GALASHIELS footballer John Collins says he is “proud and honoured” to be included in a new exhibition in the town.

The former Hibernian and Scotland player is featured in a display which tells stories of 40 ‘national icons’.

It is currently running alongside The Great Tapestry of Scotland in the new visitor centre in High Street.

It also features a number of artefacts relating to some of the individuals appearing in the exhibition – including Drew McIntyre’s WWE Championship belt; items donated by Outlander star Sam Heughan; an eighteenth century purse embroidered by one of the daughters of the 4th Earl of Traquair; a salwar kameez worn by pioneering human rights activist Saroj Lal; and a Great Tapestry of Scotland kilt created by leading kilt designer Howie Nicholsby.

Those contributing stories for the display include brewing science pioneer and human rights activist Sir Geoff Palmer; actress Joanna Lumley; Shetland author Ann Cleeves; athlete Liz McColgan; rugby hero Doddie Weir; NHS Borders’ clinical director Dr Jonathan Aldridge; and sports broadcaster Jill Douglas.

Other well-known names include renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie; TV chef Tony Singh; ultrasound pioneer Tom Brown; solar chemistry pioneer Professor Emeritus Lesley Yellowlees; author Damian Barr; Arbroath Smokie producer Iain Spink; former Scotland international rugby star Chris Paterson and the Duke of Argyll.

On his inclusion in the exhibition, Collins told the Border Telegraph: “It’s an amazing thing to be part of and I am proud and honoured particularly in my home-town of Gala. 
“I received a phone call out of the blue over a year ago telling me that I was to be included in the exhibition and was absolutely delighted to be part of it.

“I believe that Doddie Weir and Chris Paterson are also included so I’m in good company. Both are fantastic role models as are the others who have all done so much.”