A host of sporting legends will join a Fife son’s fundraising ‘Castle Crusade’ in aid of Motor Neurone Disease.
Hearts fan Gregor Miller is tackling the 40-mile route from Stirling Castle to the Jam Tarts’ home ground of Tynecastle in Edinburgh.
He aims to raise awareness of the disease two years after the “devastating” death of his dad Campbell.
Former Hearts and Raith Rovers stars Ryan Stevenson and Colin Cameron will join the ambulance worker’s bid to raise £5,000 for research and treatment into the illness.
Ex-Hibs striker Tam McManus, referee Willie Conquer and Scotland rugby great Scott Hastings will also take part in the challenge on May 23.
Gregor, 49, works at the Scottish Ambulance Service station in Glenrothes.
He watched his dad deteriorate from a fit, golf-loving police officer to a shell of his former self.
“My dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in May 2017 and passed away in 2019.
“He was a keen sportsman and played football for the police and in later life, until his diagnosis, played golf three times a week.
“Dad only realised he had a problem when he could no longer grip a golf club.
“As you can imagine, this hit him hard.”
He cried but never complained.”
Gregor said his dad had to give up golf, then his driving licence, within a few months of his diagnosis.
“For a man who was never at home due to social events, this was a devastating blow.
“Living with MND and caring for a sufferer of MND was horrific.
“Dad was given two years to live and died within two weeks of the two years.”
In the last few months of his life, Campbell lost full power of his arms and legs, and the ability to hold up his head.
“There were some really tough days at this point as his mind was fully active along with his eyes,” said Gregor.
“I would chat to him and tell him it’s all ok and that mum will be all right.
“He cried but never complained.
“This was hard to watch from the point of view of a son who only knew a dad that tried to win at everything physical.”
He added: “In the last month his pain became increasingly worse, he was unable to eat solid food and lost his speech to a difficult whisper.
“MND had won and with pain relief he slept and died.”
Funds will go towards pioneering MND research
Gregor has already raised more than £4,800 towards his £5,000 target and will donate a portion of his total to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, launched by Scotland rugby great Doddie Weir who was diagnosed with MND in 2017.
Covid restrictions mean the group will not all run together and the public will not be able to take part.
Only four people will run the route at any one time.
Just Gregor and Ryan Stevenson will do the entire 40 miles, while the others will dip in every four miles.