But Rory has another more pressing match to focus on – thanks to the generosity of Gala Fairydean Rovers FC.

For the 10-year-old from Ancrum has been selected to be the team mascot for Saturday night’s Lowland League encounter against the University of Stirling at Netherdale.

Along with brother Harry 14, and mum and dad Lisa and Gordon, Rory will be given the VIP treatment after the club’s committee heard his inspiring story.

Rory Brown has Tourette Syndrome, the neuropsychiatric disorder which causes vocal and physical tics.

Shortly after being diagnosed last July, football-mad Rory, a pupil at Parkside Primary in Jedburgh, heard that Everton goalkeeper and USA international Tim Howard also has the condition.

“From the moment he was diagnosed, Rory has been looking to likewise afflicted people to help him to cope and he has idolised Tim since finding out they both had Tourette’s,” said mum Lisa.

“He received a copy of Tim’s autobiography for Christmas and it’s been a great source of comfort to Rory that someone else with the condition has achieved so much.” In January, Lisa discovered that a family friend was also a friend of Howard and, as a special surprise, she had arranged to have a parcel sent from his idol.

Inside the parcel was an Everton shirt, a football and goalie gloves, all signed with the message: “Rory – Dream Big – Tim Howard”.

“You can imagine how thrilled Rory was and it’s given him a great boost,” said Lisa News of Rory and his never-say-die attitude reached the executive committee of Gala Fairydean Rovers.

“It’s my pleasure to offer you the chance to be our matchday mascot,” wrote club secretary Graeme McIver in a letter to Rory this week.

The match, which kicks off at 7pm, is expected to attract the biggest crowd of the season with, as reported on the back page, 250 football fans from around the UK attending as part of an organised “groundhop” of all Lowland League grounds.

Rory, who regularly watches Hearts’ home games with dad Gordon, will be introduced to manager Stephen Noble and his players before leading the teams out of the tunnel and onto the pitch.

He will assist the referee with the coin toss and have his photograph taken with both captains in the centre circle.

When his official mascot duties are concluded, Rory and family will watch the match from the stand and enjoy complimentary food and drinks. He will later be presented with a club T-shirt and a signed matchball and programme as a souvenir of his day.

“This is a wonderful gesture; it really is the icing on the cake,” said Lisa of the invitation. “I suspect he’ll be dragging his dad along to Netherdale in future.” Once considered a rare condition, it is now thought that Tourette’s affects one in every one hundred people.

“Rory has received fantastic report, especially from Harry and his grandparents and friends and from Dr Donna Paxton who he sees fortnightly at the Andrew Lang Centre in Selkirk,” explained Lisa.

“Although it can be challenging for him and the family, we don’t treat Rory any differently because of his condition.

“He loves football and plays for Ancrum under 11s and I can’t tell you how proud he will be when he leads the teams out on Saturday.

“We are so grateful to everyone at the club.”