FOOTBALL legends Sir Alex Ferguson and Lilian Thuram are among a host of stars who have sent well-wishes to the University of Stirling football team ahead of a cup tie this weekend.

Stirling is the first university team to make it to the last 32 of the Scottish Cup in over 50 years, as they encounter Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday.

The former Manchester United manager and French world cup winner were joined by Olympic curling champion Eve Muirhead, Commonwealth Games medalist Ross Murdoch, tennis trailblazer and Andy Murray's mother Judy Murray, and musician and broadcaster Dougie Vipond in wishing the boys good luck ahead of the fourth-round match.

In a video message, Ferguson: “I just want to wish you all the best. What a challenge it is to you, and I hope you enjoy it. You’ve every chance in the Cup, and I wish you good luck.”

Lilian Thuram, who received an honorary degree from Stirling University in 2019, said: “Congratulations! We need to win against Dundee United. We are the best! You are the best! Come on Stirling, let’s go!”

The messages landed with the squad as they secured their third consecutive British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Premier North Division title. The side were crowned champions of Wednesday after a  3-3 draw against Durham University.

Speaking from Melbourne, where son Andy had just won the longest tennis match of his career at the Australian Open, Judy Murray also sent her best wishes to the team. She said: “Sending a massive good luck to the Stirling Uni football team with your clash with Dundee United in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.”

Honorary graduate Craig Reedie, the former chairman of the British Olympic Association and ex-president of the World Anti-Doping Association, added: “I send my congratulations to the football team on a great season- and every bit of luck for their coming big match.”

More than 1000 supporters are expected to descend on Dundee for the match, including university students, staff, alumni, and members of the local community.

Gordon Mackay, a local supporter and world-renowned sports surgeon at The Mackay Clinic, will be organising a fleet of buses for those making the journey north.

Tickets are still available for the match and can be purchased up until kick-off.