Erskine Select team battle for victory against the legends of Heart of Midlothian FC

posted 4 May 2011, 07:29 by Alistar Frater
The veterans’ charity Erskine took on the might of the Hearts Legends this week in a battle for victory in an inaugural clash at Tynecastle Stadium.


An Erskine Select team made up of 13 serving Army personnel, three veterans including Keith Brown MSP, ex-Marine and Minister for Transport & Infrastructure put their football skills to the test during the tie held on Monday 2nd May. 


Erskine was managed on the day by Brigadier George E Lowder MBE, Commander 51 (Scottish) Brigade and captained by W01 (RSM) Garrison Sergeant Major Graham White. 


The charity squared up against the Hearts Legends team, which included well-known Scottish greats such as John Robertson, Jimmy Sandison, and Alan McLaren, with the extra flair of Juanjo and Jose Quitongo to please the crowd.


The aim of the day was to raise funds for both Erskine and the Heart of Midlothian FC Education and Community Trust.  


Over 800 fans turned out in the sunshine for the tie on the Tynecastle turf and were treated to fine display by the Hearts Legends who beat their Erskine counterparts 12-4 to win The McCrae’s Battalion Trophy created especially for this charity fixture. 

Major Jim Panton, Chief Executive of Erskine and ex-Army Air Corps, said: “The Erskine Select team enjoyed a tremendous battle against the Hearts Legends team, it’s a shame the score wasn’t more even!  But, on the day the real winners were the two charities we were raising money for – Erskine and The Heart of Midlothian FC Education and Community Trust. The organisers were delighted that so many supporters of Heart of Midlothian FC and Erskine turned out for this match to and we can’t wait until next year for the re-match! We were delighted to have the backing of the Army for this inaugural clash, especially the support of our manager Brigadier George E Lowder MBE, Commander of the 51 (Scottish) Brigade, and captain W01 Graham White who both went the extra mile to ensure this match was a success.”

W01 Graham White added: “This tie was a fantastic opportunity for the military to support the veterans’ charity Erskine and play against the Hearts Legends. It was a unique opportunity to first of all be asked to captain the team and secondly to get to play on the hollow turf of Tynecastle Stadium – it was a great honour.” 

It is hoped that the fight for The McCrae’s Battalion Trophy will become a regular fixture with plans in place for a re-match next season.