A FOOTBALL-MAD Edinburgh teenager is hoping to raise enough money to fund a specialist wheelchair to allow him the opportunity to pursue a career in sport.
Mathew Noir was diagnosed with both spina bifida and hydrocephalus at birth, with both conditions requiring major surgery and limiting his mobility.
However, Hibs fan Mathew, 19, has continued to chase a career in the sporting industry and recently enrolled in the NC Sport and fitness course at Edinburgh College.
He is now hoping to raise £2,000 to help purchase an RGK wheelchair, specially designed for sporting activity.
Mathew, from Leith, appeared as a mascot during Hibernian’s match away at Dunfermline Athletic last year and initially set up a JustGiving page to help collect donations.
But after Hibernian FC, comedian Jason Manford and local businesses shared links to the page on social media, interest in Mathew’s battle spiked, with donations coming in from a number of Edinburgh residents.
Writing on the JustGiving page, mum Emma Fordie said: “Mathew has spent many years fighting battles to land himself a position within the football world and recently that has happened.”
She continued: “Following a spell of volunteering at Spartans Connections FC, he has now been given the role of assistant manager to one of their teams.
“This is an enormous achievement which has only been reached following many physical and mental health battles over a number of years.
“To enable Mathew to continue to build both his independence and self-confidence, as well as to practically work on a 3G surface with his team, he drastically needs to upgrade his current wheelchair. Having access to a custom-built sports chair will have an enormous impact of Mathew’s life.”
Well-wishers have continued to send in donations, with more than half of Mathew’s target now raised.
But he’s now hoping for a final push to help get his fundraising journey over the line.
Writing on the page, one donor said: “Hope you reach the target very soon so that Matthew can make the most of his dream career path!,” while another wrote: “Independence is something a lot of us take for granted!! Hope you make your target Mathew and good luck!”
In her latest update on the page, Emma wrote: “Thanks to all you wonderful people we are now only £700 away from the amount Mathew requires.
“Providing Mathew with the opportunity to build a career in sport, which with his current wheelchair is not easily accessible and providing a huge barrier both physically and mentally.
“Thanks again to everyone who has helped out already. You are amazing!”