Caley Thistle’s Scottish Cup final heroes are to subsidise the trip to Hampden for a number of their young fans by donating part of their bonuses for overpowering Celtic in last month’s semi-final.
They have guaranteed the first £2,000 of a target sum of £10,000 for the cause.
The rest must come from elsewhere.
The initiative has been hailed as a wonderful gesture by a fan and local politician who reckons the club’s first Scottish Cup final will attract a record Inverness crowd.
May 30 will be the biggest day in the history of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The players hope, by encouraging others to top up the youth fund, till make it “the family cup final.”
The idea is to get 2,000 kids to the game for free provided they are accompanied by a paying adult.
Those tickets will be obtainable from the ticket office only.
Club captain Richie Foran said: “The lads are happy to put up the cash if it allows youngsters in the Highlands to attend the biggest game in the club’s history.
“Excitement is already building around the area ahead of the game and we hope to take as many people with us as possible to support the boys at Hampden”.
Highland Council convener and Caley Jags’ fan Jimmy Gray, who was at Hampden for the semi-final, said: “It will be brilliant to get kids there for free. We need to think with a bit of innovation in order to get as many young people and pensioners there as possible, so this is a great initiative.
“It would be no problem for us to get between 10,000 and 15,000 tickets. I think, seriously, we could be in that range.
“This game has really been capturing the imagination. There are people from all walks of life, including church groups, who are really up for it.
“There is a much bigger interest in the final than there was for the semi-final, with many who’ve never been to a game before, so I’m confident we’ll get a record attendance for a cup game involving an Inverness side.
“I’d love to think we could take 15,000.”
He recalled a 6,000 or 7,000-strong Inverness crowd attending a cup game against St Johnstone.
To put that into perspective, the Caledonian Stadium capacity is 7,800 and its record attendance was 7,753 against Rangers in January, 2008.
Cup final tickets will go on sale on Monday (MAY 4) at 10am to existing season ticket holders, shareholders and those who attended the semi-final.
Tickets go on general sale from 10am on Thursday.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the challenge should contact Iain Auld by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01463 222 880.