as it used to be, so the residents can remember it as it was.”

The 'Old Firm Legends' organisation holds charity games involving former Rangers and Celtic players several times each year, though the Argyle Park match, taking place on Sunday, November 19, will be the first one to have taken place in Dumbarton and the Vale.

John Clifford from 'Old Firm Legends' said: “We'll be bringing along all the youth football clubs from around the area for a penalty competition at half-time, a 'nearest the crossbar' competition, and we'll give them all signed footballs to help them raise their own funds.

“We wanted a local good cause to benefit from the game and when Elaine told me what she was doing I thought the Glenarn Ward would be perfect.”

Elaine is also holding a raffle in which people can win a signed Rangers top and a signed Celtic top – to buy tickets for the raffle, call Elaine on 07742 866069.

Elaine won the 'Citizen of the Year' prize for the Dumbarton area in 2013 in recognition of her years spent organising trips to Lourdes for local children with the Hosanna House and Children's Pilgrimage Trust.

The Argyle Park match kicks off at 2pm on November 19, with the gates opening at 1pm. Entry is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and children and you can pay at the gate.

There's also an opportunity for locals to get involved by being a mascot – or a 'Little Legend' – on the day, meeting the Legends in the dressing room before the game or even playing in the match.

For more details call George Kay at Old Firm Legends on 07543 133696.