Fundraiser Mike follows in father’s footsteps with marathon

Mike Houston and Bobby Houston
Mike Houston and Bobby Houston

A new generation of a well-known Cupar family has taken on the mantle left by Bobby Houston.

His son Mike has turned fundraiser, running in last weekend’s London Marathon to raise funds for Cupar Golf Club in memory of his dad.

And within days, he had raised around £1700.

Indicating it was up to club members to decide what to do with the cash injection, Mike said he was astonished at the response, from Cuparians, friends and colleagues in Chichester where he now lives, and anonymous donations: “I will never be able to thank everyone enough for all their support,” he said.

It was something of a last-minute decision to run to raise funds, for Mike (37) had entered the marathon last summer, before his father became ill, and died earlier this year.

“Only this past week I decided to run in his memory and pay tribute by raising funds for a local sporting organisation close to our hearts; the golf club,” he said.

Mum Elsie, a former club captain at the nine-hole golf club, backed the move.

“My father and I have devoted years as members to help them with various projects from committee representing, clubhouse repair, on-course maintenance, developing junior golf and all round assistance,” said Mike.

“He was even there in his final days to build a fence – his last project.”

Paying tribute to Bobby, he continued: “My dad was quite simply amazing. I know most sons will say this about their father, but he did so much for so many.

“He raised thousands for great causes, helped hundreds and always gave his time to aid people whatever their need was.”

He hopes his own fund raising efforts will help to create more awareness of the club and that more people will go and play there.

Based at Hill of Tarvit, the club was founded in 1855 and is probably the oldest nine-hole club in the world.

Mike had to combine his training for the marathon with the long journey home to see Bobby as he battled cancer, making the fight to get fit even harder.

But the training proved worth it as he clocked a personal best of two hours, 53 minutes and 49 seconds.

Mike recalled that it was a far cry from his first marathon in London 2009, when he failed to finish so didn’t receive an official medal, but Bobby had made him his own commemorative medal.