Big night for Dwayne as Rangers XI come to Ballymena

Presseye Northern Ireland - 15th September 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye''Balllymena's Dwayne Nelson with Dungannon's Terry Fitzpatrick during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 15th September 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye''Balllymena's Dwayne Nelson with Dungannon's Terry Fitzpatrick during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds.

Dwayne Nelson says his testimonial match against a Rangers XI tonight (Tuesday) will be one of the proudest moments of his career.

The Ballymena United goalkeeper’s long service will be rewarded as the Ibrox side visit the Showgrounds (7.45pm).

“I’m really pleased that Rangers are coming and I think it will be a great occasion,” Nelson told Times Sport.

“There has been a lot of interest since the game was announced - I’ve had a lot of people approach me and there’s quite a few going from up around my part of the country.

“I’ve enjoyed my two spells at Ballymena - I’ve always been well looked after.

“I remember making my debut as a 17-year-old after Tommy Wright had a knee injury - we beat Larne 2-1.

“I’m grateful for the fact that I’ve been able to play in the Irish League for the length of time and I’m very grateful to Davy Douglas and the other members of my testimonial committee, as well as everyone who has supported the different events.

“I also want to thank McBurney Transport and Francey Coach Hire for their assistance with travel arrangements.

“I’m really looking forward to the match - the Rangers squad has quite a few players who have played in their first team.

“I’m good friends with Dean Shiels and I was over at Rangers training with the goalkeepers last season so I saw just what a massive club it is and I’m expecting to be kept busy on Tuesday night!” laughed Dwayne.

The Rangers team will be managed by Ibrox ‘nine-in-a-row’ legend Ian Durrant, assisted by former Northern Ireland international striker Andy Kirk, and includes several young stars who have already made competitive debuts for the first team and also highly rated prospects like Ryan Sinnamon, goalkeeper Robby McCrorie, centre forward Calum Gallagher; Canadian defender Luca Gasparotto and new signings Tom Lang and Jordan Gibson.

Match Sponsor will be Tobermore Concrete, while the match ball will be sponsored by Ballymena Legends Loyal and Clough Loyal Glasgow Rangers Supporters’ Clubs.

Match worn Ballymena United testimonial jerseys can be purchased at a nominal fee of £30 by contacting Ronnie McDowell on 07712867019.

Due to the high volume of demand for tickets, the match is now “pay at the gate”. Admission is £10 (£5 concessions).