Police and Fire Fighters get set for football match

Pictured is last year's line up of players who contested the annual charity 'grudge match'.
Pictured is last year's line up of players who contested the annual charity 'grudge match'.

Next month members of Stornoway’s Emergency Services will be taking to the pitch in their annual charity ‘grudge match’.

The yearly event has become hugely popular with the players, local residents and the community since it first started six years ago.

This ‘famous friendly’ between the Police and Retained Fire Service is a great local spectacle and good for community morale as well as having raised in excess of £12,000 for many worthwhile local charities.

This year, all funds raised from the match will go towards the leading heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). All monies raised will remain local in the Western Isles and used to fund specialist screenings for young people in the area as well as raising awareness of this silent killer.

Every week in the UK, 12 young (that is, aged 35 and under) people die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these young people have no signs or symptoms, so the only way to detect a potentially sinister cardiac abnormality is through screening.

Organiser, Acting Sergeant Craig Allan, said: “This year, we have decided to donate all proceeds from the match to the charity, CRY, in memory of local man, Andrew Macleod, who died from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, known as dilated cardiomyopathy, in October 2011 aged just 21. His sudden death devastated his family as well as the entire community but his parents, Murdo and Dolina, received great help and support from CRY so we are all delighted to be able to give something back.”

CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests over 14,000 young people every year. Although screening will not identify all those at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, the incidence of young sudden cardiac death has been reduced by 90%. Whilst sport does not actually cause sudden cardiac death, it can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition.

CRY also offers a specialist Bereavement Support Programme, providing telephone support through volunteers who have suffered the sudden cardiac death of a child, sibling or partner and who received two years of counselling training.

CRY’s Chief Executive and Founder, Alison Cox MBE adds: “It’s wonderful to see yet more support from the people of Scotland and we are hugely grateful to the emergency services in Stornoway for donating the proceeds of this annual event - which sounds great fun! - to CRY ! Ongoing, local support such as this will be immensely helpful and comforting for the Macleod family who – like all of those who have been bereaved from a young, sudden cardiac death - have been through a devastating and tragic experience.

“On behalf of us all at CRY, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone involved!”

Pictured is last year’s line up of players who contested the annual charity ‘grudge match’. This year there will also be a charity sports auction and anyone wishing to donate any items can do so by contacting Craig Allan at the police station on 101.