THE memory of a young Cupar soldier who died on holiday is to be kept alive for future generations after a fund was set up in his name to improve sporting facilities for local children.
Lance Corporal Darren Lackie was just 21 when he died in mysterious circumstances on March 31 this year while enjoying a break in the Portugese resort of Albufeira with his girlfriend Ashleigh Wilson.
He was found unconscious in the street with his phone and wallet missing and traces of barbiturates in his system, leading his family to believe he was the victim of a mugging and not a drunken fall as the Portugese authorities have claimed.
Around 600 mourners turned out for Darren’s funeral, and friends have now rallied round to set up a memorial fund to be used for the good of the town he grew up in.
The charity has been named the Darren Durrant Lackie Memorial Fund, Darren having been given his middle name in honour of the former Rangers and Scotland footballer Ian Durrant.
It’s being spearheaded by family friend Rod Whyte, also of Cupar, who is calling on local businesses to support the fund-raising activities.
He explained: “We are in the process of getting official charity status for the fund, which will be used to enhance sporting facilities for youngsters of all ages.
“For example, local organisations like playgroups will be able to apply for funding to buy new equipment.
“It is a fitting tribute to Darren as he loved his sport.”
A series of fund-raising events has already been lined up, starting with a music quiz in the Imperial Bar on Thursday, May 5, which kicks off at 8pm.
Entry costs £10 per four-man team and tickets are available from the Imperial.
The Golf Tavern is also to host a series of events, including a quiz night on May 26, a live gig by the Sea Dogs on May 28 and a fun day on May 29 featuring attractions such as a barbecue, karaoke and a bouncy castle.
Meanwhile, Darren’s dad Graham Lackie vowed this week that he would go ‘as far as was necessary’ to get a proper inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his son’s death.
He said: “The police in Portugal seem to think that if they ignore it long enough it will go away.
“They clearly don’t want the tourist industry to be affected but I would have thought that holiday-makers would feel more at ease if they knew that a murderer had been apprehended.”
Anyone who wishes to donate to the Darren Durrant Lackie Memorial Fund while it awaits official registration can do so via a special account that has been set up at VONEF in Crossgate, Cupar.