Over £364,000 has been raised for Beatson Cancer Charity in memory of Gordon Cowan from Lanark, who sadly passed away 25 years ago.
Gordon was just 25-years old when he died on 1st April 1997 following a cancer diagnosis.
His close friend Robert Douglas, former Celtic footballer and current Arbroath FC goalkeeping coach, began fundraising 16 years ago with a group of Gordon’s friends.
Since then they have put on memorial balls, annual golf days and sponsored walks.
Pictured (left to right): Robert Douglas (fundraiser), Morag Cunningham (director of fundraising at Beatson Cancer Charity), Jean Cowan (Gordon's mum), Andy Romer (fundraiser), Charlene Low (corporate partnerships fundraiser)
Robert Douglas said: “A group of his friends from Lanark, we started just golfing for a trophy.
“After a couple of years we thought we’d try and raise some money.
“I thought we’d maybe get to £30,000 and then after a couple of years it would peter out but it’s actually been the opposite.
“The first year we raised money we raised about £6,000 – we're now at £364,000.
“For a small town like Lanark in 16 years it’s staggering.”
Robert reflected on how he thinks Gordon would have reacted to the incredible amount raised.
He said: “I think he’d be incredibly proud, he was a big gentle giant.
"All his mum and dad wanted was his memory to go on and nobody to forget him.
“Nobody’s going to forget him now – his events sell out and that’s a testament to Gordon.”
The most recent event coming up in memory of Gordon is the sponsored walk, which begins on 1st March and ends on 1st April – which is Gordon's anniversary.
Andy Romer, who is part of the fundraising committee, said: “With the 25th anniversary this year we’ve got the ‘Walk into Spring’.
“We’re doing 50 miles or 100 miles - whatever anyone wants to do, come along and join us.
“I think Gordon would be overwhelmed and really, really proud.
“We’re just trying to do it in his memory and help others less fortunate than ourselves so we’re just keeping it going.”
More information about the walk and other events can be found here.
Gordon’s mum, Jean, says she is extremely grateful for everything Gordon’s friends have done over the years.
Jean Cowan, Gordon’s mum, said: “I’m overwhelmed and can’t thank them enough for everything they do.
“Robert started this and he’s been an incredible true friend to Gordon and the family.
“Everything they do helps me get through life without him. It’s lovely to know he was loved by so many people.”
Martin Cawley, CEO of Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “The group behind Gordon Cowan’s Memorial have been incredible over the years. In particular, the work Robert Douglas has done over the years is outstanding. We are so grateful for everything they do.
“To raise such a large amount shows their commitment to Gordon and his family.
“We cannot thank them enough for their continued support and generosity.”
A link to donate to the Walk into Spring event next month can be found here.