Tommy’s pals in cash trib­ute

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

A Ruther­glen man who helped an In­dian foot­ball team has been hon­oured by those clos­est to him.

Tommy Gray be­came a fundrais­ing stal­wart af­ter a life-changing hol­i­day to In­dia 15 years ago.

He went on to raise thou­sands for causes on the sub-con­ti­nent but died sud­denly in May last year at the age of 58.

His pals at Chap­mans Bar in Ruther­glen held an event in his honour to raise even more money for causes close to his heart.

Celtic-daft Tommy was in In­dia with his part­ner Pauline when he found a lo­cal wa­ter­ing hole called Ice and Spice.

There he got chat­ting to lo­cals and found out they had a small foot­ball team who strug­gled by with no kit or boots, mean­ing they usu­ally played in their bare feet.

Tommy made it his mis­sion to give the town its very own Celtic and on his re­turn to Ruther­glen he asked friends if they would help with a char­ity event to raise funds that would al­low th­ese young peo­ple liv­ing in ex­treme poverty have some kit to see them through.

The regulars at Chap­mans Bar helped out with a num­ber of events which sent Celtic strips across to In­dia.

Pauline said: “Th­ese events lasted for years, al­low­ing us to keep giv­ing to the young peo­ple un­til one year we met a young lad called Samir.

“Samir fell from a tree whilst work­ing, re­sult­ing in a crip­pling back in­jury, so could no longer work and pay for his med­i­cal bills.

“Off Tommy went with that huge, big heart of his, mak­ing Samir’s re­cov­ery his next char­i­ta­ble mis­sion.”

Tommy even­tu­ally raised enough money to help Samir and his fam­ily cope as best they could with his con­di­tion.

Pauline added: “None of th­ese things would have been pos­si­ble with­out the good faith and sup­port shown to Tommy and I from every­one who knows us.”

The re­cent char­ity event at Chap­mans in Tommy’s honour raise £1,440.

Tommy’s two sis­ters cut a hand­made cake repli­cat­ing the Euro­pean Cup in Tommy’s mem­ory.

Close friends Bren­dan Con­way, Jamie McMullen and Ed­die Don­nelly or­gan­ised the event and could not be­lieve the re­sponse from peo­ple.

Jamie said: “A fan­tas­tic night was had by all and all the money raised will go to­wards Tommy’s char­i­ties cho­sen by the fam­ily.

“To re­mem­ber a very close friend in this way helps ease the pain a lit­tle as los­ing Tommy has left a gap­ing hole in all our lives.”

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