Livingston to host match in aid of Jak’s Journey charity

Mark Martin and Allison Barr at Jak's Den, the community facility set up in memory of Ms Barr's son, Jak Trueman
Mark Martin and Allison Barr at Jak's Den, the community facility set up in memory of Ms Barr's son, Jak Trueman
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JAK TRUEMAN’S charity side Team Jak face the Forth One All Stars this Sunday at the Tony Macaroni Arena in Livingston.

All proceeds go to the Jak’s Journey charity in memory of the West Lothian teenager, who died last year from a rare form of cancer.

Jak’s former team-mates and teachers from West Calder High School will take on Mark Martin and his Forth One All Stars at the Livingston stadium. Gates open at 1pm for a 1.30pm kick-off. Entry is £5 each but primary school children will be admitted free.

Allison Barr, Jak’s mum and the driving force behind the Jak’s Journey group, is hoping for a large crowd to celebrate her son’s life. Aged 15, Jak passed away in February 2015 from a blood cancer known as Gammadelta T-cell lymphoma.

Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander will be in attendance on the day as a patron of the Jak’s Journey charity.

“Last year, the school organised a game in conjunction with Mid Calder Colts,” explained Ms Barr. “We wanted to take it on and make the match an annual event. At the Forth One awards, we were lucky enough to have Mark at our table. He was totally engrossed in the whole Team Jak thing. He said he’d bring the Forth One All Stars through for the game and I thought that was a fabulous idea. Forth One have been absolutely fantastic with us since day one and I think it’s really important to keep these links going.

“We’re hoping to see as many people there as possible. We had nearly 4000 there last year. We just want a good number again. Details of the game have been all over Facebook, it’s been announced on Forth One, so it’s certainly been out and about. Hopefully, we can embrace the community and they can come to celebrate Jak’s life again as well as having a good afternoon out.

“Team Jak includes Jak’s pals, his teachers from West Calder High, one of the trustees, Michael Douglas. They’re all megastars in our eyes. Neil Alexander is coming along and he will hopefully say a few words with myself on the day.”

Ms Barr also thanked Livingston FC for hosting Sunday’s match. “Livingston Football Club have been outstanding. It helps that Gordon Ford [Livingston’s majority shareholder] is there because he used to be deputy head of eduction [at West Lothian Council]. I know Gordon quite well and he’s been excellent.

“The rest of the board have been fully behind us as well. We’ve had several meetings with them and the school and everybody has really pulled together. We’ve got SFA referees coming and it’s going to be a really great day.”