Footballer misses own stag party to play in final but pals go anyway

A dedicated footballer was left "gutted" when he had to miss his own stag weekend after it clashed with a cup-tie - and his pals went away to celebrate without him.

Footballer Mark Shankland missed his own stag party to play in a cup final.

Mark Shankland, 23, who plays for Auchinleck Talbot FC, unknowingly booked his stag-do the same day as the Junior Scottish Cup which he was due to play in.

But he had to call it a miss and wave off his pals jetting off to sunny Benidorm, Spain, without him.

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Mark will wed fiancee Alison Gourley, 29, on June 15, and had planned to have one last weekend away with his lad pals before tying the knot.

Footballer Mark Shankland missed his own stag party to play in a cup final.

He tried to hold off booking the stag weekend, until he got the cup final dates - but in desperation he booked the stag do for June 2.

Unfortunately for Mark, it transpired to be the same day as the cup tie with Largs Thistle FC. But luckily Auchinleck Talbot won 2-0 to regain the trophy.

Mark, from Mauchline, East Ayrshire, said he "couldn't believe it" when he had to miss his stag weekend.

He said: "They all went to Benidorm for my stag do but I couldn't go because of the cup final dates. I was really happy we got to the cup final but definitely a bit gutted I wouldn't get to go with the boys."

Although the forward was a good sport and was happy they still got to enjoy the holiday, he couldn't help but feel a little jealous.

He was forced to stay home and focus on the game missing out on all the fun but his friends were kind enough to send him plenty of pictures.

Mark added: "I tried not to keep up with them too much because I was jealous I didn't want to know about all the fun they were having without me.

"I'm happy for them and they had a good time but I wish I had been there.

"We had booked the stag a couple of months ago, I had tried to hold it back as much as possible until we got the cup dates but it got too close so I just took a guess and got it one weekend too soon.

"I couldn't believe it when I realised. Someone went in my place so I never lost out on money for the holiday but it was still really disappointing I couldn't go with them."

Auchinleck Talbot Football Club was formed in 1909 and they have won the Scottish Junior Cup on 13 occasions.

The annual football competition is organised by the Scottish Junior Football Association for its member clubs.

Auchinleck Talbot are the current holders, after defeating Largs Thistle 2-0 on June 2 at New Douglas Park, Hamilton, to retain the cup.

Mark, who came on as a substitute in the game, tried to push for a late third but was denied by the crossbar.

He said: "The game went fine. We scored the first two goals and pretty much after that, we were in control of the game.

"I came on as a sub and tried to score but the crossbar stopped me. I would have been gutted if I missed that at the crucial stages of the game.

"After winning, we went back to Auchinleck to celebrate with the fans.

"My friends at the stag do were all chuffed for me. If we had lost that game I would have felt even worse especially considering I had missed my stag do."

Mark isn't feeling too down as he looks forward to tying the knot in the next few weeks.

He added: "I'm getting married on June 15, which I am really excited for.

"It will be brilliant. Me and the boys are talking about maybe going somewhere about New Year to make up for it, hopefully."