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American football players have raised more than £1000 for charity in memory of a former supporter – and to mark a team mate’s recovery


By Imogen James


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

Highland Wildcats raised £1030.68 from a tea stall run at a recent game by supporter Dawn Louise in aid of cancer support charity Maggie’s Highland.

This was in memory of Bette Paulin, a team founder who passed away due to 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 Hodgkins Lymphoma in January.

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

He said of being given told he was in remission: “I almost didn’t believe the doctor when he said it. I was in shock. My dad was with me and he was in tears but I was just frozen still. Part of me wanted to cheer and the other wanted to break down and cry. I’m still trying to process everything that has happened but I’m still speechless.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Highland Wildcats and Highland Stags, every positive quality I posses was made from being a part of these clubs, they made me the man I am today. Now I can help them by coaching my best friends to winning another championship and hopefully, in the not too distant future, be on the field beside them. If it wasn’t for my friends and family I don’t think this would have been a happy ending story.”

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


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