American football players have raised more than £1,000 for charity in memory of a former supporter – and to mark the recovery of a team-mate

Marin Cirpala, Zaigham Askari and Josh Wheeler – handing over the money to Maggie’s volunteer, Charlotte Boa.

Highland Wildcats have raised £1,030.68 from a tea stand set up at a recent match by supporter Dawn Louise in aid of cancer relief charity Maggie’s Highland.

It was in memory of Bette Paulin, a founder of the team who died of cancer in 2014.

The fundraiser also marked the news that former player and coach Ally Gibson is officially in remission.

The 23-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in January.

Taking a huge toll on his physical and mental well-being, the team were always there to support him and in April collectively shaved their heads as a show of solidarity.

He said he was told he was in remission: “I almost didn’t believe the doctor when he said it. I was shocked. My dad was with me and he was in tears but I was still freezing. Part of me wanted to clap and the other part wanted to break down and cry. I’m still trying to process everything that happened but I’m still speechless.

“I wouldn’t be here without the Highland Wildcats and the Highland Stags, all the positive qualities I possess were created by being part of these clubs, they made me the man I am today. Now I can help them by training my best friends to win another championship and hopefully in the not too distant future be on the field alongside them. If it wasn’t for my friends and family, I don’t think this story would have had a happy ending.

A team spokesperson said: “Bette appreciated all of the support Maggie gave her, so she would be delighted to know that everyone put in so much time, effort and gave so generously to a great cause.”


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