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Cash for defibrillators rolls in thanks to charity football match


By Staff Reporter


The firefighter and RNLI teams line up after their fundraising match at Millbank.
The firefighter and RNLI teams line up after their fundraising match at Millbank.

The firefighters and RNLI members of Caithness swapped their fire engines and lifeboats for football boots as they battled it out on the pitch for charity.

As part of day that involved both a football match and an auction of sporting memorabilia, more than £10,000 was raised to purchase life-saving defibrillators to be placed around Thurso with the rest going towards local charities in the town.

Regarding the big match itself, the firefighters defeated their RNLI opponents 9-4 to take the inaugural Thurso Fire Station Charity Events Shield.

Brian Davidson of the fire service said: "I came up with the idea of the football and auction just before last Christmas and mentioned it to my colleague David Bain on our annual night out.

"We really got the ball rolling at the beginning of February when I started to contact local businesses asking for help with donations so we could purchase defibrillators for the town and also so we could give to a few local charities as well.

"I was also contacting sports personalities, football teams, golf clubs and anyone that I could think of. I got a signed shirt from Rangers, signed balls from Manchester United, PSV Eindhoven, Olympique Marseille and West Bromwich Albion.

It was a beautiful day we couldn't ask for better weather.

"Other items we obtained for the auction were a round of golf on Royal Dornoch and a signed cap from tennis star Andy Murray.

"Everything went brilliantly it was a beautiful day we couldn't ask for better weather. We had a fire appliance over and ambulance and coastguard was also in attendance so kids and parents had plenty to keep them occupied until the football started.

"After all the winning celebrations we had the charity auction which was absolutely fantastic. The pavilion at Caithness Rugby Club was packed to the doors and people let their purse strings loose.

"Some bids were crazy and the biggest purchase was the signed Manchester United football that went for £410 – more than £3500 was taken in from the auction, Colin Mcfeat rounded of the evening having the tunes flowing and the dance floor bouncing.

"We also had a raffle on the next morning and sold 1500 tickets which was brilliant. When we added everything up from the donations, the auction, the raffle, the barbecue, the baking stalls and a few other bits and bobs, the grand total came to a staggering £10,268,89. It was a very humbling experience and one which we were all glad to be a part of."



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