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Former Highland League star battling cancer takes on golf challenge

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A former Highland League footballer battling an incurable cancer has defied his condition by taking on a massive golfing challenge.

Martin Fraser, who is from Mintlaw and played for Inverurie Locos as a striker, was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in late 2017 and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment last year.

He since has been told that his condition can only be managed, and that he has six to eight years to live.

Because of the illness, Mr Fraser gave up his butcher shop in Mintlaw and started volunteering at the local golf course earlier this year.

He explained how that work gave him the idea to mark his 60th birthday by undertaking an appropriate, but challenging, fundraiser for Prostate Cancer UK and the Maggie’s centre in Aberdeen.

Mr Fraser said: “I’ve completed my chemotherapy and radiotherapy and, while I was still feeling good,  I wanted to do something to give back.

“So I decided I would play 60 golf courses in 31 days, through Aberdeenshire to Nottingham and back.”

He has so far raised more than £5,000 for the worthy causes.

His wife, Nicky Fraser, said the stage of the cancer means it had spread and affects parts of Mr Fraser’s everyday life.

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The 48-year-old added: “It affected his brain, but he was back to himself in a month. He is on medication now to manage the cancer.

“It was a horrendous thing to go through when we found out – and he’s been told he has six to eight years.

“But we’re just focusing on what’s next and making the most of the present.”

The 60-year-old received “overwhelming” support from golf courses across Aberdeenshire and Nottingham, and his former team mates, and he recently completed the challenge.

Friends he had not seen in more than 25 years turned up to tee-off with him.

Mr Fraser said: “I got to see so many friends, it was really nice.

“I’m chuffed and amazed I was able to complete the challenge. Football is my first love, but I don’t think I would be able to play 60 matches in 31 days.”

Mrs Fraser added: “After he gave up the business, he found out he could work as a caddie in Cruden Bay and he really enjoyed himself.

“He started getting involved in golf more and got the idea to give something back after the help the charity offered us.

“So, he decided to celebrate his 60th birthday by playing 60 golf courses in 31 days and at first I couldn’t believe it.

“For his last game he played at our local, the Longside Golf Club, and it was quite overwhelming and emotional.”

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