Young footballers at Cumbernauld Colts’ disability section have received a sponsorship boost from a Foundation set up in memory of a local toddler.

The Arran Brown Rainbow Foundation has linked up with the Colts to donate £2000 over the next two years to support coaching costs and the hiring of the gym hall that the players use every Monday evening.

The Foundation was set up in 2011 in memory of Arran Brown who was born with a rare kidney condition, Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). At a birth weight of 5lbs 2ozs, Arran had a very severe case of the condition and his cyst filled kidneys were estimated to be making up around 2lbs of his weight. For those children born with the disease, it is thought that around 50% fail to survive the first two weeks of life.

Arran spent most of his life in hospital and although often returning to his family home, the longest uninterrupted period at home was just 6 weeks.Whether at home or in the hospital, Arran received around 30 doses of various medicines every day, had a constant oxygen top-up requirement, and received a continuous feed throughout the night.

Arran battled bravely for 14 months, inspiring the medical professionals who provided him and the family with first rate care throughout his life. Following his passing, Arran’s parents, Laura McNair and Alasdair Brown established the Foundation with friends to support charities, organisations and those who had helped Arran and the family as well as working to progress research into ARPKD and assist families and children born with the condition.

Alasdair said: “The Foundation’s trustees wanted to do something to support disability sport in Arran’s hometown.  One of our fondest family memories is of watching the World Cup Final in 2010 with Arran and his brother Jacob wearing their Spain strips. After speaking to the Colts and hearing about the opportunities they are providing to local children every week, we wanted to make a donation to support their development and the growth of the group”.

The club’s Disability Centre was launched in 2012 when it was highlighted by a parent whose son has cerebral palsy that there was no local football provision for children with learning or physical difficulties. The club was delighted to be in a position to help and with the support of the Scottish FA and Club Development Coach Richard McKenzie the group was established.

Aimed at children of primary school age coaching sessions are stimulating and fun and are delivered every week at Broadwood with the other Colts sections. The Scottish FA has recognised the work being undertaken by the Colts when they awarded the club its Disability Award.

Stewart McKenzie, Club Chairman said in response to the support “we are delighted to have received the support of The Arran Brown Rainbow Foundation; this programme is very important to us as we seek to provide comprehensive outreach activities, the investment in the clubs disability section will make a huge contribution to the sustainability and development of the group and we are extremely grateful for this generous donation“.

Former Celtic player and manager, Davie Hay is Patron of the Foundation. Hay, a family friend and a lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, said he was delighted the Foundation is partnering with the Colts who hold the Scottish FA’s highest level of Quality Mark accreditation, the first club in the country to achieve the ‘Legacy’ award.

Davie said: “I was honoured when the family approached me to get involved in the Foundation. Arran’s courageous battle inspired everyone who knew him. The family received great support from the community in Cumbernauld and whilst the Foundation is looking to support families and children with ARPKD and playing a role in advancing research into the condition, the trustees were keen to get behind an initiative that is providing opportunities for these local youngsters in Arran’s hometown”.