Sir Alex is special guest as appeal marks its silver anniversary

The 25th East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal charity dinner, organised by Eleanor Bowman MBE, with radio presenter Edith Bowman and special guest Sir Alex Ferguson, among others (FIFE PHOTO AGENCY)

The 25th East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal charity dinner, organised by Eleanor Bowman MBE, with radio presenter Edith Bowman and special guest Sir Alex Ferguson, among others (FIFE PHOTO AGENCY)

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One of Scottish football’s greatest figures renewed an old family friendship as he turned out to support a leading local charity venture.

Former Aberdeen and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson joined 430 guests for an annual charity dinner in aid of the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal, which this year marks 25 years of fund-raising.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Edith Bowman at the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal annual fundraising dinner

Sir Alex Ferguson and Edith Bowman at the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal annual fundraising dinner

The event, held at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews, saw Sir Alex take part in a question and answer interview with BBC Radio 6 presenter Edith Bowman, whose mum Eleanor is, of course, one of the main forces behind the appeal and one of the event’s principal organisers.

Other special guests from the worlds of sport, business and entertainment attended to support the appeal, which raises money to provide powered wheelchairs, scooters and manual chairs for people with mobility needs, as well as contributing to worthy causes.

Since it began, the appeal has raised over £500,000.

Eleanor Bowman MBE said: “It was a brilliant night and the feedback we have had has been marvellous.

“Edith’s interview with Sir Alex went down really well and gave people an insight into a ‘Fergie’ they had never seen. “The tickets were virtually sold out in a week – I think we could have filled the hotel twice over with the demand we had and I think this was down to Sir Alex being our guest of honour.”

Sir Alex is an old friend of the Bowman family and has been a prolific supporter of the appeal over the years.

Edith paid tribute to the members of her family, friends and volunteers who had helped stage the occasion – while the ticket price was kept down thanks to sponsors Carrington UK, Hardies of StAndrews, Enid Hutt Galleries, Robertson & Donald of Dundee, Taxi Centre, Leven, and theFairmont Hotel.

This year alone, the appeal has given out three powered chairs, two manual chairs, a rise and fall recliner chair and a powered scooter.

“Let’s hope we can continue to keep the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal going for many years to come and we are very grateful for the continuing support we get for any event we put on,” added Eleanor.

Items auctioned on the night included a drum skin from Coldplay which raised £600, a Hennessy Gold Cup package (£800), T in The Park tickets (£600), Old Trafford tickets and hospitality (£725) and more.