HUNDREDS of people turned out to pay their respects at a charity football match in Ardrossan held in honour of a late Saltcoats soldier.

Derek 'Fergie' Ferguson, died suddenly of a heart condition in May of last year, aged just 32.

Friends and family organised the match at Winton Park on Sunday between two 'Old Firm' teams.

Only days before Derek's death he had been in Seville watching his Rangers favourites play in the Europa League final.

On returning to Scotland he went to Hampden to watch Rangers win the Scottish Cup - and then began to complain about what felt like heartburn.

When his dad gave him something for heartburn, it did not help - and a day later, he phoned his mother to tell her he couldn't breathe.

After Derek's death it was discovered that he had a tear in his heart.

He was a much loved man who grew up in the local area, delivering papers as a youngster before becoming a milk boy, and later joining the army, serving his country for six years.

He eventually left the armed forces due to an injury he obtained after being shot while serving in Afghanistan.

Since his death, his friends and family have worked to donate to charities in his memory - and encourage younger people to get their heart checked.

Sunday's charity match was organised in his honour - partly to keep Fergie's memory alive, but also to raise money for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Derek's childhood friend Donnie Clark and his and close pal and former Army colleague David Upex worked together to put on the event.

A new social media page set up for the Derek 'Fergie' Ferguson Charity Fund posted a huge thank you after the match.

An astounding £10,001.20 was raised in total - blowing away the organising team's intiial goal.

A spokesperson for the organising team said: "We never thought we would reach anywhere near that.

"When I set up the GoFundMe page we had a target of £500. We are still in shock.

"Every penny of this goes towards the CRY charity, which saves lives every year with cardiac testing. With your help, we have saved a young person's life.

"The total comes from various places - we have a huge donation from The Cross Keys RSC, the Largs RSC, raffle sales, hidden teams, the GoFundMe, stall holders pitch fee, auctions, face painting, Linda’s sales with CRY Merchandise, 'pitchy', general donations and more. Over £2,000 was donated at the gate alone."

The match itself resulted in a 4-2 win for the 'Celtic' team, with Sean Summers scoring twice and Matthew Coleman and Mark Beveridge once, while Chris Clements and Chris Cherry scored for the 'Rangers' team.

Ryan Harvie won the man-of-the-match award.

Before the game a minute's applause was held in Fergie's honour.

The spokesperson said: "I’d like to thank everyone that helped make this event possible. 

"Thank you to all of the local business who donated bottles and gift vouchers for the day, we appreciate every single one of you Big thanks to Joe Fitzpatrick for our huge bottles for 'pitchy'.

"To the Ardrossan Whitlees Community Centre for the baking, to our match sponsors - CS Plumbing, 4-1 Safety Solutions, MK WindowRepairs & Kilbride Thistle.

"Thank you to the referee Rab Docherty and to all of the boys who took part in the game, including the people putting the teams together and coaching behind the scenes, and to Starlite Entertainment for our DJ and all of our stallholders.

"Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped out on the day - Charlene, Jan, Allana, Jennifer and her mum, Rab, Carrick, Linda, Janet, to our raffle girls Kayla, Katielee and Paisley, and Andrew Fullarton for our trophy.

"We couldn’t have done it without you all. I’m so sorry if I have missed anyone’s names out."

"Big thanks to Pat and the whole team at the Winton Park - the place was amazing and you were all so helpful. Thank you for having us and a massive well done to the Celtic team on your win.

"Everybody loves Fergie."