Football buddies club together to score vital funds for Scotland's veterans
A team of football buddies are aiming to score vital funds for the country's hero veterans by tackling the West Highland Way.
Gordon Easton, Antony Hoggan, Graeme Grant, Paul McIvor and Jim Easton will take on the 96-mile challenge from the 2nd June in aid of the veterans' charity Erskine.
Their efforts will be all the more remarkable as team member Jim Easton, 30, will attempt the tough route in a wheelchair. Jim, from Falkirk, suffers from Osteogenisis Imperfecta, a condition which causes brittle bones and has confined him to a wheelchair all his life.
The friends decided to take on the challenge during an afternoon out supporting their team Rangers. They had heard about the care Erskine provides for veterans throughout Scotland and wanted to help make a difference.
They will attempt the challenge over seven days, which also coincides with the charity's Erskine Week. This is a week, from the 1st-8th June, dedicated to raising awareness of Erskine and funds to support its provision of care across Scotland.
Gordon, from Armadale in West Lothian, said: "We were at football one Saturday and Erskine had been mentioned a lot that day. Jim said 'let's do something for Erskine' and we decided to attempt the West Highland Way. Jim had already completed the route four years ago. The other lads had also done it before and volunteered without hesitation.
"We have great admiration for the work of our Armed Forces and the care that Erskine provides across Scotland is absolutely fantastic. We know it will be a tough challenge, especially since Jim will be completing the route in a wheelchair, but fortunately Gerald Simonds healthcare have loaned us an off-road wheelchair attachment for the duration of our challenge which will help things along a great deal. Our main goal is to raise as much money for Erskine as possible."
The team will complete 20 miles in the first day of their challenge when they set off from Milngavie. They will camp on route with stopovers in Balmaha, Inverarnan, Strathfillan, Inveroran and Kinlochleven before finishing in Fort William on the 9th June.
John Fyfe, Erskine's East of Scotland Fundraiser, said: "Erskine is absolutely delighted that the team has chosen to take on this inspiring challenge. They are pushing the boundaries to ensure that they raise vital funds for our veterans during Erskine Week. Without the support of groups and individuals such as them we would not be able to provide our specialist services across Scotland."
To support the team in their fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/proudtocare. You can also follow their progress on Facebook under Walking for Erskine.
To find out ways you can support Erskine, log on to www.erskine.org.uk.