A FUNDRAISING campaign to support young cancer patients has kicked off at Musselburgh Athletic Football Club.

The balloons, flags and bunting were out as the club chose its fixture with great rivals Newtongrange Star FC on Saturday to launch its three-year partnership with Young Lives vs Cancer, which supports children, young people and their families.

The event raised more than £10,000.

Season ticket holder Brian Ramsay, who mooted the idea of a partnership with Young Lives vs Cancer, formerly CLIC Sargent, and 11 of his friends gave generously as sponsors at the event.

He said: “There was a good buzz around Olivebank. All in all, it was a very good day, raising the profile of and funds for the charity.”

Karl Cleghorn, club president, commented: “Another fantastic day at Olivebank was held on Saturday, where the communities of Musselburgh, Wallyford, Whitecraig and further afield came together to support not only the football club but a vitally important charity that supports an increasing amount of young cancer sufferers and their families, often in the most challenging of circumstances.”

Children of Musselburgh Athletic supporters were out in force to give their backing to the charity, including Ewan Brown, a pupil at Campie Primary School in Musselburgh, whose grandfather Billy Brown was a former Musselburgh Athletic manager before going on to become part of the management teams at Hearts, Hibs and Bradford.

Musselburgh Athletic won the game 1-0 and supporters also watched Scotland beat Israel 3-2 in the World Cup qualifiers on screen.

The club is planning a number of future events to raise funds for the charity, which helped 17 families face cancer in East Lothian last year.

The charity gave out seven financial grants to the value of £1,320, helping families to cope with the costs of cancer.

Its ‘cancer costs’ campaign found that families with a child receiving active treatment spend an extra £600 a month.

Ciaran’s House is a Young Lives vs Cancer ‘home from home’, located on Old Dalkeith Road, close to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Little France, Edinburgh.

The facility is a free place for families to stay when their child is going through cancer treatment, helping families avoid the extra financial burdens of travel, accommodation and food costs.

It also allows young cancer patients to be close to their loved ones, keeping the family together at a difficult time.

Last year, 141 families stayed at Ciaran’s House.

Carol Jones, Young Lives vs Cancer fundraising engagement manager for Scotland, visited Olivebank for Saturday’s match and was delighted with the response from well-wishers.

She later said: “When cancer strikes young lives, we step in to help families find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them.

“We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank Musselburgh Athletic Football Club enough for their fantastic efforts.

“Thanks to the club, fans and everyone who donated – we will be able to help even more young people thrive, not just survive, after their cancer diagnosis.”

For more information about Young Lives vs Cancer’s work, go to younglivesvscancer.org.uk