Published: 17th May 2000

Dundee United veteran Maurice Malpas will take centre stage when English Premiership opposition visit Tannadice this summer for the defender's ground-breaking second testimonial match.

Everton, managed by Maurice's former coach Walter Smith, will head north to test the Tangerines and honour the record-breaking defender on Tuesday July 25th 2000. Smith also provided the opposition for Mo's first testimonial against Rangers in 1991 - and Maurice is delighted to be locking horns again with his old mentor.

"The likes of Walter and Gordon Wallace had a big influence on me during my early days at Tannadice and spent a lot of time working with me when I switched from midfield to fullback," he said.

"I'm delighted we have been able to get Everton for the testimonial game. It should be a great night for the fans and a good test for us before the start of the new season."

The match will see history being made again at Tannadice - it will be the first time a player has been honoured with two testimonials for long service with the same club. That's a scenario unlikely to ever be repeated in Scottish football with Bosman discouraging players from staying loyal to one club.

To qualify for a testimonial, a player normally has to stay with the same club for ten years. Technically, Maurice's second testimonial is overdue - the 37-year-old signed for United in August 1979 and has remained at Tannadice over double the required time.

Maurice appreciates the gesture made by United in requesting permission from the SFA to relax the rules which normally prevent players receiving more than one testimonial. He's also grateful that the SFA didn't hesitate to give the go-ahead.

"I see it as a huge honour to be given a second game and it's going to be a very special occasion for me and my family," he continued.

"I've loved my time with United and never thought about playing anywhere else. I've won the league, Scottish Cup, played in finals and competed all over the world.

"On top of that I've picked up over 50 caps for my country. There are many players who have played for so called bigger clubs and not been anything like as fortunate."

A spokesman for United commented : "Walter Smith and Everton had no hesitation in agreeing to come to Tannadice to honour Maurice - what's more, they've offered to do it for travelling expenses only which is an extremely generous gesture.

"We'll be doing everything we can to ensure it's a night to remember for Maurice and the fans."