Brian’s legacy: Foundation to continue helping people in his name

Brian Kerr with Linda and Kameryn.
Brian Kerr with Linda and Kameryn.

The charitable group set up in the name of a popular Kirkcaldy man who passed away after a cancer battle is to continue helping people in the community.

The Brian Kerr Foundation bears the name of the man who inspired locals in Smeaton to come together in order raise funds.

The tree near the home of Brian Kerr's family in Smeaton

The tree near the home of Brian Kerr's family in Smeaton

Brian was laid to rest at Kirkcaldy Crematorium in January, with around 700 people reportedly gathering in and around the building to pay their respects.

The Smeaton man, known locally by his nickname Boris, died on December 28, having defied medics to survive weeks, despite being told he had just a matter of days left.

Brian had vowed to hold on so he could see Christmas with his daughter Kameryn – a feat he managed.

But now the foundation, which initially began to raise money for his family, will continue to raise funds for local causes, and some big events have been lined up to help the cause.

Brian Kerr and Linda McAndrew.

Brian Kerr and Linda McAndrew.

One of the world’s top darts players, Raymond Van Barneveld, will be coming to the Gunners club for a special event.

The man behind the foundation, Rab Allan, is keen to see the work go on after Brian’s passing.

“The foundation will go on in Brian’s name,” said Rab, “but we’ll continue to look for other good causes and charities in the area.

“It started with Brian, and now he’s gone, it makes me want to do even more.

The tree near the home of Brian Kerr's family in Smeaton

The tree near the home of Brian Kerr's family in Smeaton

“I met him going to the football 25 years ago.

“He was a right loud bubbly kind of a guy, always game for a laugh.

“And then this all happened – it could happen to anyone.”

Initially, money was raised for Brian and his family, in a movement which saw a march through the Smeaton area, led by a piper.

Raymond Van Barneveld .

Raymond Van Barneveld .

A string of events followed, including a ‘Rangers v Celtic’ fans match, and as Christmas approached, scarves and football tops were left in tribute on a small tree near Brian’s home.

A small plaque now stands in front of the tree, reading: “In memory of ‘Boris’ Brian Kerr”.

Rab says his initial efforts had been for the family after Brian initially fell ill.

“At the very start, I had it in my head that if he couldn’t work, he wasn’t getting paid,” he said.

“So I thought it would be good to do something to try and help.

“But it was actually Vicki Lister who started to raise money.”

However, Rab soon realised that his connections with a local club could come in handy as fundraising efforts grew.

“Being president of the Gunners, I realised I could use the club to help as well,” he said.

Now looking to branch out and capitalise on the community spirit in the Smeaton area, Rab says the foundation will look for new ways to help people.

Rab is working his way towards gaining charitable status for the foundation, which requires a great deal of effort, but he is adamant that it will continue to help people.

“If, say, someone has a heart attack, and the Heart Foundation get involved, then we’ll donate money to them, for example.

“We’re looking to help people in the community, not just with cancer, we want to help everybody.

“There’s a guy who has gone in for an operation on his back and it didn’t go well.

“He needs equipment now so we could try and help there.”

In the immediate future, Rab says the foundation already has a few events in the pipeline.

“We’re going to do a fundraiser for the Hospice where Brian died, a charity gig with all the bands again.

“It would be nice to get a wee memory bench, there are a few ideas.

“We’ve already given money to places like the eye department, and cerebral palsy.

“Coming up we’ve got Raymond Van Barneveld – one of the biggest darts names in the world.

“We’ll be selling tickets to come see him play, as well as VIP tickets for a meet and greet.”

The Raymond Van Barneveld event will be held on Sunday, March 11, at the Gunners club.

A day of live music from assorted acts will follow on Sunday, March 18.

Darts star aiming for Kirkcaldy

Raymond Van Barneveld is a huge name in the darts world.

The Dutch ace is widely recognised as one of the most successful players in the history of the sport.

The five-time world champion, though left-handed, actually plays with his right hand.

Also an adept pairs player, he has won the PDC World Cup of Darts three times, with two different partners.

Over the last three and a half decades he has lifted a serious number of trophies across the globe.

But now he’s coming to Kirkcaldy.

Tickets for the event, on Sunday, March 11, cost £12, or £25 for a VIP pass.