Firstly can I say a big thank you for showing an interest in our project and sending me your email addresses. Let me tell you about hoops4haiti and what our plans/proposals are.
Firstly I have a bit of a story to tell and to be honest it is a bit unusual as our project which has now become a charity all surrounds Billy McNeill and the European cup,on the 25th of may this year I received a message telling me that I had won a framed signed picture of big Billy with the European cup in Lisbon ,a truly iconic picture I must add,the message on twitter gave me a number to call which I did and at the other end of the phone was a chap who owns a sports memorabilia shop in Glasgow by the name of vic McLaughlin.
Now to say I was chuffed was an understatement so I jumped in the car and shot up to Vics shop where I got my beautiful framed picture and my photo taken for the website.i hit it off with vic instantly swapping stories of socialist politics left Wing music, Irish history and most of all the Glasgow Celtic .
I spent about an hour in Vics shop chatting and on leaving vowed to remain friends and link up on twitter.
About three weeks passed chatting about the Celtic and music etc when one day last week I got a message saying “that’s me going to Haiti on Saturday been let down for Celtic jerseys can you help”
I contacted vic and asked him what he was talking about and it transpires that he has been involved with a charity building an orphanage in Haiti and had come up with the idea of taking the kids Celtic jerseys, now this was a two fold idea as well as telling the kids about Celtic the jersey is probably the most distinctive in the world which comes in very handy in such a dangerous country as Haiti as it means the people looking after the kids can spot them more easily if people try to kidnap them as does unfortunately happen.
Well I told vic that I would see what I could do given the huge amount of twitter followers I have surely someone could help him, so I posted a message and exactly five seconds later the offers started to arrive, more and more and more, I couldn’t believe what was happening the messages were incredible I was inundated and to be honest nearly in tears the generosity of the Celtic supporters is legendary but I never anticipated anything like this. I spent the night arranging with people and vic how to get the strips etc. same thing happens the next day and day after.
Now I contacted vic and we agreed something big was happening here and to be honest we fell into this idea and it has taken off like a rocket that just gathers momentum so we met up and agreed to start a charity vic sorted the legal side of things with his connections and I became the spokesperson because of my experience in my job as lecturer in history of the railway in my job in Glasgow central Station.i need a technical man to get involved and turned to the wonderful Andrew smilie who has been working with me on developing apps and interactive projects of the history of the station with me, now with Andrew on board there is no stopping us
Well that’s a bit of the background vic is in Haiti right now carrying out the good work the kids have the jerseys but the plan is we now go from here and develop this a lot further now. We are planning fundraisers ,events and much much more but to be honest we will need a lot of help we are getting organised and have a great determination to succeed and we will, On a personal note this is something I always wanted to do to help poor kids of the world as we live a comparatively rich life and I must say I have never felt as invigorated and driven as I feel today with a true purpose in my life to help someone.
We intent to raise £100,000 and Andrew vic and myself will go out next year. We have a chance to continue brother Walfrids work and his original aims of helping the poor and destitute albeit in another country but Celtics true ethos will live on
I will come back to you all with my proposals properly prepared for you to read and see if you would like to help us. We aim to achieve big things in Haiti and with your help we can do it the Celtic way
Thanks again for reading my lengthy rambles and I will be in touch soon, My final thought is I really think I was meant to win that picture of big Billy with the European cup because if I didn’t all this may never have happened. was it a co-incidence or maybe something more