A draw’s a result for Gala Fairydean Rovers defender Ben Herdman – and you could win one of his artworks

The only drawing most footballers know much about is the kind that leads to games ending with scores level, but that’s not the case with Gala Fairydean Rovers defender Ben Herdman.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:13 pm
Gala Fairydean Rovers defender Ben Herdman (Photo: Thomas Brown)

Herdman, a wildlife artist on the side, sustained a knee injury just five minutes into the Galashiels side’s first game of this Scottish Lowland Football League season, a 3-0 home defeat by East Stirlingshire, and needs surgery before he’ll be able to play again and he’s now hoping his artistic skills will help him get back on the pitch.

With National Health Service waiting lists even longer than usual just now due to a Covid-19 backlog, team-mates of the 24-year-old and well-wishers are trying to raise £8,000 so he can get a private operation on his torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus done in a matter of months rather than years.

The right-back, a joiner by trade, is joining in that fundraising effort by raffling off some of his drawings, created with coloured pencils.

“I’ve been doing the artwork for the last couple of years,” Herdman, of Kelso, said.

“It’s more people get in touch to do their pets and stuff so it’s a lot of dogs and then a few months ago I did some different wildlife animals and got them printed.

“Doing the drawings is good because it’s something different to what I do. My normal job is a joiner and the drawing is something on the side you can just chill out and do.

“It can take around eight hours for me to do a drawing but I never do it all in one go. I just do bits here and there.

“I’ve done dogs, cats, horses. I’ve also done a couple of lorries and cars and stuff, just the things people are after.

“The prints I have, there is a lion, a giraffe, two baby elephants and zebras. The second and third prize winners can choose what ones they want.

“Everyone that I’ve done one for so far has been really happy and pleased. I’ve had good feedback.”

Those prints will be second and third prizes in his raffle, with the top prize being a personalised drawing of the winner’s choice. Herdman plans to draw the raffle tomorrow, November 5, so there’s not long to enter.

You can make a donation and get details of how to enter the raffle by visiting Herdman’s Facebook page.

Telling of the frustration of missing out on this campaign after getting injured so early into it, Herdman said: “It’s literally the season I‘ve been most ready for, which is the worst thing.

“Pre-season I was absolutely flying, probably the fittest I’ve ever been as well, and then lasted five minutes into the first game, which was brutal.

“At the moment, if I’m just walking normally then the leg is not too bad, but work is not easy. I can’t do everything I normally can. I just try and do what I can.

“I’ve been back a couple of weeks now and I’ve had to put the leg in a big brace because it’s really unstable.

“For the private operation, I have inquired with Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh. That’s where I got the rough price from.

“That’s the closest place to here so that’s where I’d be looking at but I’m going to look at other places to see different prices. I need to get a consultation, though, and then get a date.

“I just thought I’d see how the funds go first and go from there.

“It is nine months after the operation that I can look to be playing again, so the sooner I get the operation the better, so I can get back playing.

“It’s brutal not being able to play. The worst bit is going to games, watching and thinking you could be playing but it’s going to be a long time until you are.

“The team are doing really well. It’s just rubbish that I can’t be a part of it just now.”

More than £3,200 has been raised so far.