Celtic legend John Hartson joins Torrance dad to scale new heights

ON TOP FORM: Liam is pictured with Celtic legend John Hartson on top of Ben Nevis.
ON TOP FORM: Liam is pictured with Celtic legend John Hartson on top of Ben Nevis.

An intrepid dad joined a former footballing star and a team of 70 people to climb Britain’s highest mountain to raise cash for charity.

Liam Fitzpatrick took on the BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge in aid of the John Hartson Foundation.

Former Celtic striker John set up the foundation after his battle with testicular cancer.

Liam was keen to climb Ben Nevis after completing other mountains. And when he signed up he was even more inspired to do the challenge when his brother Kevin was left paralysed from the waist down.

Liam (47) said: “They think what happened to Kevin was started by food poisoning. He’s still in hospital and will be for a while. They say the feeling in his legs will come back.

“It made me all the more determined to do the climb.”

Liam, from Torrance, raised more than £2,000 during the challenge.

He said: “It was absolutely fantastic, we couldn’t ask for a better day. It was actually easier than I thought.

“John Hartson made everyone feel at home and talked to everyone on the way. He’s a really down to earth guy.

“It was a real team effort. People came from as far away as Shetland, London and Cardiff.

“You felt like you really knew people afterwards. It was good to raise awareness of the foundation. I’ve signed up for it next year.”

Liam was got a lot of sponsorship from regulars in his local pub, the Torrance Inn, with people digging deep to help the cause.

On the foundation website John Hartson said: “Personally, the climb was another landmark day for me in my battle with cancer. It was my third time walking up there, but the sense of achievement and satisfaction I got was bigger than ever before.

“My old legs found it tougher than any pre-season training I ever did throughout my playing career, that’s for sure.

“But when I reached the top I was surrounded by friends and family who helped me through my illness and it was so special.

“It was the same for everyone else who was there with each person having their own reasons for taking part.

The John Hartson Foundation was registered as a charity in 2010, amidst John’s many operations and treatments for testicular cancer.

The aim is to use John’s profile to increase awareness of the disease and to help raise money to support others affected by cancer.

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