THE sun shone on East Kilbride Football Club as they cheated the weather and made their third annual gala day a scorching success.
Yet throughout the 24 hours before one of the biggest dates in the club’s calendar hard-working chairman Mike Peden and his gang of volunteers feared the whole event would be washed out.
The rugby pitches at the Sports Club were sodden, the cricket pitch where the stalls should have been sited had a miniature lake on it after Saturday’s torrential rain.
EKFC’s gutted committee were on the brink of cancelling but thanks to everyone pulling together the packed programme of football, fun, food and fundraising went ahead.
With the stalls moved to K Park and the sun splitting the trees, EKFC’s newest recruits, EK West Ham Under-19s, enjoyed their debut at their new home against a select side from the 16s and the 21s.
Despite going down 4-3 in an excellent match Hammers coach Ronnie McShane summed up the day when he said: “This is just a great day to be a part of, we’re looking forward to being a part of EKFC.
“It’s only when you’re here on an occasion like this that you realise the scale of EKFC and how hard people are working to make their dream happen here.”
The football careered on all day with the hard-working groundstaff at the Sports Club ensuring one of the rugby pitches was ready for action for some superb inter-club games.
Meanwhile, the stalls and the attractions were choc-a-bloc with the club’s new gold and navy wristbands a huge favourite with players and parents alike.
The footballing highlight was the clash between the EKFC All-Stars and Scotland’s Homeless World Cup holders.
EKFC, who gave current under-16 keepers Jacob Kean and Scott Burns a half each in goal, fielded 10 ex-pros in a star-studded line-up against Ally Dawson’s younger and fitter side.
Former Scotland internationals Billy Dodds, Charlie Miller, Robbie Winters, Andy McLaren and Gary McSwegan were joined by the likes of ex-St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson and local hero Ally Graham in a strong side.
It was former Motherwell striker Ally who headed the sole EKFC goal but the All Stars were 2-1 down at the break.
When the Homeless heroes scored another and Winters saw a penalty saved, the writing was on the wall as fitness began to tell in the heat and the EKFC side threw their subs on.
Dawson’s side ran out 6-1 winners but all the pros showed flashes of brilliance and EKFC chairman Mike Peden said: “It was a wonderful day and everyone worked so hard to make it happen.
“We’re always thankful when the stars turn out for us and the Homeless World Cup side go to Mexico later this year to defend their trophy with the best wishes of everyone at East Kilbride Football Club.
“They are an inspiring team but it was that sort of day in the end. Despite all the worries beforehand everyone had a blast and we can head into our close season on a high.”