MURRAY WALLACE is looking forward to his future at Huddersfield Town – but with crisis club Rangers struggling to avoid liquidation, can’t help thinking about his Ibrox past.
Town’s 19-year-old deadline-day signing was on the books of the Glasgow giants before joining Falkirk two-and-a-half years ago.
Discarded for being too skinny, the centre-back has put some beef on his bones while the Gers have been sliding towards the abyss.
But Wallace, who has been loaned back to Falkirk for the remainder of this season but watched Town beat Hartlepool on Tuesday, bears no ill will towards his first club.
“I still keep in touch with some of the people there, and I feel for them because what has happened is shocking,” he said.
“I’m not sure if people outside Scotland realise just what an institution they are and what a big part they play in the lives of the fans.
“It’s crazy to think such a massive club with such a huge fanbase can come so close to going to the wall, and I really hope they can survive.”
Brought up in the village of Eaglesham to the South of Glasgow, Wallace was brought up in a rugby-mad family, with his uncles Murray and Fergus both playing for Scotland.
“I played mini-rugby myself as a boy, and it was only when I went to school that I started playing football,” he explained.
“I joined a local club called Busby Boys, and Rangers spotted me playing for them.
“But it’s Falkirk who have really brought me on, and I owe a lot to the club and the manager, Steven Pressley, who has been a big influence.
“I grew up supporting Hearts, where he played, so it was a big thrill when he became Falkirk’s manager.
“He was a very good centre-back, so it’s brilliant for me to have learned from him, and as well as being a good talker and motivator, he’s given me loads of advice.”
Falkirk, who made the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup – Wallace impressed in the 3-1 Hampden defeat by Celtic – are second in the First Division.
And while they trail Ross County by nine points, Wallace, who is due to make his 30th appearance at home to Partick Thistle today, is remaining positive.
“It’s tough when only one side goes up, but we have to keep going, and we still have a game against Ross County to come,” he said.
“Falkirk are a well-run club with a good stadium and loyal supporters, and it would be great if I could help them get back into the Premier League before leaving.
“Promotion for both Town and Falkirk would be a dream come true, and I’m really looking forward to moving South.
“With there being no midweek game for Falkirk, it was a great chance for me to come down, talk to the manager and chairman and the lads.
“I was also able to have a look around the area, which will help when it comes to sorting out somewhere to live.”
Simon Grayson also enjoyed meeting the player who turned down offers from Championship clubs Brighton and Ipswich to join Town.
“We have had him watched when playing for Falkirk and will continue to do that,” explained the Galpharm boss.
“Murray’s still young, so he can’t really get enough experience, and playing at the level he is doing can only be beneficial.
“I have loaned out players who have gone as boys and come back as men, and Murray will continue to develop under Steven Pressley, who is someone I know well.
“There were a lot of clubs chasing him so we’re delighted to have him on board and I am looking forward to working with him.
“It was good to meet Murray and I just told him that by the time he joins us full-time, we will hopefully be up in the Championship!”