John and Martin from the Queen’s Park Supporters Club share how they raise funds for Epilepsy Scotland in memory of their friend Martin Kelly who passed away ten years ago.
Can you tell us how the Queen’s Park Supporters Club got involved with Epilepsy Scotland and began to fundraise for the charity?
We’d been playing in this competition since 1988 and the whole weekend was usually a joy and a celebration of football with fellow football fans from across the UK.
Tragically on this occasion, our dear friend Martin Kelly – our goalie with the nickname Safehands – passed away on the Saturday morning of the tournament due to Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy (SUDEP) at our hotel.
From that day forward we decided to raise funds for Epilepsy Scotland in his memory.
The Queen’s Park Supporters Association Travel Club Player of the Year award has also been named after Martin as he was a regular supporter, home and away, as well as being the voice of Queen’s Park TV match highlights.
What kind of fundraising have you done for Epilepsy Scotland?
Every year since (apart from the Covid years) the supporters’ football team has held a charity football match and event in Glasgow, featuring friends from across the UK, with Martin’s family also in attendance.
The team also got a purple kit produced in the charity’s colours to help raise awareness.
We’ve also held functions like Race nights and Quiz nights with proceeds going towards the charity.
Martin’s family have been very supportive of everything we’ve done for the charity and are delighted that we continue to honour his legacy.
Can you tell us what plans the Supporters Club and Queen’s Park have for Purple Day?
The supporters association will be holding a collection on their buses on Friday 24 March en route to their match with Arbroath.
Also, in attendance on Friday 24 March will be the parents of the late Martin Kelly.
To find out how you can get involved in Purple Day, please click here.