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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 January 2007, 13:55 GMT
Businessman backs football school
Work on the new academy will start in April
A football academy to help nurture Scotland's talent is to be built in Stirlingshire thanks to a 513,000 donation from a Scottish businessman.

Shoe entrepreneur Sandy Alexander has given the money to Stirling University, where the new facility will be sited.

The academy will house a teaching area, a physiotherapy suite, changing rooms and offices.

It is hoped that it will be ready for use by students and other footballers from September this year.

Mr Alexander, who founded footwear retailer Schuh, said he wanted to make the donation because he was a "sports fan with Stirlingshire roots".

'First class facilities'

He said: "I am a Grangemouth-born lad and a big sports fan, and have had the good fortune in my business career to allow me the opportunity to help in this way.

"I have been extremely impressed with the work the university has done to date in creating first class sporting facilities and believe this new academy will enhance Stirling's position as Scotland's top position for sport."

The campus is already home to the National Tennis Centre, extensive golf training facilities, cricket square and a sports hall for badminton and squash.

One of its most famous sporting graduates is golfer Richie Ramsay, who last year became the first Briton in almost a century to win the US Amateur Golf Championship.

Christine Hallett, Stirling University principal and vice-chancellor, said: "We are delighted to receive such a generous donation.

"The creation of this new facility will strengthen our reputation as the leading Scottish centre for sporting excellence."

Building work is due to start in April.

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