THE iconic Peter Womersley-designed Netherdale Stand will be officially reopened on Saturday ahead of the visit from Rangers B.

And Gala Fairydean Rovers have issued as open invitation to former players of Gala Fairydean and Gala Rovers, as well as all current players at all levels to attend.

The Lowland League club are also hoping to attract a bumper crowd for what is sure to be an entertaining game.

The 500 capacity stand which opened in 1964 was awarded a 'B' category listing by Historic Scotland in December 2006, which meant that the "character and setting" of the building must be preserved for "future generations".

It was then upgraded to 'A' category seven years later.

But the stand was forced to close during the winter of 2018 due to significant public health and safety concerns associated with spalling concrete.

A structural assessment was initially conducted in 2019 highlighting the required repairs needed to the stand.

Ross Buchan, chairman of Gala Fairydean Rovers Community Trust, led the project and will formally open the stand ahead of kick off on Saturday.

Speaking on behalf of the Gala Fairydean Rovers family – the football club and the Community Trust – he said: “About six-years ago I offered my services to Gala Fairydean Rovers because of my background in construction. And it’s been an interesting six years.

“It will be a day to celebrate when the stand is opened to the public, club and community where we can once again make full use of this very important facility.”

Ryan Cass, the club's chairman, added: “We want this to be a real occasion. It’s been a long time coming. I appreciate the hard work done by Scottish Borders Council, Live Borders and everyone connected with the redevelopment.

“But in particular, I’d like to thank Ross Buchan. All his hard work has paid off. He deserves all the plaudits and if it hadn’t been for Ross this wonderful stand would still be boarded up or even closed for good.”

Former Hibs Celtic and Scotland star John Collins will be acting as master of ceremonies on the day.

He said: “It’s a fabulous and iconic stand and for me a special place. I had some great days as a young boy sitting in that stand. It was like being at Hampden Park.

“So I’m delighted to have been invited to the reopening ahead of the match against Rangers on Saturday. It’s an absolute honour and I am really looking forward to seeing the ex-players of Gala Fairydean and Gala Rovers.”