ryan hardie 3MANCHESTER United have Marcus Rashford. AS Roma have Francesco Totti. But for whatever reason, hometown heroes are few and far between for Stranraer - with some obvious exceptions, which we'll touch upon next week.

That said, the area has produced a string of top-class talent over the years, players who have no doubt drawn envious looks from Blues supporters who long for a star to call their own.

In this week's Five for Friday, we meet five players from Stranraer who never played for Stranraer FC.
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Colin Calderwood

The only man on this list never to have played in the Scottish leagues, Stranraer-born Colin Calderwood was a decorated international centre half.

Growing up in the town, Colin didn't have access to much Scottish football.

He said in 2011: "You couldn't always see football on the telly, because of Stranraer's proximity or lack of it to the transmission masts.

"Our picture was always snowy and the signal came from Northern Ireland so we saw more English matches than Scottish ones."

His inspiration, however, came from closer to home.
derek frye
"I wanted to become a player, of course, and Stranraer's Derek Frye (pictured) was my idol for his keepy uppy routine in the warmup using just his muckle thighs."

Calderwood started his career at the tender age of 16 with Mansfield Town in the English bottom flight. He went on to make 100 appearances for the club, attracting the attention of Swindon Town manager Lou Macari, who swooped for him in 1985 for a tribunal fee of £27,500.

Handed the captain's armband, he led the Robins to back-to-back promotions, and eventually won them a place in the top flight with a playoff final victory over Sunderland at the old Wembley Stadium in 1990.

An irregular payments scandal saw the Town demoted to the Second Division, but they would finally reach the Premiership in 1993 thanks to a 4-3 playoff win over Leicester.

By now a bona fide Swindon legend, Calderwood switched to Tottenham on expiry of his contract, with a tribunal fee set at £1.25 million.

Calderwood represented Scotland at Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup, and helped Spurs to League Cup success in 1999.
macari calderwood
The defender brought the curtain down on his career with spells at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and finally Notts County, where he finally succumbed to a leg injury.

A career in coaching beckoned, and at Northampton Town he led the Cobblers to the playoffs twice but narrowly missed out on promotion. It would be third time lucky though, as automatic promotion followed in 2005/06, and Nottingham Forest came calling.

At Forest he would repeat his earlier feat, missing out via the playoffs in his first season, but winning promotion to the Championship the following year.

Forest struggled in the Championship, and his sacking led Calderwood to Newcastle United, where he became first team coach, then assistant manager.

A rollercoaster 2010/11 season as manager at Hibernian saw the Edinburgh side win just two of his first fourteen matches, but end the season in 10th after a fightback in 2011.

Colin would eventually depart the club in November that year and has since carved out a career as an assistant manager in England, with spells at Birmingham, Norwich, Brighton and now Aston Villa.

Lou Macari met his old captain in the town last year, and the former Swindon boss and Manchester United legend took the opportunity to tweet his support for Stranraer FC at the same time.
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Kevin Kyle

With almost a century of English Premiership appearances and 10 full international caps to his name, it may be difficult to conceive that Kevin Kyle could end up at Newton Stewart in the South of Scotland League.

Kyle was born and grew up in Stranraer, and after playing for his school team and local amateur sides, he was selected to play for the region, along with Allan Jenkins.

Joining Ayr United as a youth, the 6 foot 3 forward was spotted by then-Championship side Sunderland who signed him in 1998. Kyle was a prolific scorer for the Mackems' reserve side, and gained first team experience with loan spells at Huddersfield, Darlington and Rochdale.

Upon his return to the Stadium of Light, Kyle broke into the first team in 2003/04, and his goals helped Sunderland to the playoffs. A hip injury sidelined him the following season, but he made his return in February 2006 and scored his only Premier League goal one month later away to Manchester City.

Sunderland would slump to relegation, with Kyle making a £600,000 move to Coventry City, where current Blues goalkeeper Cameron Belford was cutting his teeth. It wouldn't be a happy time for the striker however, as the Sky Blues slipped down the table, and poor form led their fans to turn on Kyle.
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He chose to trade a relegation battle for a promotion push, joining fellow Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan, but failed to reach the playoffs this time.

Kyle returned to Coventry, but opted for another loan move soon after, this time to Hartlepool United. From there it was back up to Scotland at the start of 2009, as Kyle enjoyed a spell at Kilmarnock, later describing it as "the happiest I've been". The hitman scored crucial goals against Falkirk, St Mirren and Inverness Caledonian Thistle after the SPL split, helping Killie stay in the top division.

A rejuvenated Kyle was duly made club captain for the following campaign, and rewarded with his first Scotland call up in five years. His stay at Rugby Park would end in fireworks however, as a high-profile feud with club chairman Michael Johnston led to the departure of manager Jim Jefferies, who went on to sign Kevin at Hearts that summer.
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The highlight of Kyle's stay at Tynecastle was arguably his late winner against Edinburgh rivals Hibs on New Year's Day 2011, but the remainder of that season and the following campaign were blighted by another hip injury.

After a further operation on his hip, Rangers took a chance on Kyle for their season in the Third Division, but despite scoring 3 goals in 15 appearances, further injury setbacks led to his release in summer 2013.

The striker's career came full circle with a return to boyhood club Ayr United. Craig Malcolm had to accept a midfield role as Kyle partnered Moffat up front, with the big marksman netting 5 goals in his final season in senior football.

His last appearance was as a trialist for South of Scotland side Newton Stewart against Crichton, and he marked it in fine style with a hat trick, before bowing out of the game altogether.
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Jamie Adams

He's a Championship regular now, but at one point, Jamie Adams' career looked to be in ruins.

Sidelined by a knee injury which kept him out of the game for 3 years, it is to the midfielder's credit that he's bounced back to where he is today.

Born in Stranraer, Adams signed on at Kilmarnock in summer 2004, and flourished in the youth system at Rugby Park.

Jamie was loaned to Queen of the South in 2007 as part of the deal to bring future Blues ace WIllie Gibson to Kilmarnock.

He would go on to make a further two loan spells at Queens, but was forced to endure lengthy rehab treatment for his injuries.

After returning to fitness, Adams again went out on loan, this time to Partick Thistle in 2009, playing alongside future Blues Mark Corcoran and Paul Cairney.
jamie adams
Finally returning to his parent club in January 2010, Jamie would appear against St Mirren on 20 February 2010, only to be farmed out to Queen of the South for a fourth time just two months later.

With his contract up in May 2010, Adams chose to sign for St Johnstone on a two year deal, but again injuries returned to haunt him, and he dropped out of the game altogether for 3 years.

Resurfacing at local South of Scotland League side Wigtown & Bladnoch, Jamie proved he still had something to offer, and after impressing on trial at Ayr United, Ian McCall signed the midfielder to a six month contract.

Adams was a rock for the Honest Men, and helped them return to the Championship with a playoff win over his hometown club in May 2016.

This season, he's again been a first team regular, and finally looks to have put his injury woes behind him once and for all.
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Rory Loy

His birth certificate may say Dumfries, but this author remembers Rory Loy as a star in the little-known Sandhead Primary School 'A' team back in the late 90s - a side whose only tactic was "get the ball to Rory".

The promising striker first broke onto the national radar in a similar way to Adams - as a precocious talent in Kilmarnock's youth system.

He wouldn't be at Rugby Park long, however - the young Loy's skills brought him to the attention of Rangers, who paid £20,000 to lure him away from Ayrshire as an 18 year old in summer 2006.

Loy developed well at Murray Park, and made his first team debut from the bench on 1 November 2008 against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, following this up with his first Scotland U21 cap against Northern Ireland.
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A pair of loan spells followed, with St Mirren and Dunfermline both benefitting from the youngster's burgeoning talents.

Loy scored his first and only goal for Scotland U21s away to Azerbaijan on 14 November 2009, assisted by Leigh Griffiths. However, the striker still found himself behind the likes of Nikica Jelavic, Steven Naismith, James Beattie, David Healy and Kyle Lafferty in the pecking order at Rangers, and opted instead for a permanent move south to Carlisle in 2011.

His time at Brunton Park saw him score 8 goals in 58 appearances, before moving back north to Falkirk in 2013.

The frontman seemed to find his shooting boots for the Bairns, netting a goal for every two games in his first season, and was named in the 2014/15 Championship Team of the Year in his second term at the Falkirk Stadium.
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His last appearance for the club came in the Scottish Cup Final, losing out 2-1 to Inverness.

Two successful campaigns had earned him a move to Premiership side Dundee, where he scored a double on his debut and linked up well with talented frontman Greg Stewart throughout 2015/16.

However, with Marcus Haber and Faissal El-Bakhtaoui coming on board the following season, Loy found first team opportunities limited, and chose to go out on loan once more.

With a number of Championship clubs chasing his signature, former club St Mirren were the chosen suitors, and Loy has since scored 4 goals in 10 appearance to give the Buddies a chance of safety.

Now 29, and with St Mirren bottom of the Championship at the time of writing, he's as close as he's ever been to Stranraer in terms of league position, and optimists in Wigtownshire could be forgiven for dreaming of a Rory Loy homecoming.
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Ryan Hardie

Born and raised in Stranraer, Ryan Hardie rose to prominence with a string of strong performances for the Rangers youth teams.

The 6 foot 2 striker was rewarded with his first team bow on 23 September 2014, but made his first start on 18 April 2015 against Dumbarton under Stuart McCall.

On that day, he repaid the faith shown in him by the interim manager by hitting a double - the second of which was a spectacular overhead kick - to give the Gers a 3-1 win.

Hardie went on to be capped for Scotland at U16, U17, U19 and finally U21 level, where he continues to shine.

Much like Rory Loy, he has spent the past few seasons jumping between clubs on loan - first to Raith Rovers, where he scored 6 goals in 12 appearances - then to St Mirren, finding the net on 3 occasions.

Ryan made his Rovers return in January, netting 6 goals in his 14 appearances so far.

Although a boyhood Rangers fan, Hardie has a soft spot for the Blues, and tweeted his support to the club during the playoffs in 2016:

hardie tweet

In next week's Five for Friday, we'll meet five local lads who did turn out for Stranraer, and find out where they are now.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 6 14
2 Raith Rovers 6 12
3 Airdrieonians 6 9
4 Brechin City 6 8
5 Stranraer 6 8
6 Dumbarton 6 7
7 East Fife 6 7
8 Forfar Athletic 6
9 Stenhousemuir 6 6
10 Montrose 6 6


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andrew McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)