Thurso man to travel 1200 miles for his love of football in aid of Parkinson’s UK

Mr Paterson, pictured with his daughter Hayley, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014,

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A Thurso man is preparing to visit every football stadium in Scotland to help raise money for a charity close to his heart. Dave Paterson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eight years ago, but that is not stopping him raising cash for good causes. Previously, the 59-year-old travelled from John O’Groats to Lands End and visited all 42 lifeboat stations in Ireland.

And with his 60th birthday just round the corner, Mr Paterson is combining his love for football and his love for travel to embark on his first fundraising venture for Parkinson’s UK. Over the course of seven days, Mr Paterson and his friend Davie, an ex-army veteran, will travel more than 1,200 miles visiting all 42 stadiums of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

All in the name of charity

Mr Paterson said the fundraising challenge has been years in the making. He said: “I was involved with a couple of road trips about 10 years ago.

“A guy locally had a big American vintage truck and I was in the fundraising committee for the local lifeboat at the time and he was one of our supporters. “He wanted to do John O’Groats to Lands End so I was involved with the organisation of that and became good friends with one of the guys on the committee and his wife who did it with us.”

Thurso man to travel 1200 miles for his love of football in aid of Parkinson's UKMr Paterson at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona.

He added: “The following year, we did all 47 lifeboat stations in Ireland over a fortnight with three trucks. “So me and Davie became friends over the two weeks and he’s been saying for a few years we need to do another trip.

“With the fact I’m hitting 60 next month and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about eight years ago we decided we would do something.” The pair will set off from Castletown, just outside Thurso, on April 2 with their sights set on reaching Ross County’s stadium in Dingwall and Cove Rangers in Aberdeen by nightfall. Over the course of seven-days they will work their way round all 42 SPFL football stadiums, visiting between six and 11 grounds each day.

Their journey will end at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow on April 7. All proceeds will split between Parkinson’s UK and Homeless Veterans. Mr Paterson says their hope is to raise around GBP1,000 for each charity.

He is also hosting a charity auction during his 60th birthday celebrations to boost donations for Parkinson’s UK. “If we can do more then the more the better,” Mr Paterson said. “I posted the GoFundMe to a Parkinson’s group I’m on on Facebook and picked up a GBP50 donation overnight which was great.

“I’m also contacting the clubs and hoping we can get some merchandise or prizes for our auction at the end of the month for my 60th.”

Parkinson’s Disease in Scotland

Every week about 30 people in Scotland are told they have Parkinson’s. About 12,400 people in Scotland are living with Parkinson’s disease – which is around one in every 375 adults. Jan Mattison, regional fundraiser for the west of Scotland, said: “Dave’s road trip is extremely exciting and we are absolutely delighted that he has chosen to raise money on behalf of Parkinson’s UK.

“We wish him safe travels and look forward to hearing all about his venture around Scotland.”

You can keep up-to-date with Dave’s journey on his social media page.



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