An energetic councillor got his shooting boots on to help raise over £2,000 for a vital community charity.

North coast councillor Todd Ferguson organised the Holyrood v Westminster charity football game, after the annual event was postponed for several years due to the pandemic.

The Conservative even managed to secure Hearts’ Tynecastle Park for the occasion, with all money raised going to the club’s Big Hearts Community Foundation.

Councillor Ferguson said he was keen to get the game going after several years off so took matters into his own hands.

He said: “We used to have a Westminster v Holyrood game every year but there’s hadn’t been one for quite a while.

“There is an inter-parliament rugby tournament which takes place every summer, and I was keen to try and get the football game restarted again.

“I got in touch with the UK team and they were delighted to send up some MPs and staffers from Westminster.

“The captains were Liam McArthur MSP and Justin Madders MP, with the ref for the day none other than SFA official Douglas Ross MSP/MP.”

The Cumbrae-based councillor admitted he was shocked to be given permission to play at the Scottish Premiership stadium, but believes it made the day even better.

He explained: “I took a bit of a punt and contacted their community team, and I was delighted that they said yes.

“It was a first class venue and they’d even watered the surface for us so that it was as close to the type of pitch that the professionals played on as possible.

“I’m not sure who they thought was turning up but it looked absolutely spectacular and we were grateful for all their support.

“The excitement amongst the MSPs, MPs, and staffers was amazing as we made our way into the changing rooms, naturally with the Scottish Parliament team being in the home section.”

Councillor Ferguson believes the day was a huge success despite a heavy defeat for the Holyrood team, and has vowed revenge in the return leg down south.

He added: “Needless to say the final score was not pretty but the UK team gave us a right seeing to.

“They play once a month and this was only our third game in two years, so it wasn’t exactly a fair contest.

“However, it was all for a good cause and over £2,000 was raised for Big Hearts, the local community charity helping children and adults in need via the football club.

“Hopefully we can turn the tables on our Westminster colleagues and level up the series all in the name of good fun and charitable spirit.”