Last weekend, the Netherdale Next Generation Group kicked-off a fundraising event to help raise funds to develop a state of the art third-generation synthetic pitch at the Netherdale Stadium, home of Gala Fairydean Football Club.

Scotland legends and local lads, John Collins and Gregor Townsend are helping with the project and both were on hand to kick off a 24-hour football and rugby match fundraiser during a rain-soaked weekend.

The sponsored event, which included a 24-hour football match, had been organised by 'Netherdale - The Next Generation' (NTNG) - the local group set-up to lead the £950,000 project in Galashiels.

It has already raised most of the money needed to develop the ground at Gala Fairydean Football Club into a full-size Fifa Two Star all-weather pitch suitable for both football and rugby.

NTNG which originated from discussions between the local football clubs in Galashiels and SFA Regional Manager, Mark Munro, is made up of representatives from local football and rugby clubs, the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), Scottish Borders Council, Borders College and SportScotland, is hoping to raise a further £6000.

The rugby and football clubs within the town took their turn in participating in hour-long matches over the twenty four period and representatives of NTNG were delighted that all slots were fulfilled.

NTNG representative Jos Ritchie, who is also chairman of Gala Fairydean, said: "This was a one off event with the aim of developing sport at its grassroots in the Borders. We have already seen a tremendous commitment from everyone in the town with an interest in the development of rugby and football and we are keen to cement those relationships for future generations."

Mark Munro, Scottish FA Regional Manager for the South East who also participated in the football marathon at 6am, was delighted with the response from the local clubs.

“This is a community led project with a great drive and commitment by the local clubs to make this happen. It is great to see football and rugby clubs working together and it is a first for the two sports to develop such a facility in partnership. It was extremely wet out there today but everyone was playing with a smile on their face, just fantastic”