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FOOTBALL-daft youngsters from across Ross-shire relished the chance of sharing a pitch with an ex-Rangers legend in Tain last week.

Marvin Andrews was guest of honour at a five-a-side "Roots" tournament hosted by Tain Free Church, at which eleven teams from as far afield as Lochcarron and Nairn took part.

Andrews, well-known for his Christian beliefs, had left Fife at 6am to make the trip to the all-weather pitches at Tain Royal Academy on Saturday morning.

Davy Maclellan from Tain, who helped organise the event, paid tribute to the kindness and patience shown by Andrews, who later shared his faith following a lunch and, based on his own experience, discussed with children present issues including peer pressure.

The burly 6ft 2in defender has more than 100 caps for Trinidad and Tobago and hit the headlines during his first season with Rangers when he insisted God would heal the leg injury that threatened to sideline him. His "Keep Believing" catchphrase was adopted by the Ibrox faithful. Any goals or Man of the Match awards were typically heralded with a blast of The Monkees' hit, "I'm a Believer".

Mr Maclellan said weather conditions on Saturday were perfect for a game of football. Every match was hard- fought with Kinmylies clinching the trophy after a penalty shoot-out.

He added, " "It was a real pleasure to have Marvin with us.

"From the moment he arrived he was patient and kind to everyone, and was still signing autographs at three in the afternoon. Jesus says 'I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full'. Marvin, like many others know this to be true."

Roots is a Christian event for young people. It is held at Inshes Church of Scotland on the last Friday of the month.