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Mission: Andrews' faith and footballing ability has taken him to both Raith and Rangers.

Faith will keep Marvin Andrews away from Easter Road on Sunday. The 4.05pm kick-off is simply too close to the evening session at the Zion Praise Centre.

At least the clash of times will save this lay preacher from the wicked dilemma of picking an end to sit in, a scarf to wear.

The club where he started his career in Scotland against the club where he achieved his greatest success. And it just happens to be taking place at a stadium which holds some of his most treasured memories.

A cult hero with both Raith Rovers and Rangers, Andrews views the Ramsdens Cup final as a win-win situation. No matter the outcome, he will celebrate the victors before the prayers of his higher calling.

'I'll need to watch it on television because I have church at night at 7pm,' he told Sportsmail.

'Rangers will be favourites but favourites do not always win the trophy.

'I would love it if both could win. That would be perfect – but impossible. These two clubs have been a great part of my life and my career. Their fans treated me so well, so they will always be special to me.'

Their meeting this weekend also provides a perfect opportunity for reflection. Now 38 and still playing in League One with Forfar, Andrews has amassed a career that is all but unique. Medical science stands among the opponents his huge frame has swatted aside.

Always colourful, occasionally controversial, he has been one of the game's most fascinating characters ever since he first set foot in Scotland some 17 years ago.

He's still here. Still living in the town that gave him a chance to be a professional player. Still trying to come to terms with the cold. Still thankful for all that has come his way.

The question of what his life would have been like had he not taken up the opportunity to make this country his second home is met with a thoughtful pause.

'I think I would be living in regret,' said Andrews. 'The amount of places I have been, the amount of lives I have touched and been a blessing to… I think I would be living a life of regret in Trinidad and Tobago at this time.

'I might not even be alive today. Because I wouldn't be fulfilling what God has put me on Earth to do.'

Perhaps fittingly for man of such devout Christian belief, his rich Scottish story began with an act of generosity. Andrews was playing for a works team at the Carib brewery in his homeland when he was spotted by the general manager of the plant. Tim Nafziger also happened to be a keen supporter of football and a man with access to contacts.

'One day he pulled me into his office and said: "Marv, I don't want you working here anymore. I want you to go and show the world your talent." He said he was going to buy me a ticket and send me on trial to the UK.

'I was only 21 and didn't have that kind of money. At that time, you were talking 7,000 or 8,000 Trinidad Dollars – about 800 quid.

'My job in the plant was to put boxes on to a machine that would take the bottles to be washed. I used to clean the offices and the toilets as well.

'But Tim wanted to give me that ticket and sow something in my life. He passed away four or five years ago and I will never forget what he did.'

Thanks in part to former Scotland striker Steve Archibald, a two-week trial with Motherwell was initially secured. For Andrews, the culture shock was profound.

'I was like: "Where?!" I didn't have a clue where Scotland was,' he admitted. 'I knew England because they used to show English football back home, but I wasn't much good at geography at school.

'I did a bit of research and everyone told me the same thing: "Marv, that is one cold country."

'I tried to gather all the trackies I had in Trinidad and Tobago to help, but that was nothing against what I felt when I stepped off the plane at Glasgow Airport for the first time.

'There wasn't a walkway into the terminal. It was steps down to the tarmac. I was like: "What is this?" It was September 1997. It wasn't even properly cold yet.

'After Motherwell, I ended up at Raith Rovers where Jimmy Nicholl signed me. The guys there were very welcoming, just great.

'I came here as a black person in a white country but I was made to feel at home. That was one part of the battle finished straight away.

'I had never left my country before so I was maybe homesick for about a year. But I stayed in a B&B with a lovely family. Linda and Harry were like my step-mum and dad.

'I'm still in touch with them. They used to be right across the road from Raith Rovers' stadium but have another place now. Sixteen years later, I'm still here in Kirkcaldy.'

He was not the first player from Trinidad and Tobago to play for Raith. Winger Tony Rougier had arrived in 1995 and proved central to Andrews developing the profound faith that would become his hallmark.

'When I first came to Scotland, I believed in God,' he said. 'I prayed first thing in the morning and last thing at night, like my grandmother taught me. But I wasn't a big church-goer.

'It was Tony Rougier who took me to the Zion Praise Centre, where Pastor Joe Nwokoye is the minister. He taught me a lot about what I could achieve in my life and career if I put my faith in God.

'When I first came to Raith Rovers, I suffered inflammation in my pelvis. The doctors said I wouldn't be able to play again unless I had surgery that would scrape away the inflammation and put a metal plate inside me. I wasn't going to do that.

'Tony took me to the church and we prayed with Pastor Joe. God healed me from the pelvic injury. After that, I had a fantastic season in 1998/99 and my career changed.'

The situation would famously repeat itself when, after a League Cup-winning spell at Livingston, Andrews joined Rangers. In March 2005, he suffered cruciate ligament damage but astonished medical staff by refusing surgery and insisting he would continue to train and play. Two months later, he was part of the Alex McLeish-managed side who snatched the league title on Helicopter Sunday.

Andrews' 'Keep believing' mantra was fuel for the Rangers players as they travelled to Easter Road knowing an unlikely Celtic slip-up was required for them to become champions. Enter Scott McDonald at Fir Park.

The closing stages in Leith were surreal. With Hibs merely needing to avoid heavy defeat to secure European qualification, the 1-0 lead given to Rangers by Nacho Novo was only in doubt in Andrews' mind.

'When the second huge roar from the Rangers fans went up, we thought the Celtic game was over,' he recounted, beginning to laugh. 'But, no, it was Motherwell scoring again.

'It was like a training match in our game. We were just passing the ball. I'm out there praying and thanking God. 'Then the ball gets passed to me. I just shelled it as far as possible up the other end of the park.

'I thought: "If I take a touch here, make a mistake and Hibs score then I could be a dead man."

'To be there, at that moment, is something that still gives me goosebumps when I think about it. I don't think Scottish football will ever see something like that again.'

Nor are the scenes that accompanied Andrews' exit from Easter Road ever likely to be repeated.

'My church had a three-day meeting on that weekend,' he said. 'I told the guys I would come to Ibrox for the celebrations when church finished.

'My minister came to Easter Road to pick me up and take me to the 7pm service. I think one person spotted me in the car and that was it.

'Fans were lying in front of the car, saying: "Marv, we believe. Run over us!" My minister had to stop. I was out through the sun-roof trying to get people to move.

'My minister actually had to sell his car afterwards because it was shaken so much. I thought people were going to lift up the whole car and carry us off. It was unbelievable. Someone took a photo of me coming out of the sunroof and I still have it. Amazing.'

A return to Raith was followed by a more meandering career path, of which Forfar is the latest stop. He is not done just yet. Andrews hopes to play until he is 40, a desire reinforced when Jorg Albertz relayed the anguish of retirement when both played for Rangers in a recent Hong Kong Sevens tournament.

When the time finally comes, it seems unlikely to signal an exit from Scotland. His involvement at the Zion Praise Centre provides the work he values most.

'If it is the will of God for me to stay in Scotland, I will stay here,' insisted Andrews. 'I believe that, beyond the football, God has brought me here to do greater things.

'Football is just the vehicle that has brought me to this country. The Bible tells us, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, house the homeless. There are a lot of people who are struggling in different ways and my Christianity is about helping people less fortunate than me – physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally.

'If people need something to eat then we will help them as best we can. Some people come and try and scheme us. Some of them are hooked on drugs and stuff like that. Recently, we helped a guy and a few weeks later he broke into our church and stole money. But things like that won't stop us from helping people.

'I'm still here to this day to see through the purpose that God has for me in Scotland. And, anyway, I feel half-Scottish now.'