A Kirkcaldy schoolboy is limbering up to run in memory of his friend.
Jack Rae (13) will compete in the 5K race at the Edinburgh Marathon on May 25 to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation after the tragic death of his close pal, Gregor Smith.
Gregor died in February of the disease just hours after playing football and Jack’s mum Leanne said her son wanted to do something for Gregor, and has been working hard since. She said: “He’s never done anything like this before but he’s been in training.
“He’s going out running with my friend’s husband and he’s joined a gym in Glenrothes.
“He’s determined to do it!”
Like many pupils at Kirkcaldy High School, Leanne said Jack was “devastated” when Gregor died.
“Obviously he’s at that age that he doesn’t want to say much to his mum,” she said. “But I think he’s been handling it very well.
“When we went to parents night at the school the headmaster Mr Allan said he had been very impressed with Jack and that he had a heart of gold. That made me proud.”
Mr Allan was full of praise for Jack, saying: “He’s a big-hearted kid and just a few hours after learning of Gregor’s death he came to speak to us about doing something which is typical of him.”
The school has taken steps to try and help pupils come to terms with Gregor’s death. “We had a quite remarkable man called Steve Dayman come in and speak to the second years,” said Mr Allan.
“He lost his own son Spencer to meningitis in 1982 and since then has raised £20,000,000 for meningitis charities.
“He made a big difference and really helped the pupils to understand the disease.”
Mr Allan said that over the next four years, the same amount of time that Gregor would have been at KHS, the school will concentrate most of fundraising activities to Meningitis UK, beginning with Jack’s 5k.
“The whole school is behind him,” he said. “We’re all very proud of Jack for doing this.”