Grieving brothers lead way in charity football match

Grant and Stuart Potter captained the sides in memory of Joanne. Picture: Julie Bull
Grant and Stuart Potter captained the sides in memory of Joanne. Picture: Julie Bull
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TWO brothers who played in an emotional football match on the anniversary of their mother’s death have raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities.

Stuart, 23, and Grant Potter, 26, lost their mother, Joanne, to breast cancer last January after a long battle with the illness.

Joanne Potter, who died of breast cancer in January 2011

Joanne Potter, who died of breast cancer in January 2011

On Saturday, the Livingston pair held a money-spinning match in her memory, with each brother taking the captain’s armband of a side and wearing strips bearing the colours of the two main charities benefiting from the fundraiser – Macmillan Cancer Support and Breast Cancer Care.

Stuart said: “The game was great and we had a really good turnout with about 100-plus there watching.

“It was important to have a positive weekend on the first anniversary of my mum passing. There were a lot of laughs and I really believe it went perfectly – so much so that we are planning to do it annually.”

A one-minute applause at the start of the game marked a poignant tribute to their late mother, who died when she was 51 having been diagnosed with breast cancer in the winter of 2005.

“[The applause] was really emotional,” said Stuart, of Eliburn. “It was always going to be a very hard time for me, my brother and the whole family, so we wanted to do something special and make it positive.

“The teams were made up of friends and family – people who were close to our mum.

“The day was made up of two key points – to try to do our bit to help prevent people going through what my family went through but, from a more selfish perspective, to celebrate the life of my mum.”

The Joanne Potter Memorial Match was held at the rear of Livingston FC’s Braidwood Motor Company Stadium, on a training pitch behind the East Stand.

Stuart and Grant had initially hoped to raise £1000 for charity, but have now smashed that target by £5000 with donations still flowing in.

“It all goes to two great causes so we are looking to raise as much as possible,” said Stuart. “It’s a way to give back to the charities who tried their hardest to save my mum.

“It would be unfair to turn a blind eye and cry about how hard life is if we can be a bit more positive, which everyone involved in the game was. Hopefully we can do some good every year.”

Joanne Potter grabbed headlines by gracing the catwalk at the Breast Cancer Care Scotland Fashion Show in 2008, joining Miss Scotland to raise awareness and cash for the charity.

• A Just Giving webpage has been set up to receive donations at www.justgiving.com/Joanne-potter