Old Firm rivals unite to pitch for new football surface
Neil Lennon and Walter Smith back campaign to replace high school's red blaes pitch.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon and former Rangers manager Walter Smith have put their rivalries aside to support plans for a new football pitch.
They have called for investment to upgrade the current red blaes pitch at Gryffe High School in Houston, Renfrewshire.
Lennon and Smith have been joined by another Rangers legend Ally McCoist, actor James Nesbitt and Irish rugby star Brian O'Driscoll in backing the campaign.
They said: "We need to upgrade the outdoor sports facilities at Gryffe High School."
Last week, Renfrewshire Council pledged to inspect all red blaes pitches in the area, with a view to upgrading the outdated surfaces.
Houston United coach Alasdair Burns, who has led the campaign, said: "Walter and Neil were really keen to back our campaign when they saw the state of the dilapidated pitches at Gryffe High School.
"They were both really please to hear that our local campaign has led to a bigger council vote to investigate and report back on all red blaes pitches across the whole of Renfrewshire.
"Hopefully, this will be the start of a strategic approach by Renfrewshire Council to work with the various local communities to upgrade any red blaes sports facilities across the area, including the one at Gryffe High School.
"This is a really positive step forward and we applaud the councillors for widening their approach for the benefit of all of Renfrewshire.
"Our campaign efforts are still ongoing and we are gathering more support every day."
Councillor Jim Sheridan, who represents Houston, added: "The campaign must be doing something right if it can unite both sides of the Old Firm.
"We're delighted at the decision from council. Hopefully, we can get these facilities upgraded and the red blaes pitches removed.
"The more we can do for youngsters of both genders to try and get them involved in sport, then it can only be a good thing. That's the ultimate aim."
Gordon McNeil, director of environment and infrastructure at Renfrewshire Council, said the pitches would be assessed over the summer.