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Hearts fan to sit in every seat at Tynecastle Stadium

Charlie's unique football fundraiser for MND Scotland.

Posted : 14/04/2022

Charlie Irvin (57) from East Calder is raising money for MND Scotland by taking on the unique challenge of sitting in every seat at Heart of Midlothian FC’s Tynecastle Stadium.   

Prior to the pandemic, Charlie, who is the owner of Inkwell Tattoo Studios, would raise money for charity every year by holding a ‘Charity Ribbon Day’ where, for a donation, artists would tattoo ribbons on customers in the colour of their choice.  

With restrictions forcing Charlie to close his studio for almost two years, he began to think of other creative ways that he could make a difference and as a lifelong Heart of Midlothian FC supporter, Charlie found the inspiration that he had been looking for in the partnership between MND Scotland and his beloved club. 

On the partnership between MND Scotland and Hearts, Charlie said: “I’ve been really happy with the direction of the club recently, especially since we became fan owned and I’m chuffed with us having MND Scotland on the kit. The fans seem to be really behind everything going on as well which is just fantastic.”   

Showing his enthusiasm for making a difference to the lives of people living with motor neurone disease (MND), Charlie committed to the challenge before calculating how long it might take, but to get an idea, he recently took part in a trial run of 1,180 seats (out of a total of 19,852), which took him one hour to complete.    

Speaking on people’s reactions to the idea, Charlie said: “When I’ve been out playing golf or talking to people at the studio and I’ve mentioned the challenge to someone, it’s always got their attention, which I think is the point of something like this. Even if people do think I’m a bit mad! 

“Even through just talking to the team at MND Scotland, I’ve learned a lot about MND that I didn’t know before and although I’m obviously looking to raise as much money as I can, I’m hoping that through being a bit of a quirky challenge, I’m also able to generate some awareness around this truly terrible disease.”  

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles and this can cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink, or breathe unaided. With no effective treatments or a cure yet, the average life expectancy from diagnosis is just 18 months. 

Charlie continued: “Although I don’t have a direct connection to someone with MND, Marius (Zaliukas) was and is a legend, and to see him deteriorate so quickly, from seemingly being so fit and healthy was a real eye opener for me. 

Morag McGown, MND Scotland’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, said: “The response from Hearts supporters to the partnership with MND Scotland has been fantastic and to have people like Charlie actively getting involved to make a difference in such a creative way is more than we could have hoped for. The money raised by this special challenge will help to directly change the lives of people in Scotland living with MND as well as fund vital research, both of which would be impossible without our amazing fundraisers. We would all like to say a huge thank you to Charlie for his brilliant effort.”   

You can support Charlie on his journey around every seat at Tynecastle Stadium by donating to his Just Giving page here and for more ways to support the work of MND Scotland, please visit here.  

 

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“The response from Hearts supporters to the partnership with MND Scotland has been fantastic and to have people like Charlie actively getting involved to make a difference in such a creative way is more than we could have hoped for.”

Morag McGown | MND Scotland

Morag McGown | MND Scotland