Peebles Rovers want Norman Whiteside as honorary president

THE chairman of Peebles Rovers says the club would like to get an ex-Manchester United legend involved as honorary president.

Colin MacDonald – who became chairman of the Peebles side at the end of last year – has set his sights on creating a club the town “can be proud of”.

In an effort to raise the profile of the club, Mr MacDonald has revealed he is looking to call on his friend, and former Manchester United footballer, Norman Whiteside to help propel Rovers forward.

“I’ve spoken to him about potentially being the honorary president for a season,” said Mr MacDonald. “He has been good to the club.

“We want to get an after-dinner night organised when it is safe to do so and Norman will be there.”

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When asked if Whiteside – who was capped by Northern Ireland 38 times – would be making the trip to Whitestone Park after COVID restrictions are loosened, Mr MacDonald said: “That is an absolute given.”

Whiteside recently followed Rovers on Twitter and has interacted with the club on the social media platform, which Mr MacDonald says has brought “some traction” and boosted the number of people following Rovers’ page.

Mr MacDonald met Whiteside – who played for Manchester United and Everton during the eighties and nineties – when the Northern Irishman attended an event at Peterhead FC.

The pair have been friends since and even attended each other’s weddings.

Border Telegraph: Norman Whiteside (right) with Peebles Rovers chairman Colin MacDonald, pre-pandemicNorman Whiteside (right) with Peebles Rovers chairman Colin MacDonald, pre-pandemic

Mr MacDonald is hoping to enlist Whiteside’s help as he attempts to raise the profile of Peebles Rovers.

A Crowdfunder to ‘make Peebles Rovers great again’ has raised close to £1,500 for improvements to the facilities, such as the installation of floodlights and new changing rooms.

The club, who compete in the East of Scotland Football League, have “underachieved over the past couple of decades”, according to Mr MacDonald, but he wants to help move Rovers forward.

“No one is to blame for that,” said Mr MacDonald, regarding the club’s underachievement.

“It is very, very difficult, particularly attracting corporate sponsors to the lower leagues.

“It is just about keeping momentum and keeping people engaged with the club.

“We want everyone speaking positively about Peebles Rovers.”

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The Scottish FA recently announced that the current suspension of football beneath the Championship would be extended further.

The temporary suspension – announced by the SFA on January 11 – was extended initially until February 14.

However, an announcement on Tuesday (February 9) confirmed that the suspension would be extended again, with no return date currently set. 

The suspension affects Gala Fairydean Rovers, Vale of Leithen, Peebles Rovers, Coldstream, Hawick Royal Albert United and Eyemouth.

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