JOHNSTONE Burgh manager Jamie McKim has paid tribute to club captain Niall Herron after he was forced to retire from football due to injury.

Herron, 22, had endured a long spell on the sidelines as a result of an anterior cruciate ligament injury he picked up against Carluke Rovers in 2020.

And there has been widespread sympathy for the popular Burgh skipper after the club announced on Monday night that his playing days are over.

McKim said: “I’m gutted for Niall that he has to stop playing so young. I know how much playing for and captaining this club meant to him.

“He deserves huge credit for the impact he has made since he joined us just under four years ago, always leading by example on and off the pitch.

“I’m hoping we will see Niall return to the club in some capacity in the future but, for now, we wish him every success in whatever he chooses to do.”

Meanwhile, McKim is hoping his team will be able to emerge from cold storage on Saturday after the wintry weather put paid to their hopes of a return to action last weekend.

Burgh had been due to face Irvine Victoria but the match was postponed as heavy snowfall on Thursday night and Friday morning left the Keanie Park pitch unplayable.

It was a disappointing start to the new year for McKim, who was eager to get his team’s West of Scotland Football League campaign underway again after a three-week festive break.

Burgh are scheduled to face Girvan at Hamilton Park this Saturday, with kick-off at 1.30pm.

McKim said: “All the way through Christmas, the weather was good and then, the day before we are due back, Keanie Park was covered in snow. It’s typical.

“With the form we were in before Christmas, we wanted to get back to it and carry it on as soon as we could.

“We worked hard over Christmas and New Year, with training and a couple of friendlies, so we were quite active and it was disappointing there was no game on Saturday.

“We’re really hoping this Saturday’s game goes ahead – and it should do. I went to watch Girvan at the weekend and their pitch was in good nick and the weather is to be decent there, so hopefully we can get back to it and get another run of games going.”