Falkirk and East Stirlingshire will meet in a rare derby clash at the Falkirk Stadium on Wednesday 27th April to honour Shire’s long-serving player, Derek Ure in his testimonial match.
The game is a fitting tribute to a one club man who has contributed much to the local football scene.
The Bairns actually had the chance to snap up the teenage striker while he was still with ICI Juveniles but a trial with Falkirk came to nothing and he eventually joined Shire during the 2000/01 season.
His impact with the team was not long in being realised and manager Brian Ross gave him his first taste of senior football in November 2001 when he was included in the squad for a Scottish Cup match at Forres Mechanics.
He didn’t come off the bench that day but he only had to wait until the following January to make his first appearance against Queen’s Park at Hampden.
Derek’s impact was instant and just a week later he bagged his first ever Shire goal. By the time April came round the scouts were coming to Firs Park and he did not let the club down, scoring the winning goal against promotion chasing Dumbarton.
But the interest from clubs down south cooled in time and Derek opted for another year at the Shire.
That coincided with some of the worst times at the club as Shire finished bottom of the league for the next five years. Derek found himself injured and sometimes even out of favour but that never stopped him re-signing every summer.
When the fortunes of the club changed and big money signings like former Falkirk striker Andy Rodgers arrived, Derek not only survived the influx but flourished.
But by this time the teenage striker had become a midfielder and even on occasion a left-back.
Landmarks have come and gone over the ten years. The last milestone was reached in November when Derek made his 300th first team game.
Both Shire and Falkirk are hoping as many people as possible come along to the Falkirk Stadium on 27th April to pay tribute to a rare example these days of a one club footballer.
Admission to the match is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Kick-off is 7:30pm.