Ellon Walking Footballers have made a donation to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal ahead of Scotland’s World Cup play-off at Hampden.
Steve Clarke’s side take on Ukraine in a World Cup play-off semi-final on Wednesday evening with the winner facing Wales for a place at the main event in Qatar later this year.
The Ellon Walking Football group donated £340 to the Ukraine appeal, which was accepted by local businesswoman Maryana Eddie, who is from Ukraine.
Colin Grant, the organiser of the Ellon group, played for Hibernian during the 1960s and went on to manage Peterhead.
He said: “It seemed appropriate that we think beyond the context of the game, and show our support for the citizens of Ukraine who are suffering such brutal hostilities.
“It is the least we can do.
“We are all thinking of them and only too pleased to make a contribution which might go some way to alleviating the misery they are enduring.”
Mrs Eddie has been operating out of Ellon for the last 17 years and is married to a Scotsman. She is soon to be joined by her widowed mother who lives in West Ukraine.
She said: “These are difficult times for my fellow countrymen, but I am so relieved my mother is coming to Scotland to live.
“The donation is a lovely gesture, and although the money is important, the kindness and thoughts behind the gift are most appreciated.
“I have already received £46,000 in donations from all over Scotland. It makes me very proud to be part of the community here in Aberdeenshire.”
The presentation was made outside the Meadows Sports Trust on the outskirts of Ellon prior to the group’s weekly kickabout, although much of the morning was spent discussing the Scotland game.
Mrs Eddie was ambivalent about the outcome of the match at Hampden but said: “I have so many good times and memories of living here in Ellon that I won’t worry either way but my husband who is a Rangers supporter will be supporting Scotland.”
Mr Grant said: “It’s a pity there has to be a loser. More importantly I hope the conflict will soon come to an end.”