1. ITV Report

Stranraer FC to play Dutch team FC Twente fulfiling terminally ill fan's wish

Young FC Twente and Stranraer FC fans Photo: Stranraer FC

Dutch football club, FC Twente, will be playing against south of Scotland team, Stranraer FC, in a friendly match for fans.

The game will be taking place at Stranraer's Stair Park, where 500 Dutch fans are expected to attend.

The "friendship" between the two clubs is said to have stemmed from when 42-year-old Stranraer and Rangers fan, Jim McKie, was asked to source some Old Firm tickets for FC Twente follower, Dennis van Unen, who was terminally ill.

Jim, along with his friend, James Hilton, a Stranraer and Celtic fan, managed to acquire the tickets and treated Mr. van Unen to a "full itinerary of Scottish hospitality", escorting him around Ibrox, Parkhead and Hampden Park before watching the 1-1 derby.

The relationship between the two clubs remains extremely close, 10 years since Denis van Unen sadly passed away – so it’s incredible to finally face each other on the pitch.

The boys are really looking forward to it and even though it’s a friendly, they’re probably one of the biggest opponents we’ve come up against. We’re expecting the stadium to be packed with supporters from both sides, and businesses in the town will benefit as a result.

It’s a big year for Stranraer - the club and the town, which holds a history we’re proud to play our part in."

– Iain Dougan, Stranraer FC Chairman

It’s fantastic that the Scottish FC Twente supporters have helped to arrange this fixture.

What started with a last wish from supporter Dennis van Unen has now become a close friendship between FC Twente and Stranraer. I met Jim and James for the first time many years ago, and it was great to see their passion and enthusiasm.

Many FC Twente football days have been organised in Stranraer, and an official supporters’ association has even been established under the name "Tukker Clan Stranraer.”

As always, Stranraer will welcome fans with open arms and we are looking forward to a very special friendly match in Scotland.

– Jan van Halst, Technical Director at FC Twente

Events like this are really important for Stranraer and the local business community is really excited about it.

We’re looking forward to welcoming the Dutch fans, travelling over 500 miles to see their team play and experience some local hospitality. It will be a great afternoon for everyone and there should be an excellent turnout.”

– Romano Petrucci, Stranraer Development Trust chairman

The game is set to take place on Saturday 8 July, kicking off at 3pm.