Hearts legends to play charity game for Hibs fan

Gary Mackay. Picture: Neil Hanna

Gary Mackay. Picture: Neil Hanna

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HEARTS legends are set to team up with stand-up comics to raise money for a Hibs supporter who has been struck down with a rare nerve disease while on holiday in Australia.

Sean Foster has been left paralysed from the neck down by Guillain-Barre Syndrome and remains confined to a hospital bed on the other side of the world while facing an arduous road to recovery.

Sean Foster was struck down by a nerve disease in Australia

Sean Foster was struck down by a nerve disease in Australia

His pals have been busy raising cash for a charitable trust set up in the East Craigs 21-year-old’s name, and it is to receive a huge boost this month when a charity football match takes place at Tynecastle.

It is hoped that former Hearts stars including Gary Mackay, Scott Crabbe, Jimmy Sandison, Henry Smith and Jose Quitongo will team up with high-profile comedians in town for the Fringe to take on a Sean Foster XI.

Graham Reid, whose son Lewis is in Australia with Sean, organised the event.

He said: “I got in touch with Gary Mackay, who was great about it. It’s snowballed from there and with the festival being on it’s fallen into place. Sean’s a Hibs supporter and most of his mates are Hearts fans, but at times like this none of that matters. There’s a derby coming up but I think this shows that fans can come together.”

Entry to the football match, which will kick off at noon on August 25, is free although there will be the opportunity to donate to charity.

The comedians playing in the game will then put on a show in Gorgie Suite, although it is expected that all of the tickets will be snapped up before a public sale.

The proceeds will be split equally between the 1874 Fighting Fund, which raises money to benefit Hearts, and the Sean Foster Foundation.

The Foundation is raising money for medical equipment and to cover the cost of Sean’s parents Ian and June’s emergency trip to Darwin.

Sean, who flew to Australia in June for a year-long working break, was hit with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in July. Caused by an infection, it attacks the nervous system and affects around one in 100,000 people a year. He was initially put into a medically induced coma, but has since shown signs of recovery after waking up and regaining the ability to smile.

Mr Reid, 48, added: “He is making improvements. They seem to be small, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we know it’s going to be a slow process.”

Fundraisers organised so far by Sean’s friends included raffling off flowers, which raised £358, and a cake sale which made over £200.