Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Ex-Rangers and Celtic stars to play in Jak Trueman game

Neil Alexander and Jak Trueman Image copyright Family of Jak Trueman
Image caption Neil Alexander, the Hearts goalkeeper who used to play for Rangers, was a constant supporter of Jak

Former stars of Rangers and Celtic are getting ready to play in a charity match for "inspirational" teenager Jak Trueman.

Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander, a former player at Rangers, is helping to organise the game in Livingston on Sunday.

Nacho Novo, Marvin Andrews, Frank McAvennie and Mark Burchill will play.

Rangers fan Jak, 15, who suffered from a rare form of blood cancer, died on Monday.

Image copyright Family of Jak Trumeman
Image caption Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson joined Jak, his girlfriend Hannah Boyd and Jak's family at the prom

He passed away a few days after attending a prom with his girlfriend Hannah Boyd that was organised for them by classmates.

The Mid Calder teenager, with the help of his mother Allison, sister Aimie and his girlfriend, documented his illness and treatment on a Facebook page called Jak's Journey.

The page has attracted nearly 40,000 Likes as people from around West Lothian and beyond were captivated by the teenager's fight against gamma delta T-cell lymphoma.

Mr Alexander, who featured in some posts on the website, said: "What a brave and courageous boy, for someone who was faced with such an uncertain future.

"It was inspiring for me to see this boy of 15, his attitude and determination to try and beat this illness. What a lovely boy, and a lovely family. I am honoured to have known him. Hopefully he will be looking down with a smile on his face."

The Hearts goalkeeper visited Jak several times since he found out about his illness last August.

The game - for the Jak Trueman Challenge Cup - will take place at 14:00 on Sunday, 8 February at the Energy Assets Arena, home of Livingston FC.

The match will be between teachers from Jak's school - West Calder High - and the U-16s Mid Calder Colts, the team Jak played in goal for.

The money raised at the match will go to CLIC Sargent, the Edinburgh Sick Kids Foundation and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

All three charities were close to Jak and his family throughout his fight against cancer.

In the past two weeks, Jak's supporters have raised over £54,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research alone.

His family have announced a celebration of Jak's life will take place on Tuesday, 10 February, at the Kirk of Calder church in Mid Calder. At Jak's request, those in attendance are urged to wear Rangers scarves.

Image copyright Family of Jak Trueman
Image caption Jak was a keen footballer and was visited in hospital by players from Rangers, Celtic, Hibs and Hearts

The family have also outlined plans for a Team Jak charity, with Mr Alexander serving as its patron.

One of the charity's key projects will be "Jak's Den", fulfilling one of the teenager's dying wishes.

The purpose-built facility for cancer sufferers will have counselling rooms, a café and an outdoor area with football goals.

Tickets for Sunday's charity match can be purchased at the gate of the stadium.

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