A young footballer who played in a major local derby to help promote a charity football event in aid of dangerously ill children found a second way to help.
Ruaridh Campbell, nine, appeared for his beloved Ross County youth team against local rival Inverness Caley Thistle kids.
He played in front of a crowd of almost 4,500 at a derby match in November.
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The match was to help promote the Sneckie Insomnia Soccer event in January next year to raise money for Chas (Childrens Hospices Across Scotland).
That evening, away from his new found football public, he was back to earth as stand-in cloakroom attendant at an event staged by his mother, Caroline, at her Ironworks venue.
Without asking his mum, the youngster sneaked a bucket in and labelled it for the Sneckie Insomnia Soccer initiative for children’s hospice services.
At the end of the night Ruaridh told his mum what he had done – he had raised £306 for the Children’s Hospice cause.
When they learned of his innovative talent for fundraising and the success it achieved, the folk at Chas home support office in Inverness were keen to meet the young hero.
The Inverness Business Fives Group, who claim to have the oldest five a side team in the world and organise the annual overnight fives festival, were also anxious to meet him.
On Thursday December 13 they rendezvoused with him at Dingwall Academy after he had finished his weekly training at Ross County.
As a surprise they arranged for him to be joined by Alison Holmes, the senior staff nurse the Sneckie Insomnia Soccer efforts last January helped to appoint in the service of the Highlands and Islands. Accompanying her was Fiona Scott, Chas senior nursing support worker.
Frank Gaskell, secretary of the Inverness Business Fives Group, said: “Undoubtedly the highlight of Ruaridh’s night was meeting with these dedicated ladies and hearing their personal words of appreciation for his extraordinary initiative and the example he has set to us all.
“Undoubtedly the high point of the veteran players’ night was meeting the great wee man and receiving some kind tips from him – like keep your eyes open and try not to bump into each other.”
The Inverness Businesses Fives group which plays five a side football each Thursday evening at Millburn Academy staged the inaugural Sneckie Insomnia Indoor football overnight festival at the Inverness Leisure Centre, Bught Park, last January.
Next year’s event will be even bigger and take place from January 19-20.