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Scots footballer takes £450 flight to make clash after getting trapped on island

A Scots non-league footballer forked out hundreds of pounds on a flight to make a crunch clash – after getting trapped on an island in the Outer Hebrides.

David Syme, who plays for Ayrshire outfit Kilwinning Rangers, found himself marooned on wind-battered Barra on Friday – just 24 hours before his side were due to play Clydebank in a West of Scotland League Premier Division match.

With all boats to the mainland cancelled due to high gales, the former Kilmarnock defender headed for the islands’ tiny beach airport in the hope of catching a flight back home and making it to the game in time.

And he was so desperate to do so, he paid £450 out his own pocket once the one-hour flight was green-lit by airport chiefs.

Syme, who went on to claim an assist as Kilwinning clinched a 1-0 victory, said: “I was in Barra working on my dad’s new house up there.

“The boats got cancelled so I said, ‘listen it’s either I get to the game at half time or I get this flight’.

“I got to the airport and there was obviously gale force, hurricane winds.

Barra Airport is a short-runway airport situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhòr at the northern tip of the island

“I was sitting there thinking, ‘I need on a plane’.

“I looked at the wind and I thought, ‘oh no, here we go, what I’m doing for a game of fitba’ for Kilwinning Rangers!”

“There was about four people on this wee plane and it takes off from the sand!

“It was a wee bit rough to begin with but once we got up it was fine.

“I got to the game and that’s the main thing. It was vital for us to get three points today after a wee ropey spell.

“I know a lot of boys maybe wouldn’t have done that but I just love playing football.”

Kilwinning boss Chris Strain praised Syme’s commitment to the cause but revealed he wasn’t the only one to go above and beyond the call of duty to play.

We revealed yesterday how forward Calvin Kemp climbed off the bench to bag the winner -just three days after his mum’s funeral.

But Strain added: “I can’t speak highly enough of the boys. Chris McGowan’s not fully fit, David Ramsay has only played the last two weeks and Davie Anderson’s came out his sick bed. The commitment has been fantastic.

“It does brilliant things for your morale and character as a group.”

Kilwinning currently sit fourth in the table, eight points behind league leaders Auchinleck Talbot who drew 3-3 at Pollok.

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