The Gavin Currie Charity Match

Gavin Currie Select 3 (Matthew Stevenson, Robbie Cameron, David Miller)
Neilston Juniors 5
(Eric Keilty, Tam Murdoch, James Canning, Scott Anson, Paul Maley)

FROM THE PAISLEY DAILY EXPRESS
A huge crowd of almost 700 people turned up at Neilston’s Brig o’ Lea stadium for a tribute match in honour of tragic football fan Gavin Currie. The keen Neilston supporter was knocked down while crossing a road in the village just after Christmas last year. He suffered serious head injuries and died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in Paisley, two days later.

Gavin’s family and friends were eager to honour his memory, so they organised the tribute match, which has raised a whopping total of £11,500 for good causes. This money will be split between the intensive care unit at the RAH and the Transplant Life UK charity.

The match saw a Gavin Currie Select team taking on a Neilston Juniors XI, with the ex-Brig o’ Lea stars claiming an entertaining 5-3 victory.

Lisa Walker, who was Gavin’s girlfriend, organised the event with the help of her friend Lorraine Bannister and Gavin’s pals John McDermott and Stephen Galbraith. She said the 25-year-old electrician would have been delighted by the turnout in his honour. Lisa added: “We’ve managed to raise an incredible amount of money and I just can’t believe the level of support we’ve had from people in Neilston. Gavin was well known and well liked and that came through in the number of people who came along to the match. It just shows how highly regarded he was and that’s a big comfort to everyone who loved him.”

There was a real gala atmosphere at the Brig o’ Lea, with the award-winning Neilston Pipe Band performing before the match and again at half-time.

Neilston gaffer Robert Fox managed the victorious Juniors XI and was pleased the match was such a success. He said: “I was going to play in the match but I couldn’t as I had 25 players who were desperate to pay tribute to Gavin. What happened to Gavin was absolutely tragic. He was a great guy”

Around £2,300 was raised at the gate, with a raffle coining in even more cash. A post-match auction and party at the Killoch Bar took the total to an astonishing £11,500 – with the prospect of even more cash to come in.

Lisa, 26, said: “There really was some amazing stuff up for auction. We had four tickets for a Manchester United match and an overnight stay in Manchester, signed Celtic, Rangers and Bolton strips, as well as two Celtic season tickets. A Neilston top which had been signed by everyone who played in the tribute match fetched £1,000, much to the delight of everyone in the bar. It was an incredible gesture and really helped to push up the final tally of cash raised. The Neilston community has been brilliant and the amount of cards and messages received has helped Gavin’s loved ones come to terms with his death. We also need to say a special thanks to Robert Fox and everyone at Neilston Juniors. We chose to support the intensive care unit at the RAH because they were brilliant with us while Gavin was in there. We also wanted to raise awareness of organ donation and that’s why Transplant Life UK was a nominated charity.”

Lisa has paid tribute to the Gavin Currie Select team for giving their Neilston opponents such a challenging match.

She added: “Our team did really well but Robert had a few aces up his sleeve! It was a great game and Gavin, who was a Neilston fan through and through, would have loved it. I voted for Gavin’s brother, Euan, as man-of-the-match because he played really well. He was really close to Gavin and they did everything together.

RIP Gavin